Weekly Security Forecast

Weekly Security Forecast

GLOBAL FORECAST: 23 – 30 NOVEMBER

GUINEA-BISSAU: URBAN CENTRES (MODERATE) – Anticipate protests following further delay in legislative elections

A further delay in the deadline for voter registration has led to the postponement of legislative elections in Guinea Bissau. The polls that were meant to take place on November 18 have now been pushed back to an undetermined date. Local reports suggest only 230,000 people of the estimated 900,000 eligible voters have been registered to vote. In response to the latest interruption in election proceedings, opposition and civil society groups are expected to launch a series of rallies demanding transparency and accountability in the capital Bissau and other urban centres. On 21 October, thousands of people peacefully demonstrated in Bissau over the irregularities in the voter registration process leading to severe traffic disruptions.

ADVICE: Avoid all election-related gatherings due to the risk of violence. Consult local media, in country contacts and Solace Global Alerts for details of any planned or ongoing demonstrations in your area.


ARGENTINA: ALL AIRPORTS (LOW) – Aviation and transport sector workers strike on 26; 27 November, severe disruption expected

Employees and union members of national carrier Aerolineas Argentinas will hold a 24-hour strike on 26 November following the suspension of 376 of their colleagues who had taken part in a previous strike on 8 November. The strike will cause significant delays at all airports throughout the country, with up to 100% of flights cancelled. The 8 November strike led to the grounding of 258 flights with up to 30,000 passengers affected. Transport Unions are also planning to hold a nationwide public sector strike on 27 November from 04.00 to 07.00 (local time) affecting flights, ferries and all public transport.

ADVICE: Reconfirm flight schedules with your airline before travelling to the airport. In the event of cancellations consult your travel provider for alternative arrangements.


NIGERIA:  ABUJA, LAGOS, URBAN CENTRES (HIGH) – Electoral campaign period officially begins ahead of 16 February presidential election.

The official campaign period began on 19 November ahead of 16 February 2019 presidential election. Travellers should anticipate a substantial increase in the frequency of political rallies and demonstrations in most major urban centres throughout Nigeria, including in the capital, Abuja, as well as the commercial centre, Lagos. Rallies are likely to cause disruption in urban centres and lead to road closures. Civil society groups will also use the opportunity to launch anti-government and anti-corruption protests. Most rallies are likely to arrange with local authorities ahead of time and pass off relatively peacefully however, security forces have a history of using tear gas and live ammunition when trying to disperse demonstrators. On 23 November, protesters amassed outside the US embassy to demand free and fair elections and draw international attention to the ongoing insecurity currently felt throughout the country.

ADVICE: Avoid all election-related gatherings due to the risk of violence. Consult local media, in country contacts and Solace Global Alerts for details of any planned or ongoing demonstrations in your area.


FRANCE: COUNTRYWIDE (LOW) – Anticipate travel disruption as protests over increases in fuel prices continue

Protest over the increase in fuel prices are expected to continue this weekend causing widespread travel disruption throughout urban centres in France. Over the past week protesters have attempted to block motorways and petrol stations leading to severe traffic delays in Pairs, Avignon, Bordeaux and Strasbourg. Organisers of the protest have stated that on Saturday, 24 November, they will launch mass protests in Paris in an attempt to bring the capital to a standstill. Demonstrations are likely to affect most major roads in the capital including the A1 and A3 highways that connect central Paris to Charles de Gaulle Airport.  To read more please see our latest Travel Advisory.

ADVICE: Reconfirm the status of routes prior to setting out and ensure that you factor in additional time to complete your journeys. Plan routes avoiding key protest locations to minimise disruption. There have been minor physical altercations between motorists and protesters, if you are caught in traffic caused by protests, remain in your car and follow the direction of the local authorities.


GLOBAL HEADLINES 16 – 23 NOVEMBER

BELGIUM: BRUSSELS (LOW) – Policeman stabbed near Grand Place on 20 November, motives unclear

A policeman was stabbed, sustaining nonlife threatening injuries, in the early hours of the morning in central Brussels. The attacker, a Belgian national, was subsequently shot and wounded as police officers responded to the incident near Grand Place in the historic centre of the city.  Local news agencies have reported that the attacker shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the incident. The assailant had been recently released from prison following a conviction for attempted manslaughter. In a remarkably similar attack on 30 May a gunman, who police believe was radicalised in prison, killed two police officers and one civilian in a religiously motivated attack in Liege before being shot and killed by police.  The Islamic State (IS) subsequently claimed responsibility for the May incident. While intelligence and counter-terrorism measures have improved in Belgium since the March 2016 coordinated suicide bombings, small scale, lone wolf attacks remain possible.

ADVICE: Travellers in Belgium should maintain situational awareness and report any suspicious behaviour to the police.  Minimise movements near police stations and government buildings. If visiting tourist attractions, avoid peak hours.


AFGHANISTAN: KABUL (SEVERE) – Suicide explosion kills at least 60 at religious ceremony on 20 Nov

At least 50 people were killed and over 80 were injured following a suicide bombing at 18:15 (local time) at Uranus Wedding Hall in police district 15, north of Kabul. Religious scholars had gathered at the wedding hall to celebrate the birthdate of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad (Eid Milad-un-Nabi). The Taliban immediately released a statement denying their involvement in the attack. While no group has yet claimed responsibility, the Islamic State in Khoresan (IS-K), an Islalmic State affiliate, have launched a string of attacks against religious minority groups over the last 12 months, calling them heretics and non-believers. To read more please see our latest Travel Advisory.

ADVICE: Travel to Afghanistan should be for business-critical purposes only and supported by an accredited security provider. Islamist groups have shown both the desire and capability to launch attacks in the capital Kabul. If travel is business critical, minimise time spent around religious sites, government buildings and police check points. Always seek the advice of a trained security specialist prior to travel.


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC): TANGANYIKA PROVINCE (HIGH) – Two American humanitarian workers killed by militants on 15 Nov

Two aid workers were killed by armed militants while returning from a field visit 80 km from their office in Kalemie in the south eastern province of Tanganyika. The aid workers had been travelling by motorcycle on the road when they were stopped and shot by the armed militants. It is not yet known if the incident was motivated by criminal or other intent. Since 2016, inter-ethnic violence between the indigenous Twa and migrant Bantu populations has led to widespread displacement and insecurity in the region. Twelve refugee camps are located near Kalemie managing over 70 thousand people. In recent months there has been an escalation in attacks targeting humanitarian workers and international organisations throughout DRC’s eastern provinces. On 17 November an international NGO had its vehicles looted in Baraka (South Kivu) and on 20 November armed men attacked and looted international NGO compound in Lulimba (south Kivu). Attacks on International NGOs are likely to continue due to the high presence of armed militias and a worsening economic situation.

ADVICE: Staff should understand what to do in the event if an escalation occurs and have clearly defined points of contact that they can ring in the event of an emergency. Prioritise establishing networks with other organisations operating in the area with clear information sharing arrangements. Remain up to date with the latest location specific security information and trends by monitoring news sources and security alerts.


UPCOMING SIGNIFICANT DATES AND EVENTS

Date Country Event Potential for violence
24 Nov Bahrain Parliamentary elections High
24 Nov Australia State elections Insignificant
25 Nov Mali Legislative elections High
25 Nov Bosnia Republic Day Low
25 Nov Suriname Independence Day Low
28 Nov Albania Independence Day Low
28 Nov Mauritania Independence Day Low
30 Nov Argentina G20 Summit Insignificant
Nov (exp) Chad Legislative elections (date not announced) High
1 Dec Central African Rep. National Day Moderate
2 Dec Laos National Day Low
2 Dec UAE National Day – Formation of the federation of the seven emirates Insignificant
3 Dec Poland Start of the COP24 environmental summit in Katowice, Insignificant
10 Dec Libya Presidential and Parliamentary elections High
16 Dec Togo Local elections, referendum on constitutional and electoral reform Moderate
19 Dec Madagascar Second round of presidential vote High
20 Dec Togo Legislative elections Moderate
22 Dec Iraq Provincial elections High
23 Dec DRC Presidential, legislative, regional and local elections High
30 Dec Bangladesh Parliamentary elections High

 


Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Global Security Forecast – Week 47

The Global Security Forecast highlights what travel security managers should look out for over the next week while also providing advice following significant events from the last week. The Global Security Forecast was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.