Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 14

Headlines From This Week 

  • YouTube Shooting – On Tuesday 03 April, Nasim Aghdam opened fire with a handgun at the headquarters of YouTube in San Francisco, wounding three people before killing herself. Nasim was a content-creator who had become distressed with YouTube after a change on the website allegedly reduced the views of her content and negatively impacted her income. The three people she wounded in the attack were not previously known to her and appear to have been selected at random.
  • Boko Haram Attacked Maiduguri – Insurgents belonging to the Islamic State affiliate Boko Haram launched an attack against the Nigerian city of Maiduguri in Borno State. The attack resulted in the deaths of at least 18 people, with over 80 suffering serious injuries. The attack was focussed on Nigerian security forces situated around the city’s perimeter, however most of the casualties inflicted through the hour-long battle were civilians. The Nigerian government is reportedly seeking to engage in peace talks with Boko Haram.
  • Tropical Cyclone Josie – Fiji was struck by the category one cyclone last weekend, resulting in at least four fatalities as extreme winds and rain battered the pacific nation. Infrastructure damage remained relatively limited, however disruption to travel and service provision can be expected across the island over the next few weeks. Although the storm has been downgraded, potentially dangerous winds remain forecast.
  • Talks Advance in Korea – A spate of diplomatic activity on the Korean peninsula has led to widespread statements of support from powers allied to both North and South. China in particular has expressed hope that the upcoming talks between the USA, South and North Korea will make concrete progress towards deescalating tensions on the peninsula.
  • Road Obstructions in Albania – Albania has seen widespread protests obstructing highways in response to the installation of a new toll road connecting Albania and Kosovo but routed through a relatively deprived area of the country. The protests led to significant delays to road travel and instances of vandalism, with several toll-booths smashed and set alight. No casualties were officially reported, however dozens were detained.
  • Former Brazilian President Imprisoned – Luis da Silva was handed a custodial sentence as a result of a wide-ranging and ongoing anti-corruption investigation. Supporters of ‘Lula’ maintain that the charges are politically motivated, with the intention of preventing the highly popular politician from running for re-election as president. His defence team intend to continue to appeal the sentence, and there remains a realistic probability that the court’s decision will lead to continued civil unrest.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Songkran Festival – The Thai New Year’s festival is held between 13-15 April and marks the beginning of the Thai solar year. Songkran is the longest national holiday in Thailand, and as such locals often capitalise on the opportunity to travel home for extended family gatherings. Major travel services will continue to function, but travellers should expect them to be significantly busier than normal. Hotels and other accommodation are also likely to be uncharacteristically busy; travellers should ensure all accommodation and travel is booked and confirmed before arrival in Thailand over this period.
  • Summit of the Americas – Peru is to host the eighth Summit of the Americas in Lima over 13-14 April. The summit is highly likely to result in enhanced security measures throughout the city in the lead up to, and during, the summit. National leaders or senior government representatives of most American states are scheduled to attend, although the Peruvian government has continued to bar access for Venezuela’s President Maduro. Ongoing unrest and oppression in Venezuela is likely to be a key topic at the summit as the large numbers of refugees and migrants fleeing the country are heavily impacting its neighbours.
  • Hungarian Parliamentary Elections – On 08 April, Hungarians will go to the polls to elect 199 members of the National Assembly. The election campaign has been driven by divisive campaigning, with the incumbent Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, using Euroscepticism, xenophobia, and openly illiberal policy positions as prominent features of his campaign. Concerns relating to the 2016 migration crisis remain prominent in Hungary’s national consciousness, and observers suggest that there is an increasing political void between the urban and rural elements of the population. Travellers should expect protests and rallies in the lead up to, and following the election, with a realistic possibility of outbreaks of violence.
  • Azerbaijani Presidential Elections The first of two potential rounds of the Azerbaijani presidential election is scheduled for 11 April, with eight candidates campaigning to hold the office for seven years. If no candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first poll, the top two candidates will face each other in a run-off, the date for which has not been announced. The vote was constitutionally scheduled for October 2018, however the President issued a decree on 05 February to advance the poll to April and avoid clashing with “important domestic and international events”. Local political analysts suggest that the new date has been selected to deny opposition candidates appropriate time to prepare; and due to internal pressures within the ruling party, which pose a threat of rupturing the President’s support base before an October election.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 07 April – Judaism – Last night of Passover
  • 07 April – Israel – Anti-corruption protest scheduled in Tel Aviv
  • 07 April – Kyrgyzstan – Day of the People’s April Revolution
  • 07 April – Rwanda – Genocide against the Tutsi Memorial Day
  • 07 April – Serbia – Far-right group to march on Belgrade
  • 07 April – Fiji – FTUC protest march in Suva
  • 07 April – Hong Kong – Pro-democracy protest in Civic Square
  • 07-10 April – France – Rail workers to strike
  • 08 April – Various – Orthodox Easter Sunday
  • 08 April – Niger – Nationwide opposition protests to be held
  • 08 April – Norway – Private sector transport workers to commence strike action
  • 08-09 April – Hungary – Election rallies planned around Budapest
  • 09 April – Spain – Unionbus workers to strike
  • 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
  • 10 April – Greece – UberX service to cease
  • 10-13 April – Chile – Lan Express flights cancelled due to strike action
  • 11 April – Australia – Animal rights protesters due to demonstrate outside Parliament House, Sydney
  • 11-14 April – Togo – Opposition protests scheduled throughout Lome
  • 11-14 April – South Africa – State funeral for Winnie Mandela likely to cause disruption in Soweto
  • 12-13 April – Italy – 48-hour strike to be held by public nursing staff
  • 13 April – China – Shanghai Formula 1 race
  • 15 April – North Korea – Celebration of Kim Il Sung’s birthday
  • 16 April – UK – Commonwealth Head of State meeting in London
  • 16-17 April – Portugal – Train staff to strike
  • 20 April – UK – Docklands Light Railway staff to strike
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 14 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 14 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.