Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 32

Headlines From This Week

  • Venezuela Drone Attack – An alleged assassination attempt was launched against Venezuela’s President Maduro on 04 August, through the use of explosive-laden drones whilst he reviewed a military parade. The president remained unhurt during the attack, although seven troops suffered injuries. Emergency personnel who responded to the incident initially indicated that it may have been caused by a domestic gas explosion, rather than an attack. Maduro has since announced a sweeping crackdown on opposition due to the alleged attack, placing blame on “traitors” supported by the USA and Colombia.
  • Security Forces Besieged the Nigerian National Assembly – Members of the Nigerian State Security Service laid siege to the Nigerian legislature on 07 August. Initially, all personnel were denied access, however, elected members were eventually allowed to enter the building whilst support staff, journalists, and other personnel continued to be obstructed. Contradictory narratives concerning the siege have emerged, however, the common theme appears to be that the security services were deployed by the executive branch seeking to exert pressure upon a non-compliant national assembly. Further unrest remains a realistic possibility, and protests in Nigeria frequently result in violence.
  • Gaza Clashes and Rumours of a Truce – Israeli forces exchanged fire with Hamas militants in the Gaza strip on 08 and 09 August in the most violent period since the end of the 2014 war. The exchange of rockets and airstrikes ended at 0001hr 10 August, in what appears to be a truce brokered through Egypt. Additional reporting suggests that some measures to ease the travel and trade restrictions around Gaza may also be implemented as part of this ceasefire.
  • Lombok Earthquakes – The Indonesian island of Lombok was hit by at least seven significant earthquakes over the past week, with a 6.9 magnitude quake on 05 August being followed by a series of aftershocks, the most recent and powerful of which measured at a magnitude between 5.9 and 6.2. This series of tremors has let to extensive damage across the island and a confirmed death toll of at least 350 people. This is expected to rise significantly as destroyed buildings are cleared. Travellers in the vicinity of Lombok should expect disruption to all services whilst rescue, recovery, and repair efforts are ongoing. 
  • Autonomy for Mindanao – The Philippine’s second largest island has been granted significantly increased autonomy as part of a wide-ranging reform with the potential to significantly reduce violence in the region. In exchange for this concession from the government, a number of militant groups have declared their intent to surrender their weapons. There remains a possibility that splinter cells of these groups may launch further attacks in the coming months in an effort to regain relevance in this new status quo.

 What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Italian Air Traffic Control Strike – Management personnel at the Italian Air Traffic Control (ATC) organisation intend to strike on 15 This is likely to result in delays and diversions to flights into and out of Italy. Considering that this strike has been timed to coincide with the peak of the tourist season, significant knock-on effects can be expected at international airports across Europe. Travellers are advised to remain in contact with their travel provider to assess the impact of the strike on their itineraries.
  • Malian Presidential Runoff – The second round of the Malian presidential election is scheduled to be held on 12 August. Ibrahim Keita and Soumaila Cisse, for Rally for Mali and Union for the Republic and Democracy respectively, are to contest the second round. Keita gained over 41 per cent of the first round, to Cisse’s 17 per cent, making a Keita victory the most likely outcome. The first round was marred by significant violence across the country, including numerous instances of unrest, and an ambush conducted against a convoy containing electoral material in Segou, which resulted in 12 dead. Further violence is highly likely.
  • Unite the Right Rally in Washington DC – A rally by a coalition of right-wing groups is due to be held in the US capital on 12 August. It is anticipated to include white nationalists and avowed members of the Ku Klux Klan, in addition to a broader selection of mainstream conservative groups. Counter protests are highly likely. Previous “Unite the Right” rallies have been marked by significant violence, including a ramming attack in which one counter-protester was killed. Travellers in Washington DC are advised to avoid the route of the rally and maintain a heightened level of awareness. An overt security presence around the rally is likely.
  • Tropical Storm Yagi to Strike Okinawa – Tropical Storm Yagi is on course to strike Okinawa and the surrounding islands throughout the next week. Meteorologists assess that it is likely to develop into a full typhoon by the time it makes landfall. Travellers should expect widespread disruption to all travel in the region surrounding Okinawa, with high winds and flooding likely to cause damage to structures and other assets. 
  • Pakistani Independence Day – Pakistan celebrates its Independence Day on 14 August. This date is also intended to mark the completion of the handover of power from the present caretaker government to the PTI party, headed by Imran Khan. Controversy surrounds the recent election, primarily centred in voter fraud and intimidation in support of the PTI. Combined with heightened political sensitivities typical on Independence Day, this may act as a trigger for significant civil unrest. Fatal riots and terror attacks have already marred the election season. All reasonable efforts should be made to avoid contact with rallies or political events.

Significant Dates And Events

  • 11 August – JapanMountain Day
  • 11 August – Tunisia – Rallies against social reforms in Tunis
  • 11 August – Czech Republic – Prague Pride parade
  • 11 August – Chad – Independence Day
  • 11 August – Iceland – Reykjavik Pride parade
  • 11 August – Venezuela – Opposition protests anticipated in Caracas
  • 11 August – Australia – Pro-Palestinian rally to be held in Sydney
  • 11 August – South Korea – Anti-refugee rally planned in Seoul
  • 11 August – Mexico – Pride parade to be held in Toluca
  • 12 August – Dominican Republic – Opposition protests planned in Santo Domingo
  • 13 August – Central African Republic – Independence Day
  • 13 August Canada – Saudi state airline to terminate flights to Toronto
  • 13 August – Zimbabwe – Heroes’ Day
  • 13 August Thailand – King’s birthday
  • 13 August Gabon – Dynamic Unitaire to hold an anti-austerity rally in Libreville
  • 13 August Argentina – Pro-choice rally in Buenos Aires
  • 13-14 August Grenada – Carnival
  • 15 August Paraguay – Anti-electoral fraud rally to be held in Asuncion
  • 15 August Nicaragua – Opposition groups to rally in Managua
  • 14 August Haiti – Nationwide anti-government protests planned
  • 15 August Brazil – Pro-Lula (the ex-President) rallies to be held in Brasilia
  • 17 August Armenia – Prime Minister Pashinyan to hold a rally in Yerevan
  • 17 August Haiti – Nationwide anti-government protests planned
  • 18 August Denmark – Copenhagen Pride parade
  • 19 August – Afghanistan – Independence Day
  • 1924 August – Saudi Arabia – Hajj pilgrimage
  • 21 August Chile – Nationwide nurses strike
  • 25 August South Korea – Pro-choice rally to be held in Seoul
  • 26 August Moldova – Opposition Protests in Chisinau
Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 32 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 32 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.