Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 18

Headlines From This Week 

  • Dust Storms in India – At least 125 fatalities have been reported after dust storms hit northern India, notably Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. High-speed winds and lightning have brought down buildings and led to dozens of injuries. Dust storms are expected to continue, and the death toll is predicted to rise.
  •  Terror Attack in Tripoli – On 02 May, Islamic State militants attacked Libya’s electoral commission headquarters in Tripoli. At least 12 people have been confirmed dead as gunmen and suicide bombers attacked while officials registered voters for elections that it is scheduled to be held this year.
  •  Dozens Dead in Boko Haram Attack – Reports suggest that 60 people were killed in a twin suicide attacks on a mosque in Mubi, Adamawa state while afternoon prayer was being held. Dozens more were injured in the Boko Haram attack. Violence by the terror group has killed around 20,000 people since 2009.
  •  17 Dead in Mali Islamist Attack – At least 17 people were killed after Islamist militants attacked two villages in Menaka region, Mali on 01 May. The local affiliate of Islamic state has been blamed for the attack which targeted members of the Taureg community. This incident is a further example of Mali’s instability at this time.
  •  Morocco Cuts Ties with Iran – On 02 May, Morocco severed diplomatic relations with Iran after reporting evidence of their support for rebels in the disputed Western Sahara region. Morocco claims that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group has provided training and financial support to Polisario Front independence fighters. This is further evidence of the battle lines being drawn in Middle East and North Africa.
  •  Terror Attacks in Afghanistan – Jihadists launched a series of deadly attacks across the country after the Afghan Taliban announced its annual spring offensive. On 30 April, a coordinated double suicide bombing killed at least 25 people, ten of whom were journalists. The initial suicide bombing near the NATO headquarters and US Embassy was followed 20 minutes later as another attack targeted first responders. Dozens of other terror incidents have occurred across the country this week.
  •  Evacuations in Hawaii – Mandatory evacuations have been issued in areas of the island of Hawaii after Kilauea volcano erupted, spewing lava into a residential area on 03 May. At present 1,700 people of Leilani Estates are affected by the evacuation order but this may increase depending on the activity of the volcano which is unpredictable at this time, according to officials. More than 6300 hectares have been closed off to the public due to volcanic activity.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Malaysia General Election – Malaysians are set to go to the polls to elect a new parliament on 09 May. The 2013 vote was met with cases of violence, including an improvised explosive device at a rally for the ruling party. Opposition parties also criticised the fairness of the election claiming that the ruling party enjoyed an unfair advantage, with opposition rallies disrupted and internet speeds slowed down for those critical of the government.
  • Giro d’Italia Begins – The annual tour of Italy begins on 04 May. The first stage takes place in Jerusalem with two further race days in Israel before the race reaches Italy on 08 May. The final stage takes place in Rome on 27 May. Travel disruption should be expected during this period.
  • Lebanon Legislative Elections – Elections are set to occur on 06 May after years of delays. The political system has historically been unstable, and this looks set to continue. Prime Minister Saad Hariri recently resigned before retracting his resignation. Religious and ethnic traditions influence the political system. There is the potential for unrest or terror incidents, especially given regional tensions and active terror groups.
  • Iraq Elections – Parliamentary elections are due to be held on 12 May 2018. The vote is being held against the backdrop of a defeat of Islamic State in Iraq. However, ethnic strife, criminality, and terrorism continue to blight the country’s security profile. It is also unclear what involvement Iraqi Kurdistan, which voted for independence in late 2017, will have in the election. In 2014, as members of the security forces voted, six polling stations were hit by suicide bombers with at least 27 deaths recorded. Violent unrest and terror attacks are highly likely in the election period.
  • Anti-Macron Protests – On 05 May, protesters will take to the streets of Paris and Lyon to voice opposition to President Macron and the French government. In Paris, demonstrators are expected to rally from 1200hrs at Place de l’Opéra, before marching to Place de la Bastille. Protesters in Lyon will gather at 1400hrs at Place des Terreau. Security is set to stepped up as violence occurred at 01 May protests and 109 people were arrested. Macron has so far been reluctant to make any concessions to continuing protesters.
  • Unrest to Continue in Israel – Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day on 12-13 May is an Israeli national holiday which celebrates the establishment of Israeli control over the city after the June 1967 Six-Day War. This celebration, with the planned opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May, means that violent unrest is set to continue.

 Significant Dates and Events

  • 04-20 May – Denmark – World Ice Hockey Championships
  • 05 May – Ethiopia – Patriots’ Victory Day
  • 05 May – Israel – Anti-government protests in Tel Aviv
  • 05 May – Peru – Anti-abortion rally to be held in Lima
  • 05 May – Ireland – Pro-Palestinian rally planned in Dublin
  • 05 May – Guyana – Arrival Day
  • 05 May – United Kingdom – Pro-independence rally in Glasgow
  • 05 May – Kazakhstan – Constitution Day
  • 05 May – United States – Kentucky Derby
  • 05 May – Japan – Constitution Memorial Day and Children’s Day
  • 05 May – Kyrgyzstan – Constitution Day
  • 05 May – Mexico – Cinco de Mayo (Victory Over French, 1867)
  • 05 May – Spain – Nationwide protests over pension reform
  • 05-07 May – France – Transport strikes affecting Marseille Province Airport
  • 06 May – Russia – Left Front activists to rally in Moscow
  • 06 May – Canada – Toronto Marathon
  • 06 May – Bulgaria – George’s Day
  • 06 May – Tunisia – Municipal Elections
  • 06 May – Thailand – Environmental activists to protest in Chiang Mai
  • 06 May – United States – Anti-National Rifle Association rally in Dallas, Texas
  • 07 May – Kazakhstan – Defender of the Fatherland Day
  • 08 May – Georgia – St Andrew’s Day
  • 08 May – Turkmenistan – National Heroes Commemoration Day
  • 08 May – Italy – National air traffic control strike
  • 08-09 May – Various – Victory in Europe Day
  • 08-19 MayFrance – Cannes Film Festival
  • 09 May – Kosovo – Europe Day
  • 09 May – Uzbekistan – Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions
  • 10 May – Various – Christian festival of the Ascension
  • 11-13 May – Spain – Formula One weekend in Barcelona
  • 12 May – Timor-Leste – General election
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 18 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 18 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.