Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 52

Headlines From This Week

  • Coptic Church Attacked in Egypt – Gunmen opened fire on a Coptic church in Helwan, south of Cairo on 29 December. Preliminary reporting suggested that ten worshippers were killed before police shot and killed the attackers.
  • Explosion in Saint Petersburg – An explosive device was detonated in a Perekrestok supermarket in central Saint Petersburg on 27 December. At least 13 people were wounded in the explosion which the Russian authorities are treating as a terrorist incident. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
  • Liberian Election Results Announced – George Weah was announced as the winner of the Liberian presidential election following a delayed and protracted vote-counting process. Provided his inauguration in January occurs as planned, it will mark Liberia’s first democratic and peaceful transfer of power.
  • 41 Killed in Kabul Suicide Bombing – The Islamic State’s Afghan off-shoot claimed responsibility for a suicide attack at a Shi’ite event in western Kabul. The attack resulted in at least 41 killed, and over 80 wounded, the majority of which were civilians. Two other explosions followed the attack in an apparent effort to target emergency responders and those fleeing the first blast.
  • Venezuelan Diplomatic Crisis – The Venezuelan ambassador to Brazil was declared persona non-grata by Brazil following Venezuela’s expulsion of Brazil’s ambassador over the Christmas weekend. The Canadian ambassador was also expelled from Venezuela due to Canada’s imposition of sanctions. Canada is likely to reciprocate and expel the Venezuelan mission.
  • Iran Protests – Several hundred protesters demonstrated in Mashhad against high prices and the government’s foreign policies. At least 52 people were detained by police, who deployed teargas and water cannons against the crowds. Clerical officials have called for harsh treatment of those arrested.
  • South Korea Seized an Alleged North Korean Smuggling Vessel – The South Korean authorities seized a Hong Kong flagged tanker which had illegally conducted ship-to-ship transfers of oil to North Korean tankers in defiance of international sanctions. The vessel’s owner remains unclear, however senior members of the United States’ administration have accused China of assisting North Korea in circumventing the sanctions.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Gregorian New Year – New Year’s celebrations are planned across the world for 31 December to 01 January. Many nations have national holidays over these dates and travellers should expect reduced provision of services across most industries, in addition to disruption due to festive events. Travellers should remain aware that New Year’s celebrations have previously been targeted by terror groups seeking mass casualties, as well as criminal groups focused on robbery or sexual assaults. Major cities, including London, New York, Istanbul, and Berlin have implemented substantially heightened security measures.
  • Continued Protests in Lima – Civil unrest in Peru’s capital, Lima, is highly likely to continue following the pardoning of a former president who was jailed for corrupt practices whilst in office. The current president, Pedro Kuczynski, recently avoided impeachment due to corruption charges. His use of the pardon in this instance reignited substantial public anger.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 31 December – New Year’s Eve
  • 31 December – Workers to stage 24 hour strike on London’s Docklands Light Railway and Southwest Rail
  • 01 January – New Year’s Day
  • 01 January – Cuba celebrates Liberation Day
  • 01 January – Haiti celebrates Independence Day
  • 01 January – Sudan celebrates Independence Day
  • 04 January – Railway staff to strike in Eindhoven.

Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 52 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 52 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.