Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 24

Headlines From This Week 

  • Coalition Assault on Al-Hudaydah – The Saudi-backed Yemeni government has commenced ground operations in an effort to retake the port city of Al-Hudaydah on Yemen’s Red Sea coast. The offensive has been accompanied by a massive escalation in airstrikes into the city, and at least one Coalition landing craft was critically damaged. As the port is the main entry point for aid, the assault is likely to significantly worsen the humanitarian crisis in the surrounding region and may result in a longer-term increase in both migration and maritime criminality.
  • Vessel Collision on the Volga – At least 11 of the 16 people aboard a tour vessel in Volgograd were reported dead following a collision with a cargo barge on the Volga river on 12 June. Preliminary investigations suggest that the captain of the ferry was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the collision. The issue highlights poor safety measures and accountability in Russia’s leisure sector at a time when significant numbers of foreigners are in the country for the FIFA World Cup.
  • Nationalist Protests in Vietnam – Dozens were arrested on 10 and 11 June as protesters clashed with police in a series of Vietnamese towns and cities scheduled to become part of new Special Economic Zones. Whilst the some protests were relatively contained, in larger towns police were forced to deploy water cannons to clear streets as officers were pelted with improvised weapons. The proposed zones include special privileges to foreign businesses establishing themselves in the region, and would particularly benefit Chinese companies. Tensions between China and Vietnam have risen lately over a series of territorial and resource disputes along their maritime border.
  • Peruvian Police Ambushed – Four Peruvian police officers were killed when an improvised explosive device was detonated against their vehicle on the Churcampa-Anco highway in Huaccoto on 08 June. The officers were returning from providing enhanced security during Flag Day when the attack was launched. Another patrol which responded to the initial attack also came under fire and was forced to fight their way to the site. Despite efforts at reconciliation since 2000, small rebel groups persist in rural areas of the country and intermittently conduct attacks against security forces.
  • Insurgent Clashes in Davao – Philippine troops clashed with insurgents in the southern region surrounding Davao on 10 June. Government releases suggest that the group involved in the conflict was affiliated with the Islamic State group. At least 15 insurgents were reported killed, and arms caches and a bomb-making facility were also discovered during the raid.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Afghan Ceasefire – The Afghan Taliban agreed to a three-day ceasefire with government forces over the holiday of Eid at the end of Ramadan, likely to be 15-18 June, in direct response to the government’s unilateral declaration in early June. Despite the planned duration only being short, and foreign troops being excluded, this marks the first such concession in over 16 years of fighting. It remains unclear if all the disparate elements of the Taliban will abide by the ceasefire. Other groups such as Islamic State will not be included.
  • People’s Vote March – The movement for a “People’s Vote” on the terms of the UK’s Brexit from the European Union is due to hold a march to London’s Parliament Square on 23 June. Previous events organised by groups opposed to Brexit have resulted in turnouts of several thousand people, with the potential for significant localised travel disruption. The rally is also likely to attract counter-protesters and limited instances of violence may occur.
  • Colombia’s Presidential Run-Off – Colombia’s land borders will be closed across 16 and 17 June, with some closures persisting longer, as part of the security measures implemented during the election period. The scheduled vote is the runoff for the presidential election, and is likely to see political rallies across the country as populist right- and left-wing candidates face off. The election also has potential ramifications for the county’s peace agreements, as the leading candidate, Ivan Duque, remains opposed to the present treaty with the FARC group or any future compromise with the ELN.
  • Turkish General Election – On 24 June, Turks will go to the polls to elect officials to an array of local and national positions. This will be the first election following a close and controversial referendum to impose sweeping constitutional changes, moving the centre of power from parliament and the prime minister to the presidency. The election retains an ethnic and cultural dimension, and reports of voter suppression efforts have surfaced. A deadly confrontation between a candidate’s security details and Kurdish citizens in Suruc highlighted the risk of instances of violent unrest in the lead up to the poll, particularly in mixed areas.
  • Togo General Strike – Togo’s main opposition group have called for a nationwide strike on 18 June in response to persistent government efforts to suppress protests and dissent. This call follows a protracted and failed effort to negotiate a return to the rule of law and the 1992 constitution. Businesses and services across the country are likely to adhere to the strike, with Lomé almost certain to suffer the greatest disruption. It is likely that many of the strikers will attend protests or rallies, and these may become violent when confronted by police.

 Significant Dates and Events

  • 16 June – Austria – Pride parade to be held in Vienna
  • 16 June – Malaysia – Hari Raya Puasa holiday
  • 16 June – South Africa – Youth Day
  • 16 June – Israel – Anti Netanyahu rallies to be held in Tel Aviv
  • 17 June – Argentina – Martin Miguel de Guemes Day
  • 17 June – Iceland – Independence Day
  • 17 June – Dominican Republic – Anti-corruption rally to be held in Santo Domingo
  • 17 June – Ukraine – Gay pride march to be held in Kiev
  • 18 June – Bermuda – National Heroes Day
  • 18 June – Cambodia – King’s Mother’s Birthday
  • 18 June – Seychelles – Constitution Day
  • 19 June – Trinidad and Tobago – Labour Day
  • 19 June – Uruguay – Artigas’ Birthday, national holiday
  • 20 June – Argentina – National Flag Day
  • 21 June – Bolivia – Andean New Year
  • 21 June – Greenland – Ullortuneq national holiday
  • 22 June – Croatia – Anti-Fascist Struggle Day
  • 22 June – Fiji – National Sport and Wellness Day
  • 22 June – Finland and Sweden – Midsummer eve holiday
  • 23 June – Estonia – Victory Day
  • 23 June – Finland and Latvia – Midsummer’s day holiday
  • 23 June – Luxembourg – National Day
  • 24 June – Philippines – Manilla Day
  • 25 June – Croatia – Statehood Day
  • 25 June – Mozambique – Independence Day
  • 25 June Costa Rica – Nationwide public service strike
  • 26 June – Azerbaijan – Armed Forces’ Day
  • 26 June – Madagascar – Independence Day
  • 27 June – Djibouti – Independence Day
  • 27 June – Sri Lanka – Poson Full Moon holiday
  • 27 June – Tajikistan – National Unity Day
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF:  Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 24 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 24 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.