AMERICAS United States (Security threat level – 2): Shortly after...
India (Security threat level – 3): On 9 December 2021, leaders of a protest movement against several now-withdrawn farm laws announced an 11 December end date for the movement’s demonstrations, which had been taking place on the outskirts of the capital New Delhi for approximately one year. The announcement followed the government’s pledge to form a committee to consider guaranteed minimum prices for crops and compensation for the families of deceased protesters, among other demands. The protests began in November 2020 over laws deregulating the sale of agricultural goods, and at times resulted in violence; farmer groups claim that approximately 700 people died during the unrest. Protest leaders are expected to meet on 15 January to assess the government’s progress on fulfilling their demands and to decide whether to resume demonstrations.
Myanmar (Security threat level – 4): According to local reports on 9 December 2021, a nationwide “Silent Strike” is planned for 10 December by various labor and activist groups to protest the ruling military government, which ousted the previous civilian government on 1 February. Strike organizers have encouraged businesses to shut down during 1000-1600 local time (0330-0930 UTC), and for workers and students to remain home. Although some business owners have indicated their intention to close their establishments, the full extent of planned closures remains unknown. A previous “Silent Strike” on 24 March was widely observed in major cities such as Yangon, Mandalay and the capital Naypyitaw. At that time, businesses such as markets, convenience stores and department stores closed, while public transportation operators suspended services. In related developments, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon issued an alert advising against all “travel and outdoor activity” on 10 December due to the potential for unrest; the full text of the alert is available here.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 8 December 2021, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared new measures for England to combat the spread of the omicron variant of COVID-19. As of 10 December, the mandate to wear face masks will be expanded to include most public indoor venues, including theaters and cinemas. This mandate is currently in effect on public transport and inside retail establishments. Individuals will be asked to work from home as of 13 December, provided their job does not require them to be physically present at a workplace. Additionally, beginning on 15 December, persons who are 18 years of age and older will need to show proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to access entertainment venues, such as nightclubs. This requirement will apply to all events with more than 10,000 people in attendance; unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people; and unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people. Further information as outlined by the U.K. government is available here.
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On the morning of 8 December 2021, a U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) convoy struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Bandiagara area of Mali’s central Mopti region. According to a U.N. spokesperson, the peacekeepers were traveling from Douentza to Sevare at the time. Seven Togolese peacekeeping soldiers were killed in the blast and three more Togolese soldiers were wounded. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, although militant Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group frequently conduct IED attacks targeting MINUSMA personnel.
Belize (Security threat level – 3): On 8 December 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Belize, which reads in part as follows: “Regulations remain in force to tackle the spread of coronavirus. A nationwide curfew is in place until further notice. For adults, the curfew is active from 11pm to 4am Sunday to Thursday and midnight to 4am on Friday and Saturday. For children, the curfew applies from 8pm to 4am every day, unless with a parent or guardian.”