ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 2300 local time (1600 UTC) on 24 January 2022, a fire broke out at the Double O karaoke nightclub in the city of Sorong in West Papua province following a violent confrontation between two rival groups of youths. Police officers confirmed that 19 people were killed due to the violence. One of the victims reportedly died after being stabbed while the remaining 18 died in the fire, which broke out during the confrontation and spread throughout the venue, trapping bystanders for several hours. Local authorities have cordoned off the area and launched an investigation into the fight and subsequent fire.
Kazakhstan / Kyrgyzstan / Uzbekistan (Security threat levels – 4 / 4 / 3): On 25 January 2022, a widespread power outage affected several areas of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. In Kazakhstan’s most populous city Almaty, approximately 2 million residents were without power. Authorities also stated that outages affected the regional city of Shymkent and Taraz, the capital of Jambyl region. In Kyrgyzstan, the blackout affected the capital Bishkek, prompting a reduction in operations at Manas International Airport (UCFM/FRU). Meanwhile, in Tashkent – the capital of Uzbekistan – inbound flights at Tashkent International Airport (UTTT/TAS) were temporarily suspended and the city’s subway operations were disrupted. Several hours after the initial blackout, approximately 50% of power had returned. Authorities attributed the outage to an unspecified emergency at a power station in Kazakhstan that connects all three countries to the same power grid. Officials of all three countries have agreed to carry out a joint investigation to determine the cause of the emergency.
Turkey (Security threat level – 3): On 25 January 2022, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation extended the ongoing suspension of most inbound and outbound flight operations at Istanbul Airport (LTFM/IST) until 2359 local time (2059 UTC) on 25 January due to severe winter weather conditions. However, runway 18/36 was opened at 1200 local time in order to receive diverted flights. In related developments, the Istanbul governor also banned the use of private vehicles until 1300 local time. According to the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, more than 4,600 people were stranded on highways and thousands of people evacuated to temporary shelters due to heavy snowfall. Local authorities are urging residents to avoid nonessential travel.
Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 24 January 2022, army officials announced that President Roch Kaboré has been deposed in a military coup and Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba — president of the newly formed Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration (MPSR) — has assumed leadership of the country. The junta has suspended the constitution and dissolved the government and national assembly. The country’s air and land borders were closed as of 2359 local time/UTC on 24 January; however, the latest reports on 25 January suggest that air borders have reopened and restrictions on land border crossings have been eased. A new nationwide nightly curfew during 2100-0500 local time/UTC is in effect. There were no reports of civilian deaths during the takeover, which initially began on the morning of 23 January with heavy gunfire reported in military barracks in the capital Ouagadougou.
Gunfire was also reported in Ouagadougou after the military’s televised announcement on 24 January, although it was later reported that the gunfire was the result of soldiers celebrating the military’s takeover of the country. Ousted President Kaboré’s whereabouts remain unknown; he is reportedly being detained at an army base and is in good health. Following the military takeover, celebrations have taken place in Ouagadougou. Approximately 1,000 people gathered at the city’s main square on 25 January to show support for the new junta regime. Participants played live music and danced; some demonstrators chanted slogans against the regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and burned a French flag. The regional blocs ECOWAS and African Union, as well as the U.N. and the French government, all have denounced the military’s seizure of power in Burkina Faso.
Analyst Comment: Mutinous soldiers ousted President Kaboré and the duly elected national assembly amid growing discontent with the administration, largely due to the government’s inability to stop violence perpetrated by militant groups linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State in the northern part of the country. Anti-government demonstrations calling for Kaboré’s resignation had been frequent in Ouagadougou since November 2021, following an attack at a security post in the northern town of Inata in Soum province. Members of the new military junta mostly appear to be officials who were directly engaged in combat against Islamist militants and were upset with the lack of materiel and other necessary resources. The overall security conditions in Ouagadougou remain calm at this time after two days of uncertainty in the lead-up to the military takeover. The junta regime currently seems to possess the support of the general populace in Burkina Faso and the likelihood of an active in-country opposition to the new regime in the immediate term is low.
Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 24 January 2022, a stampede occurred as crowds attempted to enter an African Cup of Nations soccer match between Cameroon and Comoros at Olembe Stadium in the capital Yaoundé. At least eight people were killed and approximately 40 more suffered injuries. Witnesses claimed that the stampede occurred after stadium personnel attempted to close entry gates shortly before the start of the match.
Madagascar / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 25 January 2022, Tropical Storm Ana has caused significant casualties and damage across Madagascar and Mozambique. Ana made landfall in Madagascar during the weekend of 22-23 January and caused extensive flooding nationwide, including in the capital Antananarivo. The effects of the storm caused the deaths of at least 34 people and the displacement of 55,000 more. In Mozambique, the storm made a second landfall on 24 January, primarily affecting the provinces of Manica, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia. At least two people have died and 66 more have been injured due to flooding and other storm-related effects. Additionally, 115 homes were destroyed, while 546 more sustained significant damage. According to meteorological authorities, Ana weakened into a tropical depression on 25 January and is expected to dissipate as it moves farther inland in Mozambique.
Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 24 January 2022, security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas to disperse pro-democracy demonstrators in the cities of Madani, Omdurman and the capital Khartoum. Thousands of participants have gathered weekly to protest violent crackdowns on demonstrators since the ruling military junta gained power in October 2021. According to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, a group of medical professionals who support the protesters, three people were killed by gunfire and several more were injured due to the clashes. Two of the deaths reportedly occurred in Khartoum, while the third was in Madani.
Australia (Security threat level – 2): On 25 January 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Canberra issued a Demonstration Alert regarding a scheduled protest on 26 January, which reads in part as follows: “Location: Parliamentary Triangle
“Event: U.S. citizens are advised that members of several protest groups intend to demonstrate around the parliamentary triangle in Canberra throughout the day on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. Expect disruptions to traffic in the area during the event.”
Greece (Security threat level – 2): On 24 January 2022, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for Greece to include the following: “Due to extreme weather in parts of Greece, there is severe disruption to transport and public services. The Greek government has announced a national holiday in affected areas on 25 January.”
Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 25 January 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “The Honduran Presidential Inauguration will take place at the National Stadium on Thursday, January 27th, 2022. There will also be state sponsored events through the city. These events will result in significant road closures around Tegucigalpa starting at 0600 the morning of January 27th. This will SEVERLY impede movement in and around Tegucigalpa and vehicles will be denied access to main arteries without the proper credentials. U.S. citizens should expect traffic delays and an increased security presence. U.S. citizens in Honduras are reminded to maintain awareness of their surroundings as the situation may change quickly. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens should avoid demonstrations and crowds as well as take proper precautions against the spread of COVID-19.”