AMERICAS Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 10 May...
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 13 April 2021, President Iván Duque announced weekend lockdowns for Barranquilla, Bogotá, Medellín and Santa Marta in an attempt to quell escalating rates of COVID-19 infection. In Bogotá and Medellín, a modified 4×3 “pico and cédula” strategy will be implemented, with a quarantine imposed from 2359 local time on 15 April (0459 UTC on 16 April) to 0400 local time on 19 April, and again the following weekend from 2359 on 22 April to 0400 local time on 26 April. During these periods, residents will be allowed to leave their homes to carry out essential activities, such as purchasing groceries or banking; however, only one person per family will be allowed to travel in fulfillment of such activities, and only during designated times based on the last digit of their identity card. Additionally, leaving or entering Bogotá and Medellín during these periods will be prohibited. In Barranquilla and Santa Marta, these quarantine measures will be applied on 17-18 April only.
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 14 April 2021, President Jovenel Moïse announced the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe in response to Haiti’s deteriorating security environment. Moïse stated that the appointment of the new prime minister, current Minister of Foreign Affairs Claude Joseph, will allow the government to better address Haiti’s high crime rates and political instability. Joseph is the sixth prime minister to be appointed by Moïse during his four years as president. Although the constitution dictates that a new prime minister must be confirmed by parliament, Moïse has ruled by decree after the legislative branch was suspended in 2020.
Analyst Comment: President Jovenel Moïse has previously timed appointments of new prime ministers to placate critics of his government’s policies and to distract from other perceived failures.
Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): As of 0400 local time (0800 UTC) on 14 April 2021, the La Soufriere volcano was continuing to spew ash, with some plumes shooting as high as 11,000 m (36,090 ft) into the sky, according to the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center Washington. Experts expect the volcano to spew ash for at least the next 18 hours, with plumes reaching an altitude of approximately 35,000 m at the end of 18 hours. The primary ash cloud is projected to move slowly north over the forecast period. A secondary ash cloud has detached from the volcano; it is currently located approximately 370 km (230 mi) east of the summit of the volcano and extending 40,000 meters into the air. The volcano is also generating pyroclastic flows, which are fast moving currents of hot gas and other volcanic matter that run down the side of the volcano. According to scientists with the University of West Indies Seismic Research Center, the volcano is expected to continue to erupt for the next several days.
Volcanic activity has disrupted services across the island. Argyle International Airport (TVSA/SVD) on St. Vincent remains closed, and Grantley Adams International Airport (TBPB/BGI) in Barbados will be closed until at least 1200 local time on 14 April. Most of the island of St. Vincent remains covered in ash. The local coast guard continues to evacuate people — mostly individuals who resisted the previous evacuation order — from restricted areas of the island. Water shortages continue as ashfall has contaminated local water supplies. Authorities recommend that water obtained from public water services be boiled and that water exposed to ashfall should not be consumed. Intermittent power outages continue across the island. No casualties have been reported as a result of the eruption.
United States (Security threat level – 2): On 13 April 2021, police officers clashed with protesters outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, located just northwest of Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a third consecutive night. At approximately 2045 local time (0145 UTC on 14 April), officers of the Minnesota State Patrol began deploying tear gas and stun grenades in an attempt to disperse the crowd of approximately 800 to 1,000 people who had gathered at the site, where dozens of National Guard personnel and police officers are stationed. Some of the protesters threw rocks, bottles and other projectiles at the officers during the clashes. There were no reports of significant injuries or deaths. Authorities arrested more than 60 participants. In anticipation of violence, local officials had instituted curfews in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including in Brooklyn Center, the latter of which was in effect from 2200 local time on 13 April to 0600 local time on 14 April. Hundreds of protesters have been gathering outside the police department nightly since 11 April after a police officer shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center. The local police chief has stated that the death occurred as the result of an “accidental discharge” of a gun by the officer, who had intended to deploy a Taser stun gun.
United States (Security threat level – 2): As of the morning of 14 April 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard and other emergency crews are conducting search and rescue operations off the coast of the southeastern U.S. state of Louisiana after a 129-ft (40-m) commercial vessel capsized the previous day about 8 mi (13 km) south of Port Fourchon, which is located nearly 100 miles south of the city of New Orleans. Multiple Coast Guard vessels, four private boats, a helicopter and an HC-144 aircraft used for maritime patrol have been deployed to assist in the search efforts. The self-propelled vessel had 19 people on board when it overturned during the late afternoon hours of 13 April; six of those aboard have been rescued. Inclement weather conditions, with winds of up to 70-80 mph (113-129 kph), were recorded in the area at the time of the event.
Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 14 April 2021, the interior minister announced plans to ban the far-right Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) party under the Anti-Terrorism Act, pending approval from the Cabinet, amid ongoing protests organized by the TLP following the arrest of the party’s leader on 12 April. During the demonstrations, TLP supporters blocked roads in major cities and frequently clashed with police officers. At least four people have died in the unrest, and hundreds more have suffered injuries; hundreds of protesters have also been arrested. As of 14 April, most roadways in major cities have been cleared, and authorities have deployed additional security personnel to major cities throughout the Ramadan period in an effort to maintain security.
Morocco / Tunisia (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 13 April 2021, officials with the Moroccan National Airport Office (ODNA) announced a ban on commercial flights to and from Tunisia beginning 15 April in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country. The ban will be in effect until further notice.
United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): On 13 April 2021, unidentified assailants fired a missile at an Israeli-owned cargo vessel in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of the United Arab Emirates near the port city of Fujairah. The Bahamas-flagged ship reportedly sustained minor damage. There were no reports of casualties. The vessel is currently at the port undergoing damage assessment. Israeli media sources, citing local security officials, indicate that the Iranian military perpetrated the attack. The targeted vessel is owned by the Tel Aviv-based firm Ray Shipping Limited, which also owns another vessel that was struck by a suspected Iranian missile in the Arabian Sea in February.
Republic of Congo (Security threat level – 3): On 13 April 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville issued a Message for U.S. Citizens regarding the presidential swearing in ceremony in the city, which reads in part as follows:
“On Friday April 16, President Denis Sassou N’Guesso will be sworn in at the Palais des Congrés. Several heads of state will attend the ceremony and will arrive and depart within 24 hours of the ceremony. Roads may be blocked and transportation, including commercial air travel, could be disrupted. Due to the expectation of heavy traffic jams around the airport, the embassy and throughout the city center on Friday from 09:00 to 16:00, U.S. government personnel are advised to avoid those areas during these hours and to work from home when possible. Consular services will be limited to emergency services.”
The full text of the alert is available here.