Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 39

Headlines From This Week

  • Protests in Basra – On 23 September, the Basra Protest Coordination Committee organised a rally in Basra to denounce the shortage of potable water and lack of services in the province. Since the beginning of July, angry residents have regularly taken to the streets to protest the government’s shortcomings. Anti-government demonstrations have recurrently turned violent resulting in government buildings being damaged. On 25 September, masked gunmen shot dead a human rights activist who had been involved in organising a number of demonstrations. Experts claim that this assassination threatens to further deteriorate tensions in Basra.
  • Wildfire in Pisa Triggers Airport Evacuations – On 24 September, a wildfire erupted in Pisa province in the Italian region of Tuscany. The fire broke out in Mount Serra and then spread to the towns of Calci, Montemagno and San Lorenzo e la Torre. On 25 September, 700 people around the worst hit areas were evacuated and officials at Pisa International Airport (PSA) ordered the evacuation and closure of the airport. Both inbound and outbound flights were cancelled. Airport operations resumed as normal in the evening of 26 September.
  • State of Emergency Declared in Jamaica — Crime in Jamaica is a growing problem. The country has one of the highest murder rates per capita in the world; gang and drug related crimes are an ongoing threat. On 25 September, a state of emergency was declared in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, as the increased level of criminal activities has exceeded the capacity of law enforcement. Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that enhanced security measures will last for 14 days.
  • Malaria Outbreak in Colombia – On 26 September, health officials reported a new outbreak of malaria in Norte de Santander, a department of Colombia bordering Venezuela. Over the past six months an estimated 1728 cases have been detected which is double the number of cases reported in 2017. The World Health Organization stated that the recent outbreak has been attributed to the migrants fleeing crisis-hit Venezuela where malaria is currently spreading. In addition to this, health authorities in Colombia fear possible outbreaks of measles and diphtheria.
  • Typhoon Trami – The 2018 typhoon season has been particularly active. After Jebi and Mangkhut, Super Typhoon Trami is the third typhoon heading for Asia. According to the joint Typhoon Warning Center, Trami is expected to make landfall on Ruyuku Islands, south of Japan, on 28 September. The storm poses the threat of heavy rain, sea surges and inland flooding. Weather experts also warn of widespread travel-related disruption across the country. Japan Meteorological Agency has issued weather advisories in a number of prefectures and areas that include Kagoshima, Okinawa, Amami and Tokara.

 What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Oktoberfest – Oktoberfest is the world’s largest beer festival which takes place annually from mid-September in the German city of Munich. This year it will take place from 22 September through to 7 October. This festival is an important component of the Bavarian culture and celebrates the variety of beers in the region. Oktoberfest has been held since 1810 and each year attracts thousands of people around the world. In 2017 it counted 7,200,000 visitors. Alongside beer and food stalls, the festival’s attractions include a funfair and parades of historic costumes.
  • Pro-independence events in Catalonia – On 1 October, a number of events will take place in Catalonia almost a year after the controversial referendum that contributed to Spain’s most recent political crisis. Catalonia is an autonomous region in the Iberian Peninsula which accounts for a fifth of the country’s GDP. Catalonia’s call for independence grew at a steady rate until the 2008 financial crisis in the eurozone fuelled separatism. The issue of independence remains discordant in Catalonia, with surveys suggesting residents are almost evenly divided on whether to stay part of Spain.
  • Thanksgiving Holiday in Oromia Region – Ireecha is the Thanksgiving holiday that is celebrated by the Oromo People in Ethiopia to thank God for the blessings received throughout the year. This day is celebrated at the sacred grounds of Bishoftu and Oromia on 01 October which, this year, marks the end of the rainy winter season. According to local folklore, June to September are times of difficulty for Oromo People and because of this, during Irreecha, people gather outside their houses and celebrate with rituals and prayers. Oromo People are Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group and have been fighting the government for decades as they have long felt marginalised. Protests and violence are a common occurrence in Oromia region.
  • North Korea’s National Foundation Day – National Foundation Day, also called Gaecheonjeol, is a public holiday in South Korea on 03 October. This holiday celebrates the creation of the first Korean state of Gojoseon in 2333 BC. Traditionally this date marks the foundation of the “Korean ethnic nationalism”, an ideology that unifies North and South Korea under the same ethnic identity. Each year on National Foundation Day ceremonies are held in places of worship. In this day, it is common for government leaders to conduct political speeches. Even though it is not a public holiday, this day is also celebrated in North Korea with a traditional ceremony at the Mausoleum of Tangun, an ancient burial site in Pyongyang.
  • DMK demonstrations in Tamil Nadu State – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a political party active in the state of Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Puducherry, has called on supporters to demonstrate across the state on 03-04 October. The protest is to denounce alleged corruption by the ruling All India Ann Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 29 September Burkina Faso – National Holiday. Commemoration of the end of the failed coup d’état.
  • 29 September to 1 October — Ethiopia – Irreechaa Thanksgiving holiday celebrated in Oromia region
  • 29 September Germany – Oktoberfest starts in Munich
  • 29 September Paraguay – Public Holiday
  • 29 September Burkina Faso – Anti-government protests nationwide
  • 29 September Kosovo – Protest against land swap deals in Pristina
  • 30 September – Botswana – Botswana Day
  • 30 September – Cameroon – Unification Day
  • 30 September – Russia – Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi
  • 30 September – Sao Tome e Principle — Agricultural Reform Day
  • 30 September – Macedonia (FYROM) – Name change protests in Skopje
  • 30 September Italy – Anti-government protests in Rome
  • 01 October to 07 October – China – National Day Golden Week holiday
  • 01 October – Ethiopia – Irreecha festivities
  • 01 October Thailand – Public van drivers protest in Bangkok
  • 01 October – Nigeria – Independence Day
  • 01 October – Uzbekistan – Teacher’s Day
  • 01 October – Spain – Pro-independence events in Catalonia
  • 01 October – Italy – Air Italy strike at Olbia Airport (Sardinia)
  • 02 October – Guinea – Independence Day
  • 03 October – Germany — Day of German Unity
  • 03 October – Iraq – Iraqi Independence Day
  • 03 October – South Korea – National Foundation Day
  • 03 October to 04 October – India – DMK demonstrations in Tamil Nadu state
  • 04 October – Iran – Martyrdom Imam Jafar Sadegh
  • 04 October – Italy – Feast of St. Petronius, patron saint of Bologna (Public celebrations in the city)
  • 04 October – Lesotho – Independence Day
  • 04 October – Mozambique – Pace and National Reconciliation Day
  • 05 October – Portugal – Republic Day
  • 05 October – Cambodia – Teacher’s march in Phnom Penh

Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 39 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 38 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.