AMERICAS Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On the evening...
Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 1700 local time (2100 UTC) on 11 March 2022, riot police clashed with members of a teachers’ union who had gathered on Arce Avenue near the Ministry of Education in the capital La Paz. Protesters threw stones and bottles at police officers, who deployed tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and erected barricades in the area. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The Confederation of Urban Education Workers of Bolivia has been staging protests in La Paz since 7 March to demand salary and benefit increases. The union’s leader has warned of mass demonstrations in the capital on 16 March if the ministry fails to fulfill the demands. In addition, the union has threatened to launch a 24-hour general strike the same day accompanied by road and land border closures.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): During the late morning hours of 12 March 2022, two gunmen riding a motorcycle shot and killed a U.K. expatriate who had stopped his vehicle at the intersection of Avenue Xcalacoco and Federal Highway 307 near the tourist city of Playa del Carmen, located in Quintana Roo state. The businessman had lived as a permanent resident in Mexico since 2013. Another individual in the vehicle suffered minor injuries in the attack. Authorities have detained two suspects in relation to the killing. While the motive for the attack is under investigation, local media reports allege that the victim had recently received extortion threats.
China (Security threat level – 3): On 13 March 2022, authorities in China imposed strict lockdowns and additional coronavirus-related restrictions in several cities and a province in an attempt to contain the country’s latest coronavirus outbreak. In the southern city of Shenzhen — adjacent to Hong Kong — local officials imposed a citywide lockdown, effective immediately and continuing until at least 20 March, and instituted additional restrictions amid an increase in local COVID-19 cases. All businesses — except those providing services related to food, fuel and other necessities — will be required to close until further notice. Residents will also be required to work from home, and only one person from each household will be allowed to leave their home to procure food and other essentials. Additionally, coronavirus testing facilities have been established throughout the city, and each resident is expected to undergo at least three rounds of COVID-19 testing. Transportation services to and from the city have been suspended.
Later the same day, officials placed the entirety of Jilin province — located in northeastern China, bordering North Korea and Russia — on lockdown beginning on 13 March amid a surge in local COVID-19 cases, which have more than doubled within the last week. During the lockdown period, all public transportation in the city of Changchun — the capital of Jilin province — will be suspended, all nonessential businesses will be closed, and residents will not be allowed to leave the city.
In the city of Tianjin — located approximately 115 km (70 mi) southeast of Beijing — authorities imposed a lockdown on the Hongqiao district, located north of the city center. Businesses that operate in enclosed public spaces, such as cinemas, entertainment venues, restaurants, cafes, salons and bars, are closed until further notice. Residents in the district are also required to take two COVID-19 nucleic acid tests and to avoid nonessential travel.
Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 0410 local time on 14 March 2022 (2110 UTC on 13 March), a magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck off the coastal city of Pariaman, located in West Sumatra province. The quake was centered approximately 170 km (105 mi) west of Pariaman and had an estimated depth of 28 km, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Light to moderate shaking was felt in Padang — located about 50 km south of Pariaman — and light shaking was felt in nearby Singapore. There were no immediate reports of significant damage or injuries, and no tsunami warning was issued.
Japan (Security threat level – 1): At approximately 1230 local time (0330 UTC) on 12 March 2022, a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza aircraft crashed into a perimeter fence at Lejima Airport (RORE/IEJ), located in the district of Kunigami on the island of Lejima. The aircraft — with registration number JA4577, operated by the non-profit organization Medical Evacuation Service with Helicopter — was conducting a training flight at the facility and crashed shortly after takeoff. The aircraft caught fire on impact, and the pilot and trainee onboard were killed. Following the crash, airport authorities closed the runway until 1600 local time. The Japan Transport Safety Board has launched an investigation into the accident.
Albania (Security threat level – 3): On 12 March 2022, thousands of demonstrators gathered in the capital Tirana to protest a significant increase in fuel prices in Albania. The demonstrators, carrying placards and chanting anti-government slogans, marched from the city’s main Skanderbeg Square to the prime minister’s office. Meanwhile, demonstrators in the city of Lezha — located approximately 60 km (40 mi) north of Tirana — erected barricades on the Lezha-Shkodra highway, preventing the flow of traffic for approximately one hour. Associated demonstrations have been ongoing in Albania since 7 March, following a 50% increase in fuel prices since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In response to the demonstrations, the Albanian government implemented price controls on petroleum products and committed supplemental funds to the “social resistance package.” However, demonstrators have vowed to continue protests until more extensive measures are taken to reduce fuel prices.
France (Security threat level – 3): On 13 March 2022, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers during a demonstration in the city of Bastia, located on Corsica island. An estimated 7,000 people had gathered in the city to show support for an imprisoned pro-independence militant, who remains in a coma after being assaulted by another inmate on 2 March. Protesters obstructed throughway traffic along Rue Carnot street and threw rocks, fireworks and other projectiles at police officers, who responded with tear gas and water cannons. Demonstrators also set fire to a tax office. Local officials stated that 67 people were injured in the clashes, including 44 police officers. Associated violent protests have been ongoing on Corsica island since 6 March.
Germany (Security threat level – 3): On 14 March 2022, hundreds of flights have been canceled at airports across Germany amid a 24-hour labor strike organized by the Verdi trade union to demand higher wages for approximately 25,000 airport security workers. More than 1,000 security workers are currently observing the strike, causing significant flight cancellations and delays at the following airports: Berlin Brandenburg Airport (EDDB/BER), Bremen Airport (EDDW/BRE), Cologne Bonn Airport (EDDK/CGN), Düsseldorf International Airport (EDDL/DUS), Hannover Airport (EDDV/HAJ) and Leipzig/Halle Airport (EDDP/LEJ). The union has also planned another walkout on 15 March. The strike follows failed negotiations between the union representatives and the Federal Association of Aviation Security Companies.
Russia (Security threat level – 4): On 14 March 2022, the mayor of Moscow issued a decree rescinding all coronavirus-related restrictions in the capital beginning on 15 March amid a decrease in reported coronavirus cases and increased economic pressure on local businesses due to international sanctions. Individuals will no longer be required to wear face masks while patronizing businesses or while utilizing public transportation. Additionally, employers will no longer be required to conduct health screenings of employees and customers, and residents will no longer need to observe social distancing guidelines.
Ukraine (Security threat level – 5): As of 14 March 2022, the majority of Russian troops encamped near the capital Kyiv are positioned about 25 km (15 mi) from the city center. Russian forces resumed missile attacks on the capital on 14 March following the arrival of reinforcements and a reorganization of troops already on the outskirts of the city. Heavy shelling and fighting were reported in Irpin, located approximately 20 km west of central Kyiv. Additionally, Russian forces launched missiles at a residential building in the capital, resulting in two casualties and severe damage to the building. Kyiv remains the primary target for the Russian military, but troops continue to launch offensives in the southern Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson regions as well as in northern Ukraine. Russian troops in the Crimean Peninsula are moving toward the city of Odesa, according to the U.K. Ministry of Defense. Meanwhile, Russian naval fleets erected a blockade on the Black Sea, which cuts off Ukraine from maritime trade and travel.
On 13 March Russian forces fired several ballistic missiles at the Yavoriv military range, located near the western city of Lviv, approximately 20 km (10 mi) from the Poland-Ukraine border. The governor of Lviv stated that at least 35 people were killed and 134 were injured due to the blasts. The shelling follows an announcement by Russian representatives the previous day, which stated that humanitarian aid shipments to Ukraine would be considered military targets. National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and U.S. instructors are frequently sent to the base to train Ukrainian troops, while Ukrainian officials use the base for humanitarian aid shipments from Poland. In related developments, Russian troops launched a third strike at Ivano-Frankivsk International Airport (UKLI/IFO), located in western Ukraine near the Hungary-Ukraine border. The airport was destroyed; however, no casualties were reported. Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials accuse Russian soldiers of kidnapping the mayors of the southeastern cities of Dniprorudne and Melitopol.
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that approximately 2.7 million people have so far fled Ukraine. Additionally, the U.N. reported that at least 1,663 civilians have been killed since 24 February. However, actual casualty figures are likely to be much higher than reported.
Iraq (Security threat level – 5): At approximately 0010 local time on 13 March 2022 (2110 UTC on 12 March), at least 12 ballistic missiles exploded in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan autonomous region. Reports indicate that the missiles landed in close proximity to the construction site of the new U.S. Consulate in the Ankawa suburb and a local television station located approximately 18 km (10 mi) northeast of the city center. Local authorities stated that the explosions injured one Iraqi national but caused minimal structural and material damage around the new U.S. Consulate. Flights at Erbil International Airport (ORER/EBL) were unaffected by the explosions. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has claimed responsibility for the attack and stated that the offensive targeted Israeli “strategic centers” in Erbil in retaliation for Israeli attacks on IRGC personnel in Syria on 8 March.
Morocco (Security threat level – 3): On 13 March 2022, supporters of a soccer team stormed the Moulay Abdellah Sports Complex in the capital Rabat during a Throne Cup match, an annual tournament between Moroccan teams. Hundreds of fans carrying knives and stones attempted to assault supporters of the opposing team after their team lost the game. The stadium sustained moderate damage in the event. In addition, a motorcycle was set ablaze and 33 other vehicles were damaged during the violence. At least 103 police officers and 57 participants were injured in the melee. Authorities arrested approximately 160 people.
Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 11 March 2022, a freight train derailed in Lubudi territory in southern Lualaba province near the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s southern border with Zambia. The train was traveling between the villages of Kitenta and Buyofwe when seven cars came off the rails and crashed into a ravine as the train was going up a slope. According to a local official, illegal stowaways will often cling to the outsides of the freight cars for free transportation. At least 75 people were killed in the crash and 28 others were severely injured.
Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 11 March 2022, Kenyan health authorities announced the end of all remaining coronavirus-related restrictions, effective immediately. Inbound travelers will no longer be required to present a negative COVID-19 test upon their arrival in the country. Additionally, all restrictions on large indoor gatherings are lifted and face masks are no longer mandatory in open public spaces. Although all restrictions have been lifted, the Ministry of Health continues to encourage basic prevention measures such as regular hand washing and adherence to social distancing whenever possible. The announcement follows a decrease in coronavirus case detections throughout the country.
South Africa (Security threat level – 4) : On 13 March 2022, the South Africa Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) indefinitely suspended the Air Operator Certificates (AOC) of Comair and its subsidiary Kulula amid several unspecified safety issues. Passenger flights with the two airlines have been suspended effective immediately. Comair and Kulula airlines operate domestic passenger flights throughout South Africa. Travelers should check directly with the airlines regarding flight cancellations.
Haiti (Security threat level – 5): On 13 March 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert regarding a police operation in the capital, which reads in part as follows: “Haitian police are conducting a police operation, with the potential for gunshots, for an unknown length of time, in the Tabarre area near Belmart and La Fouchette restaurant. As a result, all U.S. Embassy personnel are restricted from traveling to Belmart and La Fouchette until further notice.”
Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 4): On 14 March 2022, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo issued a Demonstration Alert regarding planned protests on Galle Face Green, which reads in part as follows: “Samagi Jana Balawagaya (SJB) has announced plans for a large demonstration on Galle Face Green tomorrow (March 15) at 2:00 PM. 10,000-15,000 participants are expected to attend, many arriving by bus from outside Colombo. The buses will be parked near Victoria Park and along Marine Drive.”