Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 37

Headlines From This Week

  • Hurricane Florence – Hurricane Florence is the first major hurricane of the 2018 hurricane season to hit the United States. Florence has now been downgraded to category one but is still expected to bring sustained windspeeds of up to 60mph and up to 40 inches of rain in some areas. 1.7 million people are currently under mandatory evacuation orders. North and South Carolina are expected to be the worst affected areas as Hurricane Florence is expected to stall along the coast close to Wilmington, North Carolina, bringing storm surges up to 13 foot between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout in addition to widespread flooding.
  • Nangarhar bomb attack – Reports indicate that at least 68 people have been killed and 165 others wounded following a suicide bomb attack in Momandara district, Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, along the main highway between the regional capital Jalalabad and the Torkham border with Pakistan. The Taliban has denied any involvement in the attack and no other group has claimed responsibility, although an affiliate of the Islamic State group is active in Nangarhar province and has carried out similar attacks in the past. If the death toll is confirmed, it will be one of Afghanistan’s deadliest terror attacks this year.
  • Typhoon Mangkhut – Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated throughout the northern Philippines ahead of Super Typhoon Mangkhut which is currently 550 miles wide and has maximum sustained wind speeds of 173 miles per hour. The eye of the hurricane is expected to hit the northern island of Luzon on 15 September. Mangkhut has already caused widespread flooding and power outages in the American territory of Guam and 80% of the island is still without power. Thousands of troops have been placed on high alert to assist with search and rescue efforts.
  • Thawing Korea relations – North and South Korea have opened a liaison office, the first of its kind since the peninsula was divided at the end of World War II in 1945. The office is located on the North’s side of the border with the aim to facilitate better communication between the two governments ahead of their leaders’ three-day summit in Pyongyang next week. Prior to the opening of the office, the two Korea’s relied on telephone and fax-like communication which was often cut during times of increased tension.
  • Tripoli airport attack – A previously unknown group, the Tripoli Youth Movement, has claimed responsibility for a rocket attack targeting Mitiga International Airport. There were no reports of any injuries or damage at the airport, which only opened on 7 September following heavy fighting in Tripoli between rival armed groups vying for control in the cities southern districts. The group has demanded that control of the airport which is currently operated by the internationally-recognised Government National Accord (GNA), be handed back to civilian authorities. All flights into Mitiga Airport are currently being rerouted.

 What To Look Out For Next Week

  • 15 September – Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica – Independence Day celebrations will be held throughout South America to commemorate independence from Spain in 1821. The day is marked by flag raisings, patriotic displays and a national holiday. All schools will be closed, and children often perform a theatrical re-enactment. Public services are likely to be disrupted, particularly in regional and national capitals where major public festivities will be held.
  • Maldives Election – The popular tourist island is due to hold president elections on 23 September. President Abdulla Yameen is seeking a second five-year term, amid deep political turmoil and instability, that has seen protesters, journalists and supreme court justices arrested and imprisoned since February 2018. Opposition candidates do not believe the election will be free and fair, a charge the government denies. Protests are likely to occur during the election period, which frequently turn violent. Security forces are likely to use force to disperse any large protests.
  • Yom Kippur – Yom Kippur or “Day of Atonement” is the most sacred and solemn day in the Jewish calendar. It will begin on the evening of 18 September and conclude the evening of 19 September 2018. During Yom Kippur, Jews will attend synagogue and ask for forgiveness for sins committed over the past year. Five prayer services are held: Maariv, Shacharit, Musaf, Minchah, and Neilah. During Yom Kippur Jews are not permitted to work. Travel in and around Israel will be severely disrupted, all airports are closed for the duration of the holiday, and land borders with neighbouring states are also closed. Heightened security measures are likely, and Palestinian groups may seek to conduct attacks through the holiday period.
  • EU Leaders Summit – European Union leaders are set to discuss whether to hold a special summit on Brexit in November 2018, following a meeting in Salzburg, Austria. The summit is part of the Leaders’ Agenda and it will focus on internal security in the hope of upgrading police and judicial cooperation as well as strengthening border security and resilience in cyberspace.
  • Niamey protests – Protests are likely to occur outside the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Niamey on 18 September as the trial of several prominent civil society activists is set to resume. A number of activists were arrested and jailed in March 2018 after taking park in an unauthorised demonstration against the controversial 2018 budget law, which increases taxes on housing and electricity. Police are likely to respond to any protests during the trial with force which may result in injuries or fatalities.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 06 September to 18 October Argentina – 2018 Summer Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires
  • 11 to 23 September – United States – World Equestrian Games in Mill Spring, North Carolina
  • 14 to 16 September – Singapore Formula One race, road closures expected
  • 14 to 18 September – Italy – Bologna Airport to close for maintenance
  • 15 September – Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Costa Rica – Independence Day
  • 15 September – Nigeria – Pre-election rallies to be held in Ilorin, Kwara State
  • 15 September – Greece – Anti-fascist rally in Athens
  • 15 September – Mali – Opposition protests planed in Bamako
  • 15 September – Azerbaijan – Military parade in Baku, travel disruption likely
  • 16 September – Mexico – Independence Day
  • 16 September – South Korea – Anti-refugee rally in Seoul
  • 16 September – Papua New Guinea – Independence Day
  • 16 September – Germany – pro-refugee protests in Cologne
  • 17 September – Italy – COTRAL bus workers to strike in Lazio region
  • 17-18 September – Israel – West Bank and Gaza border crossings closed
  • 17 September – Austria – Protests against EU climate policy in Linz
  • 19 September – Nepal – RJP led opposition rallies nationwide
  • 19 September – DRC – Pro-opposition march in Kinshasa
  • 20-21 September – Islamic Majority Countries – Ashura events likely to cause nationwide disruption
  • 20-21 September – Portugal – Nationwide nurses’ strike
  • 21 September – Malawi – Pro- and anti-government protests planned nationwide
  • 22-31 September Israel – Border-crossings with Gaza and the West Bank to be closed
  • 22 September – Spain – Pensioners rally in Madrid
  • 26 September – Mexico – Marches against “disappearances” planned in Tijuana
  • 28 September – Europe – Ryanair air crew to strike
  • 29 September – Burkina Faso – Nationwide opposition protests planned
  • 30 September – UK – Eurostar workers to strike at St Pancras
  • 30 September – Macedonia (FYROM) – Name change referendum, nationwide disruption likely
  • 30 September – Iraq – Regional elections to be held in Iraqi Kurdistan

Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 37 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 37 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.