Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 31

Headlines From This Week

  • Zimbabwe Elections – Zimbabwe held its first election since the near-bloodless coup which deposed President Mugabe in November 2017. The governing party announced victory with a substantial majority, however this was immediately contested by opposition groups. Protesters took to the streets in Harare and were confronted by riot officers with teargas. The election of Mugabe’s replacement is unlikely to lead to significant divergence in national policies, the core of the new government contains numerous veterans of Mugabe’s administration.
  • Protests in Dhaka – The Bangladeshi capital was brought to a standstill on several days through the past week due to widespread student protests. The demonstrators actively sought to obstruct road traffic and check drivers’ licences, insurance, and vehicle roadworthiness. The protests were triggered by a fatal road traffic collision, where a bus ploughed through a group of students, killing two. Riot officers clashed with the students, with teargas and non-lethal ammunition used in their efforts to disperse crowds.
  • Protests in Katanga – A key opposition leader, Moise Katumbi, the former governor of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Katanga province, has announced his return to the country and contest the presidential election due in late 2018. He fled the country and was handed a three year sentence in 2016 in absentia for hiring armed militias, and a series of corruption offences during his time as governor. Extensive protests occurred in Katanga’s regional capital, Lubumbashi, between supporters and opponents of his return, fuelled by the prospect of his arbitrary arrest upon landing.
  • Tajikistan Ramming Attack – The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the killing of four cyclists in a vehicle and knife attack in Tajikistan’s Khatlon province. The group of seven cyclists was struck by a vehicle, before at least five men disembarked the vehicle and stabbed the fallen riders. Four of the five suspects were later shot and killed during an exchange with Tajik police. The attackers had produced a video swearing their allegiance to IS prior to the attack, and all were Tajik citizens not known to have fought with IS abroad.
  • California Wildfires – Wildfires continued to spread across significant areas of California, with the most significant occurring in Shasta County, and on the edge of the Yosemite National Park. Reported casualties have remained relatively low, with firefighters from multiple states battling to contain the fires whilst adjacent populated areas are evacuated. These evacuations and associated road closures have caused disruption to local travel, however the majority of the state remains broadly unaffected.

 What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Anti-Discrimination Rally in Washington DC – A selection of anti-fascist groups have planned multiple rallies in Washington DC between 10 and 12 August 2018. The groups wish to address a wide array of grievances with the US federal government, most notably what they see as the normalisation of white nationalism throughout the branches of government under President Trump’s administration. Travellers should expect widespread disruption. Previous anti-fascist protests have been met with right-wing counter protests, and resulted in significant violence.
  • Colombian Presidential Inauguration & Bogota Carnival – Colombia’s capital, Bogota, is likely to experience extensive disruption over the following week. The Bogota Carnival, celebrating the anniversary of the city’s foundation, is due to be held on 05 and 06 August, to be followed immediately by the inauguration of President Iván Duque Márquez. Both events are likely to cause widespread travel disruption, with road closures and a reduction in business opening hours likely.
  • Kazakh Opposition Protests – The banned Democratic Choice for Kazakhstan group has called for nationwide protests on 06 July to coincide with President Nazarbayev’s birthday. Political opposition in Kazakhstan is heavily suppressed, and it is highly likely that protests will be forcefully dispersed if they take place. Previous rallies by the group in June 2018 resulted in mass arrests. The most likely locations for rallies are at Astana’s Expo 2017 Centre, Almaty’s Astana Square, and in the city centres of Shymkent, Kyzylorda, Uralsk, and Temirtau.
  • Pro-Refugee Rallies in Germany – Rallies are due to be held in cities across Rhine-Westphalia in solidarity with refugees seeking to flee to Europe across the Mediterranean. The protests are highly likely to attract counter protesters from anti-migration and extreme-right wing groups who harbour an ideological opposition to sheltering refugees. Protests in Germany are generally well policed, however clashes between protesters and counter-demonstrators are likely.
  • US Secretary of State Visits Asia – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to visit Singapore and Jakarta, Indonesia, between 03 and 05 August. Pompeo is anticipated to conduct a series of meetings with senior government officials, focusing on regional cooperation within the ASEAN framework. Extensive travel disruption is likely and authorities in both cities have stated that a heightened level of security will be in place for the duration of his visit.

Significant Dates And Events

  • 03 to 04 August – United Kingdom – London Underground staff to strike
  • 01 to 12 August – United Kingdom and Germany – European Sports Championship in Glasgow and Berlin
  • 04 August – Costa Rica – LGBT rally planned in San Jose
  • 04 August – Israel – Tel Aviv protest planned against nationality law
  • 04 and 05 August – Burkina Faso – Revolution Day followed by Independence Day
  • 04 to 12 August – France – Gay Games in Paris
  • 05 August – Croatia – Homeland Thanksgiving Day
  • 06 August – Caribbean – Nine countries celebrate Emancipation Day
  • 06 August – Bolivia – Independence Day
  • 06 August – Canada – August Civic or Provincial Holiday
  • 06 August – El Salvador – Fiestas Patronales
  • 06 August – United Arab Emirates – Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan’s Accession Day
  • 06 August – Zambia – Farmers’ Day
  • 07 August – Colombia – Anniversary of the Battle of Boyaca
  • 07 August – Cote d’Ivoire – Independence Day
  • 08 August – Iraq – Ceasefire Day
  • 08 August – Tanzania – Farmers’ Day
  • 09 August – Singapore – National Day
  • 09 August – South Africa – National Women’s Day
  • 09 to 12 August – United States – USPGA Golf Tournament at Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 10 August – Ecuador – National Independence Day
  • 10 August – Various – Ryanair pilots to strike
  • 10 August – Australia – Environmental activists to hold vigil in Melbourne
  • 11 August – JapanMountain Day
  • 11 August – Chad – Independence Day
  • 13 August – Central African Republic – Independence Day
  • 13 August – Zimbabwe – Heroes Day
  • 13 August Thailand – King’s birthday
  • 13-14 August Grenada – Carnival
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 31 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 31 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.