Headlines From This Week
- US Attacks Syrian Government Targets – On 14 April 2018, the United States, with the support of France and the United Kingdom, launched a missile attack on Syrian government targets. The attack was ostensibly in response to a chemical attack on civilians in Douma, east of Damascus, believed to have been conducted by the Syrian government. This attack is likely to have significant implications for global and regional relations, further damaging the relationship between the West and Russia.
- Protests in Armenia – Protests broke out on 13 April in Yerevan, Armenia’s capital, in response to parliament’s decision to appoint former President Serzh Sargysan as prime minister. Due to significant constitutional reform in 2015, the position of prime minister has become more significant than the presidency. Thousands have taken to the streets and dozens have required hospitalisation. Further protests are planned.
- Pompeo Visits Kim Jong-un – It was revealed this week that President Trump’s nominee to take over as Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited Kim Jong-un in North Korea to lay the groundwork for a summit between the US and North Korea. According to South Korea’s President Moon, Kim has dropped his longstanding demand for US forces to be removed from the Peninsula in exchange for denuclearisation.
- Labour Unrest in France – Unions have continued their disruptive protests in France in opposition to planned reforms by President Macron. Scuffles were reported in a number of locations but largely remained non-violent. Dates for further four-day strikes by railway workers from April to June have been released. Attendance at this week’s rallies were down compared to previous stoppages in April.
- Deadly Attack in Timbuktu – 15 Islamist militants were killed after attacking a United Nations military base in Timbuktu, Mali. The attack, on 14 April, led to the death of one UN peacekeeper with seven others wounded as well as two civilians. The attackers reportedly infiltrated the base dressed in UN uniforms.
- President Erdogan Calls Snap Polls – Turkey’s next general election has been moved forward by around 18 months after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced snap elections on 18 April. The next general election will take place on 24 June. The elections will be the first since a referendum in 2017 gave the presidency new, sweeping powers. Turkey is still in a state of emergency which was implemented in July 2016 in response to a failed military coup.
What To Look Out For Next Week
- Anzac Day – Anzac Day 2018 will be observed on 25 April and marks the contribution of servicemen and women from Australia and New Zealand. The national day of remembrance is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands, and Tonga. Commemorative events are also set to take place in Gallipoli in Turkey and Villers-Bretonneux in France. Travellers should expect enhanced security measures around these events.
- Earth Day 2018 – 2018’s Earth Day is set to take place on 22 April 2018. Rallies will be held across the globe, for the 48th anniversary of the event, with organisers predicting as many as one billion people could be involved in events in more than 192 countries and territories. The largest events are set to take place in the United States. For more, see https://www.earthday.org/ or social media sites.
- Elections in Paraguay – Paraguayans are due to elect a new president, legislature, and local representatives on 22 April 2018. Incumbent President Horacio Cartes has announced he will not run again. Previously, there has been known to be political violence conducted against members of the press and political opponents, due to a close relationship between politicians and organised crime. Observers judged the 2013 election to be fair.
- Hitler’s Birthday – 20 April 2018 marks Adolf Hitler’s birthday. This day is often commemorated by far-right, Neo-Nazi marches around the world. A notable rally is set to take place in the town of Newnan in Georgia, USA on 20 to 21 April. This rally is expected to be greeted by a substantial security provision and counter rallies, with significant potential for violence. Another Neo-Nazi event is taking place in Ostritz in Germany. Similar conditions should be expected at both events.
- Unrest in Togo Continues – Opposition groups have called for further protests in Togo between 23 and 27 April. Among other things, protesters are demanding a return to the 1992 constitution. Dates and locations of protests have not been released. Reports suggest that in the 11-14 April wave of protests, one person was killed and 174 more were wounded. Expect heightened security measures in Lomé especially.
- National Assembly Elections in Gabon – The members of Gabon’s National Assembly are due to be elected on 28 April. Elections were previously planned for December 2016 and July 2017 but were postponed due to a lack of funds, and to further enable political dialogue. After the presidential elections in August 2016, widespread protests occurred. Supporters of opposition leader, Jean Ping, clashed with police believing that they had achieved victory. At least five people were killed and more than 1,000 arrested. During the unrest, authorities blocked the internet in Libreville. Further unrest is likely around this election.
Significant Dates and Events
- 21 April – Brazil – Tiradentes Day
- 21 April – Spain – Copa del Rey Football Final in Madrid
- 21 April – Ghana – Anti-US protest planned in Tamale
- 21 April – Hungary – Anti-government protest in Budapest
- 21 April – Israel – Anti-corruption march in Tel Aviv
- 21 April – New Zealand – Nurses to rally in Palmerston
- 21 April – Madagascar – Opposition protest to be held in Antananarivo
- 22 to 27 April – Senegal – Saint Louis International Jazz Festival
- 22 April – United Kingdom – London Marathon
- 22 April – Chile – Nationwide No + AFP marches
- 23 April – United Kingdom – St George’s Day (England)
- 23 April – Spain – Castile and León Community Day
- 23 April – Turkey – National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
- 23 April – Namibia – Taxi drivers in Windhoek plan to strike
- 23 April – India – DMK activists to rally across Tamil Nadu
- 24 April – Armenia – Genocide Memorial Day
- 24 April – Niger – Concord Day
- 25 April – Costa Rica – Union leaders plan general strike
- 25 April – Italy – Liberation Day
- 25 April – Egypt – Sinai Liberation Day
- 25 April – North Korea – Military Foundation Day
- 25 April – Portugal – Freedom Day
- 26 April – Tanzania – Union Day
- 27 April – Denmark – General Prayer Day
- 27 April – Netherlands – King’s Birthday
- 27 April – Slovenia – Resistance Day
- 27 April – South Africa – Freedom Day
- 27 April – Togo – Independence Day
- 27 April – Finland – National Veteran’s Day
- 27 April – Sierra Leone – Independence Day
- 27 to 29 April – Azerbaijan – Formula one race weekend (road closures to occur in Baku)
- 27 April to 08 May – Thailand – Disruption at Phuket Airport due to maintenance work
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 16
The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 16 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.