Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 30

Headlines From This Week

  • Pakistan Election – Former cricket player Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf won the Pakistan election held on 25 July and he is set to lead the country (in a coalition), despite claims of vote-rigging and military involvement in the vote. The election has been bitterly fought and seen multiple cases of violence. Notably, 31 people were killed after a bomb blast near a polling station in Quetta on polling day. Khan campaigned as a populist and if he governs as one also, this is likely to have a profound impact on Pakistan’s future. 
  • Terror Attack in Syria – More than 200 people have been killed after a surprise Islamic State offensive on the city of Sweida and surrounding villages on 25 July. People were reportedly slaughtered in their homes in the early hours of the morning. The area, populated mostly by the Druze minority sect, has largely been spared by fighting during the civil war. Many have suggested that the attack marks an attempt by the terror group to encourage other non-state rebels to join their anti-government cause, but this seems unlikely. 
  • Dam Bursts in Laos – 26 have been killed and 6,000 evacuated from their homes when Laos’s Xepian Xe Nam Noy hydroelectric dam collapsed on the evening of 23 July. The dam, still under construction, in Attapeu province was a multi-billion-dollar project and partly financed by South Korea. In neighbouring Cambodia, 25,000 people were evacuated in Stung Treng in preparation for flood waters heading downstream. 
  • Shooting in Toronto – Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a deadly shooting incident in Toronto on 22 July. The attack in the Greektown area of the city left two dead (one of which was the shooter, who killed himself) and 13 wounded. Investigators have suggested that there is no evidence to link the shooter with the Jihadist group at this stage. The shooting has opened up a debate about gun ownership in Canada. 
  • Deadly Greek Wildfires – At least 83 people have been killed by wildfires this week in Greece, a death toll which is expected to rise. The government’s response to the country’s worst-ever wildfire disaster has been criticised. The Greek Defence Minister claimed that illegal construction contributed to the wildfire and was met with angry crowds in Mati, a hard-hit area. The flames spread quickly thanks to 100km/h winds. 
  • Saudi Vessels Attacked – Saudi Arabia is suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb after two of its vessels were attacked by the Houthi rebels from the port of Al Hudaydah on 25 July. The strait, where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden, is only around 19km wide, making vessels potentially easy targets. The move has caused the global price of oil to rise.

 What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Final Stage of the 2018 Tour de France – Le Tour de France finally makes its way to Paris after three weeks of cycling across France. The final stage, on 29 July, routinely causes travel disruption in the French capital. The Champs-Elysees will be closed to traffic from 0900hrs to 2300hrs on 29 July and bus routes in the vicinity of the race will experience disruption from 1530hrs to 19:00hrs. 
  • ECOWAS & ECCAS Summit in Lomé – A summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) will take place in the Togolese capital of Lomé on July 30. The summit will provide an opportunity to discuss ways to fight terrorism and extremism. Increased security measures are anticipated in the city during the summit. Demonstrations, which have been ongoing in Togo since last year, are possible despite the government’s blanket ban from 23 July to 01 August. Expect enhanced security measures in the city.
  • Further General Strike in Haiti – Civil society groups in the Caribbean nation of Haiti have called for a nationwide general strike on 30 July. Activists are demanding that President Moise steps down and that police release anti-government protesters. There is a significant potential for violence given Haiti’s recent history. A fuel subsidy tax protest in early July 2018 led to days of clashes between police and protesters. 
  • Typhoon Jongdari to Hit Japan – Typhoon Jongdari, the 12th typhoon to form this year, is set to hit Japan’s main island of Honshu between 28 and 29 July, the Ogasawara Islands on 27 July, and the Izu Islands on 28 July. Jongdari is predicted to make landfall as the equivalent of a category three hurricane. Up to 24-hours of consistent, heavy rainfall is expected to occur in Honshu. This typhoon comes on the back of a deadly heatwave which may increase the impact of flash flooding, mudslides, and storm surge flooding.
  • Pride Festivals – There a series of significant upcoming LGBT+ Pride events in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (28 July to 05 August), EuroPride in Stockholm, Sweden (27 July to 05 August), and Brighton, United Kingdom (03 to 05 August). Travellers in these locations should expect travel disruption in these areas.
  • European Championship – The inaugural multisport European Championships are set to take place between 02 and 12 August in Glasgow, Scotland (hosting Aquatics, Cycling, Gymnastics, Rowing and Triathlon along with a new European Golf Team Championships) and the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany which will host the track and field athletics.

Significant Dates And Events

  • 25-29 July – France – Les Fetes de Bayonne
  • 27 to 29 – Hungary – Formula One race weekend in Budapest
  • 28 July – Peru – Independence Day
  • 28 July – Brazil – Pro-Lula rally to be held in Rio de Janeiro
  • 28 July – United Kingdom – Eurostar staff at St Pancreas station to strike
  • 28 July – Russia – Anti-pension reform rally planned in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Kirov
  • 28 July – South Korea – Anti-refugee rally in Seoul
  • 28 July – Australia – Environmental activists to rally in Gold Coast
  • 28 to 29 July – Canada – Section of highway 417 near Ottawa to close
  • 29 July – Mali – Presidential Election
  • 29 July – Cambodia – General Election
  • 30 July – Comoros – Constitutional Referendum
  • 30 July – Morocco – National/Throne Day
  • 30 July – Zimbabwe – General Election
  • 31 July – Algeria – Air Algerie maintenance workers to strike
  • 31 July – South Africa – Gautrain workers to strike
  • 31 July to 06 August – Mexico – Mexicable to suspend some services in Mexico City
  • 01 August – Benin – Independence Day
  • 01 August – Switzerland – National Day (some events take place the preceding evening)
  • 01 August – Ghana – Public sector rally in Accra
  • 02 August – Guyana – Freedom Day
  • 02 August – Macedonia (FYROM) – Republic Day
  • 02 August – Tunisia – SNCFT rail workers to strike
  • 03 August – El Salvador – Fiesta de San Salvador
  • 03 August – Equatorial Guinea – Armed Forces Day
  • 03 August – Senegal – Protest over water shortages in Dakar
  • 03 August – Ireland – Ryanair pilots’ strike
  • 03 August – Niger – Independence Day
  • 03 to 04 August – United Kingdom – London Underground staff to strike
  • 04 August – Burkina Faso – Revolution Day
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF:  Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 30 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 30 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.