AMERICAS Argentina / Jamaica / Panama (Security threat levels –...
United States (Security threat level – 2): On 9 March 2021, the governor of Hawaii declared a state of emergency following heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding in the state. Widespread flooding prompted emergency officials to issue evacuation orders for thousands of residents in the Haleiwa area, located in the northern part of Oahu island. Two people were swept away by floods in the island’s Pearl City area; one has been rescued and emergency crews are searching for the other. Meanwhile, on Maui island, heavy rainfall caused Kaupakalua dam in the Haiku area to overflow, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders for individuals residing downstream from the dam. A bridge in Haiku was destroyed in the flooding and another bridge sustained significant damage. Nearly one dozen homes on Maui were inundated. Weather forecasts indicate that the inclement weather in the state will continue through 12 March.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 9 March 2021, the mayor of the capital Manila announced that Barangays 351 and 725, as well as the Malate Bayview Mansion and Hop Inn Hotel, will be under lockdown from 0001 local time on 11 March to 2359 local time on 14 March (1601 UTC on 10 March to1559 UTC on 14 March) due to an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases. Under the order, residents will not be allowed to leave their homes. Health officials will conduct contact tracing and COVID-19 testing during the lockdown.
Estonia (Security threat level – 2): Additional nationwide restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 will be in effect in Estonia as of 11 March 2021. The restrictions — set to remain in effect until at least 11 April — will require all educational institutions to implement distance learning, while all nonessential businesses, such as bars and restaurants, will be required to close unless they can provide delivery or drive-through services. Additionally, the “2+2 rule” will be implemented, under which up to two people are allowed to travel and visit public places together while maintaining a distance of at least 2 m (6 ft) from others; the rule does not apply to families or situations in which the physical distance cannot be observed.
Greece (Security threat level – 3): On the evening of 9 March 2021, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers in the southern Nea Smyrni suburb of the capital Athens during a march organized to protest an incident of police brutality. A group of demonstrators threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at a police station and assaulted an officer riding a motorcycle. Police officers deployed tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Five police officers were injured in the violence, and authorities arrested 16 people. More than 5,000 people, mostly youths, participated in the march to denounce police brutality after a video filmed on 7 March — which shows police officers assaulting a man in the Nea Smyrni area — circulated on social media platforms.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 10 March 2021, police officers used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse student protesters who had gathered at the Braamfontein campus of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg’s Central Business District. Clashes broke out when police officers fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the protesters, who were disrupting traffic in the city center area. In response, protesters threw various projectiles at the officers. At least one passerby was killed, and authorities arrested two protesters. The students were protesting the university’s refusal to allow students with unpaid tuition fees to register for classes.
Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 9 March 2021, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) issued updated travel advice regarding increased activity of the Taal volcano, which reads in part as follows: “On 9 March, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert status of Taal volcano from Level 1 (low level unrest) to Alert Level 2 (increasing unrest) due to probable magmatic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption. PHIVOLCS is not advising evacuation from the nearby area but has reminded the public that direct access to Taal Volcano Island is strictly prohibited and the area is closed to entry. You should follow updates on the PhiVolcs official website. ”
Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 9 March 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Dakar issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Continued possibility of demonstration activity throughout Senegal on Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10. U.S. government personnel are advised to stay at home during nighttime hours on March 9 and March 10, and to exercise caution and limit their movements during daylight hours.
“Recently, several of these protests have escalated into more violent clashes with law enforcement and resulted in the looting of local businesses. As a result, local businesses, including stores and gas stations, may remain closed for the next few days or only open for brief periods.
“U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid any locations where demonstrations are ongoing. Blocking streets and intersections as well as burning tires is a common part of these demonstrations and often leads to significant traffic delays. A large police presence may be indicative of anticipated protest activity.
“The Consular section of the U.S. Embassy will resume routine scheduled services on Wednesday, March 10.”
Analyst Comment: Anti-government protests intensified in the capital Dakar and elsewhere in Senegal on 3 March after police officers arrested Ousmane Sonko — a popular opposition politician who ran in the 2019 presidential election — for allegedly disrupting the public order as he was en route to a court hearing on allegations of rape. Unrest has since continued in the country, during which eight people have been killed. Sonko was released on bail on 8 March but could face up to 10 years imprisonment if convicted. Sonko’s supporters perceive his detention and subsequent attempt to convict him on criminal charges as the government’s effort to suppress the opposition as evinced in other past instances.