ASIA Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 October...
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): Representatives of the Colombian government and the National Strike Committee are scheduled to meet for negotiations in the capital Bogotá later on 1 June 2021. The National Strike Committee has called for major nationwide demonstrations over income inequality, police brutality and youth unemployment to continue on 2 June.
On 31 May protesters clashed with police officers in the city of Facatativá, located approximately 30 km (18 mi) northwest of Bogotá, as police officers deployed tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse protesters manning roadblocks. In the southwestern town of Villagarzón, police officers clashed with indigenous protesters, killing one person and injuring six others. Additionally, on 29 May at least three people were injured during clashes between police officers and protesters at a bridge in the town of Girardot, located approximately 140 km southwest of Bogotá. On 30 May hundreds of people marched in Bogotá and Medellín to demand an end to roadblocks and violent demonstrations. There were no reports of protest-related violence on 30 May.
Overnight on 28-29 May, protesters clashed with police officers in cities across Colombia. In Bogotá, thousands of protesters clashed with police officers at the Portal de Las Americas — located in the southwestern area of the capital — and at the Monumento a Los Héroes in southern Bogota near the intersection of Calle 80b and Autopista Norte. According to local media sources, at least 80 protesters were injured during clashes in Bogotá, and police officers arrested at least 15 others. In the town of Cartagenita — located approximately 30 km (20 mi) west of Bogotá — vandals set fire to a police station. Meanwhile, in the western Valle de Cauca department, at least four people were killed in clashes with security personnel. In Cali, the capital of Valle de Cauca, one person was killed near the Puente de los Mis Dias area in the northern part of the city. Hundreds of protesters blocked roads and set debris on fire in several areas of the city. President Iván Duque traveled to Cali and announced that the government was increasing the number of military personnel deployed in Valle de Cauca to an estimated 7,000 troops due to the increasing instances of violence in the department.
China (Security threat level – 3): On 31 May 2021, officials in the southern Guangdong province — which borders the special administrative regions of Macao and Hong Kong — enacted new travel restrictions in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. As of 2200 local time (1400 UTC) on 31 May, anyone leaving Guangdong province by bus, train, aircraft or private vehicle is required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the traveler’s departure from the province. The new restrictions were enacted after health officials registered 20 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in the province on 30 May.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): Rotating power outages on Luzon Island, including in parts of Metro Manila, are anticipated to continue until 7 June 2021. The periodic blackouts, which began on 31 May, are occurring due to insufficient supply following outages in three major power plants. The Department of Electricity announced that an additional power plant in Mariveles, Bataan, went offline on the morning of 1 June due to suspected leakage in a boiler tube at the installation; the power plant is expected to resume operations on 8 June. As of last report, forced outages have left the country’s power grid short of 1,579 megawatts of electricity. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert status – which indicates power reserves below required levels — from 2200 local time (1400 UTC) on 1 June until 0000 UTC on 2 June; the yellow alert status was in effect during 0900-1000 local time and during 1700-1800 local time earlier on 1 June. In addition, a red alert status — which triggers rotating blackouts — on the Luzon grid was in effect during 1000-1700 local time and 1800-2200 local time. A spokesperson for NGCP stated that the Luzon grid is expected to be on periodic red alert status through 7 June.
Vietnam (Security threat level – 3): On 29 May 2021, Vietnam’s Health Ministry announced that a new coronavirus variant has been detected in the country. According to the health minister, the new variant is a hybrid of the virus variants initially discovered in India and the U.K. — which are highly contagious, replicate extremely quickly and are “very dangerous.” A notable surge in COVID-19 cases was reported in at least 31 municipalities and provinces in the country in May; more than 4,000 new cases have been registered since the end of April. Following the discovery of the new coronavirus variant, authorities have imposed new restrictions in Ho Chi Minh city. Residents are permitted to leave their homes only for essential activities and public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, effective until 14 June. Nonessential businesses, restaurants and places of worship in the city have been closed since 27 May. City officials plan to test all 9 million residents for COVID-19. Separately, Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport (VVNB/HAN) has announced that the airport will stop receiving foreign travelers from 1-7 June due to the rising rate of new COVID-19 cases in the city.
France (Security threat level – 3): On 28 May 2021, a man stabbed a police officer at a police station in the city of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, a suburb of Nantes. Following the attack, the assailant stole the officer’s pistol and fled before pursuing police officers shot and killed the man during a gunbattle. Two other officers suffered injuries during the exchange. Authorities later stated that the suspect had recently been released from prison and was known to have extremist views.
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 28 May 2021, Mali’s constitutional court announced that interim Vice President Col. Assimi Goita — leader of the military junta — has been chosen as the new transitional president. The court stated that one of Goita’s primary roles as president is to lead the country to the conclusion of the transitional government process. In a meeting with civil society leaders in the capital Bamako, Goita stated that he will appoint a new prime minister from the June 5 Movement – Rally of Patriotic Forces (M5-RFP) coalition — a social and political movement that organized demonstrations against former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was ousted in the August 2020 coup d’état. The decision to appoint a member of the M5-RFP coalition as prime minister has been welcomed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) — a group of West African nations that are leading diplomatic efforts for political stability in Mali.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 31 May 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa imposed stricter countrywide lockdown measures due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Under the new restrictions, a nightly curfew is in effect from 2300 to 0400 local time (2100-0200 UTC) and nonessential businesses must close by 2200 local time. Meanwhile, indoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people, while outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 250 people.
Belarus (Security threat level – 3): On 28 May 2021, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM), advising U.S. air carriers — operators conducting passenger flights — and commercial operators to excise extreme caution when “flying into, out of, within, or over the Minsk flight information region (FIR) (UMMV)…” The alert is in response to the forced landing of a Ryanair flight in Minsk on 23 May.
The full text of the NOTAM is available here.
Dominican Republic (Security threat level – 3): On 30 May 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for the Dominican Republic, which reads in part as follows: “Passengers from the UK, Brazil and South Africa, including those who have travelled via a third country, must present a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours before their arrival. Those who arrive between 31 May and 6 June 2021 without a negative test result will be required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival.”
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 1 June 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Manila issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Below are the current quarantine classifications according to the Philippine government:
“Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) through June 15, 2021:
Luzon – Santiago City, Cagayan, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, and Puerto Princesa City;
Visayas – Iloilo City;
Mindanao – Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Cagayan de Oro City, Butuan City, and Agusan del Sur.
“General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with restrictions through June 15, 2021:
NCR Plus – Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna.
“General Community Quarantine (GCQ) through June 30, 2021
Luzon – Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, Isabela, Nueva Viscaya, Batangas, and Quezon;
Mindanao – Iligan City, Davao City Lanao Del Sur, and Cotabato City.
All other areas are under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ).
“For quarantine classification protocols and regulations, visit the Philippine COVID -19 website. The Philippine government mandated all persons to wear full-coverage face shields together with face masks while in public places. Local governments continue to implement additional requirements to slow the virus’ spread.”
United States (Security threat level – 2): On 28 May 2021, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory with the FBI, which reads in part as follows: “CISA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are responding to an ongoing spearphishing campaign targeting government organizations, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. A sophisticated cyber threat actor leveraged a compromised end-user account from Constant Contact, a legitimate email marketing software company, to spoof a U.S. government organization and distribute links to malicious URLs.”
To read the full text of the advisory, please click here.