Global Security Forecast – Week 16

Australia: Melbourne Nightclub shooting leaves one dead and three injured Local media sources reported that at approximately 03:20 local time on 14 April, a shooting incident took place outside the Love Machine nightclub on Malvern Road in the Prahran district of Melbourne. At least one person, a security guard, was killed in the drive-by shooting, with three others sustaining serious injuries. Police and paramedics attended the scene and cordoned off Malvern Road between Chapel Street and Surrey Road in order to carry out their investigations. At this time, there have been no suggestions the attack was terror-related and no arrests have been made. Localised travel disruptions are expected to continue in the coming days, as the crime scene investigations are ongoing.
United Kingdom: London Extinction Rebellion Protests, 15-29 April The environmentalist group Extinction Rebellion has announced a number of protests and sit-ins around the world demanding the recognition of the ongoing climate emergency, with the largest one taking place in London. The protests will consist of the obstruction and blockage of some key streets and areas in London including Marble Arch, Oxford Circus, Waterloo Bridge, Parliament Square and Piccadilly Circus. The organisers have planned to hold demonstrations until 29 April, as well as hold a number of events across the sites demanding the UK government to pledge to reduce its carbon emission to net zero by 2025. The demonstrations are part of a global campaign, with acts of peaceful unrest expected to take place in 80 cities across 33 countries in the coming days. On 17 April, climate change protesters climbed on top of trains at Canary Wharf station to carry out their protests. Protesters also confirmed plans to cause tube disruptions on the London Underground. At the time of writing, more than 400 peoples have been arrested and police presence has been significantly increased, particularly in the Westminster area. The severe disruption caused to commuters and businesses has led to calls to the Metropolitan Police to take more radical action to tackle the protests, especially in the city centre, claiming severe losses in revenue over the past days.
France: Paris Fire destroys Notre Dame Cathedral and triggers travel disruptions and evacuations The fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral, believed to have been caused by onsite construction workers, has caused significant damage to the building, with much of the roof and its famous ‘arrow’ spire collapsing in. The fire appeared to have started around 7pm local time on 15 April and authorities have stated that the cathedral was 30 minutes away from complete destruction if the firefighters hadn’t intervened and successfully put out the blaze after a 15 hour-long effort. Authorities have established a security perimeter around the incident site – with road closures that are in effect for much of the 4th arrondissement and portions of the 5th arrondissement, including bridges and roads adjacent to the cathedral on the Ile de la Cite. All residents of Ile de la Cite were evacuated including tourists staying at affected hotels. There have been no reports of any injuries at this time.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: Lake Kivu At least 150 people missing after vessel capsizes Local news reports suggest that at least 150 people are still missing after a vessel capsized on Lake Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo on 15 April. Local sources say the vessel was carrying approximately 200 people, 37 of whom have been rescued and 3 bodies have been recovered. Local security forces and emergency crews are working at the scene to locate the missing passengers – although many are presumed to have drowned, as such, the death toll is expected to rise over the coming days. Deadly boat accidents occur frequently on the Congo River and on the country’s lakes where water is a primary means of transport for residents outside its major cities.
Libya: Tripoli At least six killed and 36 wounded in rocket attacks across the capital Local sources reported that at least six people have been killed and another 36 suffered injuries in the aftermath of an exchange in rocket shelling between LNA and GNA forces. Several neighbourhoods in Tripoli were damaged by the Russian Grad rockets, the worst affected being the southern district of Abu Salim. Among the dead and injured are women and children, unconfirmed reports also suggest an entire family was killed when a rocket directly hit their home. The strikes took place in the context of a prolonged battle for the capital after General Haftar first ordered his forces to march on the capital on 4 April.  Following the attacks, hundreds of civilians took to Martyr’s Square to display their anger and condemnation. The head of the Supreme Council of State, Khalid al-Mashri, also issued a statement condemning the indiscriminate shelling of Tripoli neighbourhoods. The Government of National Accord has declared that it intends to supply documents to the International Criminal Court in order to prosecute General Haftar as a war criminal. Further armed clashes, artillery and airstrikes are highly likely over the coming days, as the conflict in and around Tripoli escalates. According to the World Health Organization, at least 174 people have been killed and 756 wounded since the LNA started its offensive. ADVICE: Continue to defer all non-essential travel to Libya; if in country limit non-essential movements and monitor the latest alerts.
Qatar: Doha Afghan government officials to hold talks with Taliban representatives in Doha, 19-21 April National media outlets are reporting that the Afghan government is planning to send 250 delegates for talks with Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar, between 19 – 21 April. It will be the first time that Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives will meet since failed peace talks were held in Pakistan in 2015. The three days of talks will come amid a push by the United States to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban after a drawn-out eighteen-year war. A heightened security presence is expected in Doha surrounding the event as it could be seen as a high-profile target by terrorist groups. ADVICE: Travellers should anticipate an increased security presence and enhanced security measures in Doha during the talks. Associate localised travel disruptions such as road closures and checkpoints are anticipated.
South Asia: Multiple countries Adverse weather results in fatalities and disruption in Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan Torrential rain has led to widespread disruption in Afghanistan, India, Iran and Pakistan. In India, storms and flash floods have killed at least 33 people across the northern regions of the country. Currently, the most affected area is Madhya Pradesh. Heavy rains also caused flash flooding in Pakistan with at least 50 people killed and hundreds more injured. Major disruption was reported in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and southwestern Baluchistan provinces, where infrastructure was completely or partially damaged and hundreds have been forced to move to a safer place. Adverse weather also downed trees and power lines affecting both communication and travel. In Afghanistan, weather-related disruptions were reported in 16 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. In the western province of Herat, search and rescue operations are underway to locate a number of people missing. Iran has also been significantly impacted by flooding. At least 76 people have died after torrential rainfall, which has caused damages of around 2.5bn USD since 19 March. The country has been struggling to process aid and relief due to US sanctions. Iran’s Red Crescent has repeatedly complained that the US banking sanctions re-imposed last year make it impossible to receive donations from outside the country. ADVICE: Travel to the impacted regions may be difficult due to the inundations impacting local infrastructure. Be aware that further flooding and mudslides are likely in the region. Where possible, avoid travelling on potentially flooded routes unless necessary.

Significant Dates & Events

Date Country Event Potential for Unrest
19-22 April Worldwide Easter Celebrations LOW
19 April Eswatini King Mswati III’s birthday LOW
19-22 April Judaism Passover LOW
19-20 April South Africa Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, Cape Town LOW
19 April United States Anniversary of the terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City (1995) LOW
19 April United States Anniversary of the end of the siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas (1993) LOW
20 April Uruguay Public Holiday: Landing of the 33 Patriots MODERATE
21 April Brazil Tiradentes Day MODERATE
22 April Ukraine Presidential Election Runoff MODERATE
22 April South Africa Family Day LOW
23 April Brazil Sao Jorge, Rio de Janeiro MODERATE
23 April Turkey   National Sovereignty and Children’s Day LOW
24 April Armenia Genocide Memorial Day LOW
24 April Niger National Concord Day HIGH
24 April Togo Day of Victory LOW
24 April Australia Anzac Day LOW
25 April Egypt Coptic Holy Thursday MODERATE
25 April Egypt Sinai Liberation Day MODERATE
25 April Eswatini National Flag Day LOW
25 April Italy Saint Mark’s Day LOW
25 April Italy Liberation Day LOW
25 April Portugal Liberty Day LOW