Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 12

Headlines From This Week 

  • Potential Terror Incident in France – A gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group fired shots and took hostages at a supermarket in the town of Trebes in France on 23 March. Police were also dealing with a shooting in nearby Carcassonne. Estimates suggest that there are three dead and two injured in these two incidents, not including the gunman who is believed to have been killed as police stormed the supermarket.
  •  Peru President Offers Resignation – The president of Peru offered his resignation on 21 March 2018, ahead of an impeachment vote regarding corruption charges. This could see power passed to First Vice President Martin Vizcarra. President Kuczynski has criticised opponents led by one-time presidential nominee and daughter of former strongman leader Alberto Fujimori, Keiko Fujimori. There is a potential for a new election to be called within a year. Protests have occurred in Lima and reports suggest they have turned violent.
  •  Kabul Bombing – At least 32 people were killed after a suicide bombing at the Sakhi Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan. The attack came as crowds gathered to celebrate Nowruz festival or Persian New Year; many in the crowd belonged to the Shia minority. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State branch in Afghanistan.
  •  Austin Bomber Killed – The individual believed to have been behind five bombings in the American city of Austin which killed two people, was killed on 21 March. He also stands accused of injuring six others. The culprit was killed when he detonated a bomb after a police chase; his motive remains unclear at this time.
  •  State of Emergency Lifted in Maldives – Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has lifted the country’s state of emergency after 45 days. The emergency was imposed following a political and constitutional crisis after a Supreme Court order to release nine persons including the exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed. Yameen has increased his grip on power. Further protests should be expected.
  •  School Girls Freed in Nigeria – The government in Nigeria reported on 21 March that almost all of the 110 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from Dapchi had been returned. The fate of nine girls remains unclear. Reports suggest that the Nigerian government were forced to pay or trade something to get their release. The girls were abducted on 19 February 2018; troops had reportedly left Dapchi the day before.
  •  US Trade Tariffs – President Trump has announced a series of trade tariffs on Chinese imports, heightening fears of a global trade war. The imposition of the tariffs comes after an investigation into intellectual property theft by China and Chinese companies. Tariffs are expected to impact Chinese imports worth $50-60 billion.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Elections in Egypt – The presidential elections in Egypt are due to take place between 26 and 28 March 2018, with the potential for a second-round run-off between 24 and 26 April. There are only two candidates in the race – President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Moussa Mostafa Moussa of El-Ghad Party. Sisi is expected to win handsomely with Moussa being described as being a phony candidate, due to him being a supporter of the current president. Sisi has been able to prevent any serious opposition through arrest and other means.
  •  March for our Lives – On 24 March, protestors will take to the streets of Washington DC and in 831 other locations worldwide to end gun violence and mass shootings at schools. The protest will begin at 1200hrs on Pennsylvania Avenue in the US capital; disruption is expected. For more information on the locations of protests, see https://marchforourlives.com/.
  • Jewish Festival of Passover – Jews around the world will celebrate Passover 2018 from the evening of 30 March until 07 April. Terror attacks are possible during this period and recent developments may make such incidents more likely, including the US recognising Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Israeli security forces are also preparing for a Palestinian “Day of Rage” on 30 March. This date commemorates a 1976 decision by Israel to expropriate land in the Galilee region, which led to riots and the deaths of six Arab-Israeli citizens.
  •  Christian Festival of Easter – Travellers in Christian majority countries can expect some travel disruption between 29 March and 02 April as the Christian festival of Easter is celebrated. Travellers should plan ahead during this period and expect delays on roads and engineering works on key infrastructure including rail lines.
  •  Rallies in Belarus – Protests for ‘Freedom Day’ (an unofficial holiday marking Belarus’s 1918 independence) are set to be held in Belarus on 25 March, beginning at 1300hrs. Reports indicate that the city authorities in Minsk, Grodno, and Brest have authorised these activities. However, there is the potential for these rallies to escalate into violence or for unauthorised events to occur. It is advisable to avoid all large gatherings during this period; rallies in 2017 saw the detention of around 700 protesters.
  •  Sierra Leone Elections – The run-off, second-round vote for the 2018 presidential elections in Sierra Leone will be held on 27 March. Opposition leader Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People’s Party and Samura Kamara of the ruling All People’s Congress will contest the vote; the two were separated by under 15,000 votes in the first round. At least five violent incidents involving beatings, stone-throwing, and arson have occurred during this election period; there are fears that violence will escalate as the election approaches and in its aftermath.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 23-25 March – Australia – Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne
  • 24 March – Argentina – Truth and Justice Memorial Day
  • 24 March – Cote d’Ivoire – Senate Elections
  • 24 March – South Korea – Kumho Tyre Protest in Gwangju
  • 25 March – Greece and Cyprus – Greek Independence Day
  • 25 March – Cameroon – Senate Elections
  • 25 March – Hinduism – Festival of Sri Rama Navami (celebrated in locations with Hindu populations)
  • 25 March – Moldova – Union Act Rally in Chisinau
  • 25 March – Turkmenistan – Parliamentary Elections
  • 25 March – Italy – Deadline for formation of parliamentary groups in the Italian Parliament
  • 26 March – Bangladesh – Independence Day
  • 26 March – Mali – Martyrs’ Day
  • 27 March – Myanmar – Armed Forces Day
  • 29 March – Madagascar – Martyrs’ day
  • 29 March – Central African Republic – Barthelemy Boganda Day
  • 30 March – Islam – Birthday of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, important to Shia Muslims
  • 30-31 March – South Africa – Two Oceans Marathon, Cape Town
  • 31 March – Malta – Freedom Day
  • 31 March – Myanmar – Full Moon of Tabaung (Magha Puja)
  • 31 March – Trinidad and Tobago – Spiritual Baptist Liberation Day
  • 31 March – Iran – Imam Ali’s Birthday
  • 31 March – Sri Lanka – Bak Full Moon Poya
  • 01 April – Benin – Youth Day
  • 01 April – Cyprus – Greek Cypriot National Day
  • 01 April – Iran – Islamic Republic Day
  • 02 April – India – Trade Unions call for strike across Kerala state
  • 02 April – Argentina – Malvinas Day
  • 02 April – South Africa – Family Day
  • 02 April – United States – 2018 Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 12 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 12 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.