Solace Global – Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 40

Headlines From This Week

  • Indonesian Earthquake and Tsunami – On 28 September an earthquake measuring 7.5 magnitude on the Richter scale, struck the central island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The magnitude and location of the earthquake caused a tsunami and may have contributed towards two volcanic eruptions. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami decimated the city of Palu, displacing tens of thousands of people, and caused the deaths of at least 1,550 others, with at least a thousand more still missing. The rescue operations have been hindered as much of the land in the region is still too wet to manoeuvre on and many roads have been critically damaged. Mud slides and liquefaction have buried entire villages up to three meters deep in mud, as aftershocks of the earthquake measuring up to 6.3 magnitude on the Richter scale have also struck the region. International aid has been arriving but the death toll is likely to continue to climb.
  • Protests Build in Washington Over Allegations Against Supreme Court Nominee – Following US President Trump’s nomination of the conservative judge Brett Kavanaugh, there have been multiple allegations from women who claim that Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted them years ago. There has been an ongoing FBI investigation into the allegations made against Mr Kavanaugh while his application is considered. There have been several large protests around the Capitol building in Washington DC with hundreds arrested during a sit in. Other protests standing in solidarity have occurred in other cities including New York and Philadelphia. The final Senate vote is set for the 6 October.
  • Failed Macedonian Referendum – Macedonia (FYROM) has been embroiled in a political war with Greece since 1991 over use of the regional name “Macedonia”. An easing of tensions and a highly unpopular agreement to a permanent name change for Macedonia (FYROM) was to be ratified by a national Referendum on the 30 September. However, the turn out was only 37 percent, far below the 50-percent threshold to make the outcome binding.
  • State of Emergency Continues in Jamaica — The crime levels in Jamaica have reached critical levels. 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 Holness stated that enhanced security measures are due to end on the 9 October.
  • New NAFTA Deal Struck Between US, Canada, and Mexico – Following months of negotiations, sanctions, and increasing tensions, on 1 October the United States, Canada, and Mexico struck a new NAFTA deal (North American Free Trade Agreement). This new deal or NAFTA 2.0 has a number of changes and updates from the old deal which affects multiple areas of trade including; labour, environmental standards, intellectual property protections, and new digital trade legislation. If the deal is approved, it is likely to encourage President Trump that his aggressive trade practises work.

 What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Brazilian Elections – On 7 October Brazil is holding a multitude of elections for regional and central government, including president. The presidential election has been unpredictable and sometimes violent with the frontrunner stabbed during a rally. Corruption and the economy are at the heart of the issues for this election. The divisive right-wing frontrunner Jair Bolsonaro is leading the polls, with the left-wing candidate Fernando Haddad coming in second.  Bolsonaro has caused controversy throughout the campaign and has made several discriminatory comments on race, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as a number of remarks expressing support for the country’s former military government. If no candidate wins a majority, then the two leading candidates will head to a runoff vote which is expected to take place on the 28 October.
  • Cameroon Presidential Election – Also on 7 October, eight of Cameroon’s ten regions will head to the polls for a presidential election that may end the dynasty of incumbent Paul Biya. President Biya has been in power since 1982 and was prime minister for seven years before that. Cameroon faces security issues in multiple regions. Boko Haram in the north, rebel incursions from the east, and separatists in the south-western English-speaking regions. The separatists have vowed violence if the election is held in their territory, while government have confirmed the election will go ahead in the regions. Violence on election day is likely in contested territories.
  • National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan) – The National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan), also referred to as Double Tenth Day is the national day of Taiwan. This day marks the start of the Wuchang Uprising of 10 October 1911. The revolt was a turning point for China as it saw the collapse of the Ching (Qing) Dynasty that had been in place since 1644. The revolt led to the founding of the Republic of China, until it lost mainland China in 1949. The day is celebrated by large parades, rallies, and other cultural events. The city is often illuminated with lanterns and fireworks.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina Elections – On 7 October, Bosnia-Herzegovina will hold elections for a plethora of ethno-political establishments which helped to end the 1992-95 war but now make for an exceptionally complicated electoral system. On election day, 3.5 million voters will choose; a national parliament, three members of the national presidency, the parliaments of the country’s two political major entities the Serb-dominated Republika Srpska (RS) and the predominantly Bosniak and Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina – and then 11 other regional assemblies. The over complicated devolution of the government makes any reforms almost impossible, as getting all different assemblies to agree is highly unlikely. In the past, external powers including the EU and UK, tried to help liberalise an economy hobbled by its own political complexity. However, there are now several internal regional leaders who have open backing from Russia, meaning that further external meddling is likely.

Significant Dates and Events

  • 05 October – Portugal – Republic Day
  • 05 October – Cambodia – Teacher’s march in Phnom Penh
  • 06 October – Latvia – Legislative elections
  • 06 October – South Korea – Woman’s Rally in Seoul
  • 06-07 October – Egypt – Armed Forces Day
  • 06 October – Malaysia – Birthday of the Governor of Sabah
  • 07 October – Brazil – General election
  • 07 October – Cameroon – Presidential election
  • 08 October – Spain – New Anti-Pollution protocol in Madrid
  • 08 October – Bahamas – National Heroes Day
  • 08 October – Croatia – Independence Day
  • 08 October – Cambodia – Ancestors Day
  • 08 October – Ecuador – Independence of Guayaquil
  • 09 October – Uganda – Independence Day
  • 10 October – Fiji – Independence Day
  • 10 October – Taiwan – Double Tenth Day
  • 10 October – Cuba – Independence Day
  • 10 October – Curacao – Curacao Day
  • 10 October – North Korea – Party Foundation Day
  • 10-24 October – Nepal – Hindu Dashin Festival
  • 11 October – Macedonia – Revolution Day
  • 12 October – Brazil – Lady of Aparecida
  • 12 October – Equatorial Guinea – Independence Day.
  • 12 October – Spain – Fiesta Nacional de Espana.
  • 13 October – Burundi – Prince Louis Rwagasore Day
  • 14 October – Georgia – Day of Svetitskovloba
  • 14 October – Tanzania – Mwlimu Nyerere Day
  • 14 October – Yemen – Liberation Day
  • 15 October – Jamaica – National Heroes Day
  • 15 October – Belize – Pan American Day
  • 15 October –  Tunisia – Evacuation Day
  • 15 October – Samoa – Lotu a Tamiti Holiday

Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 40 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.