Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 23

Headlines From This Week 

  • Volcan de Fuego – A series of eruptions of the Guatemalan Volcan de Fuego has resulted in at least 99 fatalities, numerous injuries, and disruption to air travel across the country. Some reports suggest over 1000 people remain unaccounted for, and evacuation orders remain in place for a number of villages in the vicinity of the volcano. The closest of these has been almost entirely buried by ash from the eruption.
  • Jordanian PM Resigns – The prime minister of Jordan was forced to resign on 04 June following several days of widening protests across Amman, and other major Jordanian cities. The protests were initiated by a series of proposed reforms to the tax, benefits, and subsidies system which supports a significant proportion of the Jordanian population; and seen principally to benefit the elite. King Abdullah spoke in favour of the protesters, whilst emphasising that some reforms remained necessary. It remains to be seen if an appropriate compromise can be reached.
  • Zimbabwean Opposition Protests – Members of the Movement for Democratic Change, Zimbabwe’s dominant opposition party, held large protests in Harare on 05 June. They focused on allegations the ruling party has manipulated voter rolls ahead of the July 2018 election and were seeking to use intimidation or ballot tampering to swing the election. Whilst these protests occurred peacefully, the first election since the departure of the former dictator, Robert Mugabe, is highly likely to see further protests, and outbreaks of violence are a realistic probability. 
  • Sadr City Explosion – At least 18 people were killed, and 38 were wounded when an explosion tore apart a Shiite mosque and 20 residential buildings in Baghdad’s Sadr City on 07 June. Preliminary investigations suggested that the blast occurred when a paramilitary group’s weapons cache, stored in the mosque, was accidentally detonated. The blast demonstrates that the highly pervasive nature of explosives and weapons ownership in Iraq remains a significant threat to life, even when those weapons are not being intentionally used.
  • Madagascar PM Resigns – The Madagascan prime minister (PM) was forced to resign on 06 June, following persistent, violent, and widespread unrest against the introduction of laws seen to prevent opposition candidates from contesting elections. The new PM, Christian Ntsay, was appointed by the president as a consensus candidate, although a history of defections between parliamentary parties since the last election threatens to undermine the balance of power within the legislature and may prevent a resolution to the crisis.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Singapore Nuclear Summit – On 12 June, US President, Donald Trump, is scheduled to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, for a summit concerning North Korea’s nuclear programme and elevated tensions on the Korean peninsula. The summit is scheduled to be held on an island off the Singapore coast. Those in the city should expect significantly heightened security measures to be in place throughout the duration of the summit, and travel disruption is highly likely. The relative success or failure of the summit will have significant political and military effects on the Asia-Pacific region.
  • South Korean General Elections – South Korean citizens will head to the polls to elect local officials and to fill a series of seats vacant in the national assembly. Elections in South Korea are generally peaceful in nature, however, their proximity to the North Korea Summit, representing key issues in South Korean foreign and domestic politics, may lead to a higher level of unrest than is typical.
  • FIFA World Cup – The first match of the football world cup is due to kick off on Thursday 14 June in Moscow, Russia. The Russian government has announced a sweeping range of security measures to be implemented across the country, centred on the cities where games are to be held. Those in Russia are advised to remain aware of games scheduled in their vicinity and plan their journeys accordingly; a large transient population and significantly increased security are likely to impact the host cities on days surrounding each match.
  • Eid-al-Fitr – The festivals marking the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan is scheduled to begin on 14 June. The celebrations may occur on this date or shortly after, as there is no consensus among the international Muslim community as to the exact rules concerning the lunar observations which set the festival’s date. Travellers throughout the Middle East, and other countries with significant Muslim populations, should expect widespread disruption to travel and the provision of essential services as it is typically observed as a national holiday.
  • US Pride Parades – Major cities across the United States are due to hold Gay Pride parades on 09 June. These parades vary in size and may include numerous other official events related to the main parade. LGBT rights remain contentious in many locations across the US, with a number of political and religious groups staunchly opposed to the ongoing liberalisation of laws and society in relation to LGBT relationships. It is therefore likely that parades will attract counter-protesters, and there remains potential that some limited instances of violence may occur.

 Significant Dates and Events

  • 09 June – Uganda – National Heroes Day
  • 09 June Bulgaria – Pride parade and counter-protests to be held in Sofia
  • 09 June United States – Pride parades to be held in major cities
  • 09 June DR Congo – Opposition rallies to be held in Kinshasa
  • 09 JuneAustria – Anti-Israeli groups to rally at Vienna’s Bundeslanderplaz
  • 10 June – DR Congo – Reconciliation Day
  • 10 June – Portugal – National Day
  • 10 June Georgia – Protests scheduled in Tbilisi in response to murder acquittal
  • 11 June South Africa – Civil servants to conduct nationwide strike
  • 11-12 June – Bangladesh – Night of Destiny (national holiday)
  • 11 June – Colombia – Sacred Heart (national holiday)
  • 11-12 June – Russia – National Day
  • 11 June – Paraguay – Chaco Armistice Day
  • 11-14 June – Haiti – Workers to strike and protest in Port-au-Prince
  • 12 June – Philippines – Independence Day
  • 12 June – Sri Lanka – Railway workers to begin nationwide indefinite strike
  • 12-13 June – Portugal – Rail workers’ strike
  • 13 June – South Korea – Local elections
  • 14 June – Eid al-Fitr – National holiday in many Muslim-majority countries
  • 15 June – Azerbaijan – National Salvation Day
  • 15 June – Bangladesh – Jumatul Bidah
  • 16 June – Austria – Pride parade to be held in Vienna
  • 16 June – Malaysia – Hari Raya Puasa holiday
  • 16 June – South Africa – Youth day
  • 17 June – Argentina – Martin Miguel de Guemes day
  • 17 June – Iceland – Independence Day
  • 18 June – Bermuda – National Heroes Day
  • 18 June – Cambodia – King Mother’s birthday
  • 18 June – Seychelles – Constitution Day
  • 19 June – Trinidad and Tobago – Labour day
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF:  Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 23 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 23 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.