ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Colombia (Security threat level – 4): On 25 June 2021, a Colombian air force helicopter transporting President Iván Duque was struck by gunfire on its approach to Cúcuta’s Camilo Daza International Airport (SKCC/CUC), located in the northeastern Norte de Santander department, near Colombia’s border with Venezuela. Images showed multiple bullet holes in the rotor and tail of the helicopter. However, the aircraft landed safely at the airport and no individuals on board were injured. President Duque — along with senior Cabinet officials, including the ministers of defense and interior — and the governor of Norte de Santander were traveling from Sardinata to Cúcuta at the time of the attack. Police officials later stated that they discovered an AK-47 and a 7.62 caliber rifle, which were used to conduct the attack, in a neighborhood in Cúcuta. The motive for the attack remains unknown; however, multiple insurgent groups and drug cartels have been known to operate in the border region between Cúcuta, Colombia, and San Cristobal, Venezuela.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): As of 1200 UTC on 28 June 2021, Hurricane Enrique was located approximately 95 km (60 mi) west-southwest of the municipality of Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco state, and about 460 km southeast of the town of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur state, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. At that time, the hurricane was moving north-northwest at 9 kph (6 mph) and had maximum sustained winds of 150 kph (90 mph), with higher gusts. On its current forecast path, Enrique will continue to pass near the southwestern Mexican coast during the morning hours of 28 June and track toward the southern end of the Baja California Peninsula. A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect in Jalisco state from the beach of Playa Perula to Cabo Corrientes, while a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from Punta San Telmo to Playa Perula, as well as from Cabo Corrientes to Punta Mita peninsula in Nayarit state. Meanwhile, a Hurricane Watch is in effect from the city of Manzanillo in Colima state, to Playa Perula, and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Punta Mita to the municipality of San Blas in Nayarit. The outer bands of Enrique are expected to produce 150-305 mm (6-12 in) of rain over Colima state and coastal areas of Jalisco and Nayarit through 29 June, with isolated maximums of up to 460 mm. The heavy rainfall will likely generate life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Dangerous surf and riptide conditions are expected along the coastal areas of southwestern Mexico during the next several days.
Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 27 June 2021, a powerful explosion occurred on the ground floor of a three-story building located near the Moghbazar Wireless Gate area of the capital Dhaka. The explosion caused a partial collapse of the building, which hosted an electronics showroom, a restaurant and multiple shops, while also damaging three buses and several nearby buildings. At least seven people were killed and approximately 50 others were injured in the blast. According to police officials, a gas leak likely caused the explosion, noting that there was no evidence of terrorism; however, an investigative committee has been formed to determine the cause of the blast.
Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 26 June 2021, the government announced plans to impose a seven-day nationwide lockdown due to a rise in confirmed cases of the coronavirus delta variant. Effective 28 June, individuals will only be permitted to leave their residences during emergency situations. Additionally, all government and private offices must close, and all non-medical transportation is banned. Police officers and border guards will be deployed to enforce the lockdown. A health department spokesperson stated that the army may be called out as well.
China (Security threat level – 3): On 28 June 2021, authorities in Hong Kong announced that commercial flights arriving from the U.K. will be suspended from 1 July until further notice in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. The announcement comes after the number of inbound passengers from the U.K. who tested positive for the disease reached the threshold to limit flights. In related developments, on as of 28 June all arrivals from the U.K. are subject to a 21-day quarantine at a government-approved hotel. The measure applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.
India (Security threat level – 3): In the early hours of 27 June 2021, two small-scale explosions occurred at the Indian air force station in Jammu Airport (VIJU/IXJ) in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, located approximately 15 km (10 mi) from the international border between India and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. One of the explosions caused damage to the roof of a building, but no aircraft or any other equipment sustained damage. Two air force personnel suffered minor injuries. Security officials suspect that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) were used to drop the explosive devices that caused the blasts. The local police chief stated that the explosions were an act of terrorism and blamed armed separatist groups in the region for conducting the attack. However, the origin of the UAVs allegedly used in the attack is unknown.
Sweden (Security threat level – 2): On 28 June 2021, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven resigned after losing a 21 June vote of confidence in Sweden’s parliament due to opposition against a plan to ease rent controls for newly constructed apartment buildings. Sweden’s speaker of parliament now has up to four attempts to find a new prime minister with enough support in parliament to form a government, or a snap election will be called. Löfven will continue to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new government is formed. Any new government would only serve until the next general election, which is due in September 2022. Löfven had until 28 June to decide whether he will resign and allow the speaker of parliament to start a round of cross-party negotiations to form a new government or call a snap election.
Lebanon (Security threat level – 4): On 26 June 2021, hundreds of people gathered in front of a branch of the Central Bank of Lebanon in the northern city of Tripoli to protest the depreciation of the Lebanese pound and deteriorating living conditions that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Protesters lit fires on the streets and broke through the bank’s gates before security personnel intervened, at which point clashes ensued. Approximately 10 soldiers and five protesters were injured during the clashes. Officials have announced a reduction in fuel subsidies, which many people fear will lead to an increase in the cost of basic consumer goods and food staples. The exchange rate for Lebanon’s currency hit a record low on 26 June when it reached 18,000 Lebanese pounds to the U.S. dollar.
Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 27 June 2021, two separate explosions occurred in Beni, located in the eastern North Kivu province. The first improvised explosive device (IED) detonated inside of a Catholic church. A suicide bomber detonated the second IED hours later at a busy intersection. At least two people were killed and several others were wounded in the blasts, which prompted the mayor of Beni to close schools, churches and markets. An army spokesperson later stated that the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) — which has links to the Islamic State — perpetrated the attacks.
Eswatini (Security threat level – 3): On 25 June 2021, hundreds of protesters clashed with police officers in the Msunduza township on the outskirts of the capital Mbabane. Demonstrators looted and set fire to local shops, while also throwing rocks and other projectiles at police officers. Security personnel used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to remove protesters from the site. Protests have been ongoing in rural areas outside of the capital for the past several weeks as demonstrators demand the implementation of a multi-party system and an elected prime minister. Eswatini is Africa’s last absolute monarchy; as such, King Mswati III nominates the prime minister and appoints senior government officials.
Analyst Comment: Political parties and organizations advocating for democracy are banned in Eswatini under the 2008 Suppression of Terrorism Act, which was amended in 2017. King Mswati III has banned pro-democracy protests throughout the kingdom, effective immediately. Groups organizing protests against the monarchy have vowed to continue demonstrations in rural townships and on the outskirts of Mbabane. As demonstrations continue in the country, the response by security forces will likely lead to an increase in violence.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 27 June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced new nationwide restrictions due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The restrictions will remain in effect from 28 June to 11 July. Under the restrictions, all public gatherings, the sale of alcohol and indoor dining in restaurants are banned. Meanwhile, all nonessential travel into and out of Gauteng province, where the capital Pretoria is located, is also banned. Additionally, a nightly curfew is in effect from 2100 to 0400 local time (1900-0200 UTC) and nonessential businesses are required to close by 2000 local time.
Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 27 June 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice for St. Kitts and Nevis, which reads in part as follows: “Beginning Sunday 27 June until and including Sunday 11 July 2021, the island of St Kitts will be in lockdown. Only essential workers and travel for medical emergencies is allowed during this time. All mass gatherings including parties and other social activities have been forbidden during this time. Beaches are closed, liquor licenses suspended, and all bars, rum shops, and nightclubs will not be allowed to operate. The sister island of Nevis will not be subjected to a 24-hour lockdown but will continue under the present curfew from 6 pm to 5 am daily.”
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 25 June 2021, the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros issued a Security Alert that reads in part as follows:
“Location: Reynosa, Tamaulipas
“Event: Cartel Violence
“In light of the violence that occurred in Reynosa on June 19, U.S. government personnel in Reynosa are temporarily restricted from field operations and official movements other than home-to-work.
“The State Department recommends U.S. citizens do not travel to the State of Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping. See Mexico Travel Advisory for details.
“Those choosing to travel to Reynosa, Río Bravo, and surrounding areas should remain vigilant and maintain a heightened state of awareness due to the heightened possibility of violence between rival cartel factions.”
Mozambique (Security threat level – 4): On 25 June 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Maputo issued a Health Alert regarding increased coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “On June 24, President Nyusi announced new mitigation measures to combat COVID-19, effective on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at midnight for 30 days. (Please note: This information is taken directly from President Nyusi’s speech and will be updated on the U.S. Embassy website once the official regulations are published).”
The full text of the alert is available here.