Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 13

Headlines From This Week 

  • Attempted Terror Attack in Grenoble – One man was detained in Grenoble by French Police after attempting to conduct a vehicle-ramming attack against soldiers jogging near their base in Varces-Allieres-et-Risset. Eyewitness reports suggested that the attacker shouted at the troops in Arabic before his attempted attack. There are also suggestions that the vehicle was fitted with fake number plates, indicative that the attack had been pre-planned.
  • Civil Unrest in Catalonia – Supporters of Catalan independence have clashed with Spanish police repeatedly throughout the week, following the arrest of separatist leader, Charles Puigdemont’s, arrest in Germany on 25 March. Instances of violence were reported, with approximately 100 people requiring medical attention as a result of the unrest.
  • Alexandria Bombing – An improvised explosive device was detonated in Alexandria, near the Tolip hotel. The attack appears to have targeted a senior member of the security forces who was travelling nearby. Post incident, Egyptian security forces reportedly located an armed cell of Muslim Brotherhood members, believed to be responsible for the attack, six of which were killed resisting arrest.
  • 24 Injured at Pakistani Spring Festival – An unidentified attacker threw a hand grenade into a crowd of revellers at a spring festival in Dera Ismail Khan. At least 24 people were injured during the attack, including two members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps, who may have been the primary targets. The identity of the attacker remains unclear.
  • Fatal Mud Slides in Indonesia – The provinces of North Sumatra, West Sulawesi, and East Kalimantan have suffered extensive rainfall, resulting in widespread flooding and mudslides. At least 12,000 people were forced to leave their homes, and a number of fatalities were reported. Emergency centres have been established to house the refugees.
  • Insurgent groups clash in Colombia – Members of the Ejercito Popular de Liberacion and Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional clashed with each other, and security forces throughout Colombia. This occurred despite persistent and ongoing talks between the government and the ELN to establish the basis of a long-term ceasefire. Insurgent groups within Colombia retain close links to armed criminal groups and appear to take advantage of unrest in neighbouring Venezuela in order to provide them a safe haven.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Former President Zuma Due in Court – The former president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, has been officially charged with 16 counts of corruption in relation to an arms deal he conducted in the 1990s. He is likely to seek to have the charges thrown out before trial, however his first court date has been set for 06 April. Protests by his supporters are a realistic possibility, particularly near government buildings, the courthouse hosting the hearing, or near local offices of the African National Congress (ANC) party.
  • 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. In addition, shops and services are likely to operate with reduced hours and lower staffing.
  • Public State Workers to Strike in Buenos Aires – On 05 April, state workers are due to conduct industrial action in an effort to secure better wages and prevent threatened mass layoffs and forced retirements. The unions coordinating the proposed strike represent employees from the state healthcare provider, the judiciary, and education. Travellers should be aware that availability of basic services are likely to be impaired throughout the duration of the strike.
  • Human Rights Rally in Dhaka – Bangladeshi human rights groups are seeking to conduct a rally in the capital, Dhaka, on 06 April. Protests in Bangladesh often entail violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces, and travellers are strongly advised to avoid any large crowds, or political events.
  • Anti-Corruption Rally in Bratislava – Slovak anti-corruption campaigners are due to hold a rally in Bratislava’s SMP Square on 05 April as part of the continued public effort to seek justice for Jan Kuciak, a journalist murdered following his exposure of corrupt practices in Slovak government and business. Previous protests have drawn upwards of 50,000 participants, although no instances of violence were reported.
  • Yekaterinburg Opposition Rally – Local opposition supporters are due to rally in Yekaterinburg’s Oborony Square on 02 April. They intend to protest the local governor’s decision to abolish mayoral elections. Protests in Russia are frequently countered by aggressive suppressive tactics by local security forces. Travellers should make efforts to avoid the area and expect a heightened security presence.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 30 March – Islam – Birthday of Ali Ibn Abi Talib, important to Shia Muslims
  • 30 March – Christianity – Good Friday, often a public holiday in historically Christian countries
  • 30-31 March – Judaism – The night between 30-31 March marks the first night of Passover
  • 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 – Christianity – Easter Sunday
  • 01 April – India – Odish Day, a public holiday
  • 01 April – Benin – Youth Day
  • 01 April – Cyprus – Greek Cypriot National Day
  • 01 April – Iran – Islamic Republic Day
  • 02 April – Christianity – Easter Monday, a public holiday in numerous countries
  • 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
  • 04 April – Angola – Peace Day
  • 04 April – Senegal – Independence Day
  • 06 April – China – Qingming, or Memorial Day, a public holiday shared with some neighbouring countries
  • 07 April – Judaism – Last night of Passover
  • 07 April – Kyrgyzstan – Day of the People’s April Revolution
  • 07 April – Rwanda – Genocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day
  • 08 April – Various – Orthodox Easter Sunday
  • 09 April – Egypt – Sham El Nessim
  • 09 April – Georgia – Day of National Unity
  • 09 April – Kosovo –Constitution Day
  • 09 April – Philippines – The Day of Valour
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 13 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 13 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.