Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 07

Headlines From This Week

  • 17 Dead in United States School Shooting – 17 people were killed after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, United States. The only suspect, who was arrested by police, is a disgruntled former student who was reportedly a member of a white nationalist hate group. Reports suggest that the FBI and the school had been warned about his potentially extreme behaviour. 
  • Zuma Resigns – After months of mounting pressure, Jacob Zuma has resigned as the President of South Africa on 14 February after his own party told him to step down or face a vote of no-confidence. Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma as head of the ruling African National Congress, has also succeeded Zuma as President. It is hoped that Ramaphosa will help combat the rampant corruption in the country; Zuma faces multiple corruption allegations but denies any wrongdoing. 
  • Russia Plane Crash – All 71 people on the Antonov An-148 Saratov Airlines flight were killed after crashing minutes after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on 11 February. It is currently unclear what caused the plane, en route to Orsk in the Ural Mountains, to crash; however, reports suggest that ice on airspeed sensors may have been a major contributing factor.
  • Netanyahu on the Brink – Israeli police issued a recommendation for charges to be raised against Prime Minister Netanyahu due to corruption allegations. The decision to indict the Prime Minister lies with the Attorney General, who continues to assess the evidence. If an indictment is pursued, it is likely to force an election; Netanyahu heads a coalition government and the other parties in the coalition may seek to distance themselves from an ongoing corruption scandal. 
  • Ethiopian Prime Minister Resigns – Following a series of protests and road blocks around Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Hailemariam issued his resignation, but will continue to serve until his EPRDF party congress selects his replacement. Over recent months a series of detained opposition politicians and journalists have been pardoned or released from prison. A state of emergency has been declared as of 16 February. 
  • Egyptian Security Forces Killed 53 Insurgents – A major counter-insurgency operation in the Sinai peninsula resulted in Egyptian forces targeting insurgent groups and their infrastructure in the restive region. At least 53 insurgents were reported killed, five surrendered, and 680 alleged collaborators were detained. A wide range of materiel, including weapons and explosives, were also recovered. It is unclear whether this operation will improve the region’s security environment or lead to elevated levels of violence as insurgent groups carry out revenge attacks.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Kosovo’s Independence Day – On 17 February, Kosovo celebrates its independence day from Serbia. The state remains unrecognised by a majority of other nations, and continues to be contentious both domestically, and with its neighbours. The celebration generally passes peacefully, however the recent assassination of a Kosovan-Serb politician, Oliver Ivanovic, on 16 January 2018 is likely to lead to elevated tensions in both Kosovo and Serbia.
  • Anti-Poroshenko Protests in Ukraine – Groups opposed to Ukrainian President Poroshenko planned rallies across Ukraine on 18 February in response to recent political events, including the removal of citizenship, and functional exile, of Saakashvili, an outspoken anti-corruption activist. Although Saakashvili has relatively limited support in Ukraine, the ongoing issues concerning his treatment have highlighted government contempt for the rule of law, and focused attention on the treatment of other opposition groups.
  • Bolivia Protests and Strikes – Trade unions and activist groups in Bolivia have called for further strikes and protests on 21 February. Demonstrations have escalated recently due to the recent action by President Morales and the Supreme Court to lift term limits on the Presidency, and a sweeping reform of the penal code. Celebrations or protests in Bolivia have recently been marred by violence, and protesters recently establish roadblocks. Travellers should anticipate significant disruption across the country, and maintain a low profile.
  • Robert Mugabe National Youth Day – The new Zimbabwean President, Mnangagwa, declared 21 February a national holiday on the day he took office, following a bloodless coup against former President Mugabe. Considering the controversy concerning Mugabe’s rule, it is a realistic possibility that the first celebration of a day named in his honour may be met by limited protests or demonstrations. Morgan Tsvangirai, a prominent opposition leader, and former Prime Minister died on 14 February 2018, there may be additional local events mourning his death.
  • Nigerian Fuel Crisis – The Nigerian government announced that the fuel crisis, ongoing since November, would continue and announced additional measures would be implemented. Broad discontent across rural areas outside Abuja and Lagos is likely to lead to intermittent civil unrest, as the new measures focus on maintaining supplies to urban centres rather than rural communities.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 17 FebruaryKosovo – Independence Day
  • 17 February – Serbia – Right-Wing Activists Plan to Rally Against Kosovan Independence
  • 17 February – Libya – 17 February Revolution Day
  • 17 February Poland – Far right march planned in Krakow
  • 18 February – The Gambia – Independence Day
  • 18 February – Nepal – National Democracy Day
  • 18 February – Ukraine – Anti-Poroshenko Nationwide Marches
  • 19 February – Orthodox Shrove Monday
  • 19 February Ethiopia – Martyrs’ Day
  • 19 February – United States – Presidents’ Day
  • 19 February – Turkmenistan – National Flag Day
  • 20 February – Venezuela – Federation Day
  • 20 February – Greece – Bus Workers to conduct Six-Hour Strike
  • 20 February – Denmark – Funeral of Prince Consort Henrik
  • 20 February – Romania – Anti-Corruption March Planned in Bucharest
  • 20 February – Argentina – Women’s Rights Groups to Rally in Buenos Aires
  • 21 February – Bolivia – Civic Groups Call for Nationwide Strikes and Protests
  • 21 February – Bangladesh – Martyr’s Day
  • 21 February – Bhutan – Birthday of fifth Druk Gyalpo (Current King of Bhutan)
  • 21 February – South Africa – Armed Forces Day
  • 21 February – Zimbabwe – Robert Gabriel Mugabe National Youth Day
  • 21 February – Morocco – General Strike Planned in Rif Region
  • 22 February – St. Lucia – Independence Day
  • 22 February – France – Air France Staff to Strike
  • 23 February – Brunei – National Day
  • 23 February – Guyana – Republic Day
  • 23 February – Israel – Tel Aviv Marathon
  • 23 February – Djibouti – Parliamentary Elections
  • 23 February – Russia – Defender of the Fatherland Day
  • 23 February – Spain – Catalan Separatists to Rally in major cities
  Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 07 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 07 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.