ASIA China (Security threat level – 3): On 23 November...
Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 16 May 2022, the Chilean government declared a state of emergency in the southern La Araucania region, as well as in nearby towns of the Arauco and Biobío provinces, in response to increasing violence related to land disputes between indigenous Mapuche communities and forestry companies. The state of emergency allows the redeployment of military troops to secure the area while the Chilean government seeks to mediate between the indigenous communities and various timber companies operating in the region. Violence in the region has largely consisted of Mapuche self-defense groups committing acts of arson and theft against companies they perceive as having encroached upon their ancestral lands. The Chilean military left the La Araucania region after former President Sebastian Pinera withdrew troops via presidential decree in October 2021.
India (Security threat level – 3): On 17 May 2022, heavy rains led to widespread flooding and landslides in the northeastern state of Assam. According to the state’s Disaster Management Authority, several rivers have overflowed their banks and submerged villages in 24 of the 34 administrative districts; the Cachar and Hojai districts are among the worst affected. At least 11 people have been killed so far, and nearly 200,000 people have been affected. Moreover, landslides have rendered several highways and railway lines impassable. In response, 55 relief camps and 12 aid distribution centers have been established in the Cachar district, where military and emergency personnel are amassing to initiate search and rescue operations. Additional rainfall is forecast in the state over the next 72 hours.
Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 4): On the evening of 16 May 2022, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced that continued shortages of fuel and essential medications are likely to worsen amid the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Wickremesinghe advised citizens to no longer queue in lines at gas stations, as operators will run out of gasoline nationwide on 17 May. Shipments of gasoline and diesel fuel have arrived from India but have not yet been distributed. Additionally, the prime minister warned that rolling blackouts may be extended up to 15 hours a day, from the current rate of 8 hours per day.
Tajikistan (Security threat level – 4): On 16 May 2022, police officers clashed with protesters who were participating in an anti-government march in Khorog — the capital of the eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region — calling for the resignation of the region’s chief official, the mayor of Khorog and other local leaders. Riot police reportedly deployed tear gas and fired rubber bullets at the protesters as they approached regional administrative buildings in the city. Local sources indicate that one person was killed and three others were injured in the violence. The march occurred two days after politicians from the banned Alliance of Tajikistan Party called on residents in the region to riot and undermine security. The Tajik government has since declared that those who take part in such actions or protests will be subject to criminal prosecution. Tensions have remained heightened in the region since November 2021, when thousands of people staged multiple demonstrations in Khorog’s main square after security forces shot and killed a local resident suspected of kidnapping.
Austria (Security threat level – 2): On 16 May 2022, Austrian authorities removed nearly all coronavirus-related requirements in the country. Inbound travelers are now permitted to enter Austria according to standard immigration requirements, regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status. However, an FFP2 mask is still required for individuals using public transportation.
Spain (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1800 local time (1600 UTC) on 16 May 2022, a freight train struck a passenger train in the city of Sant Boi de Llobregat, located approximately 15 km (10 mi) from Barcelona. The freight train was approaching the Sant Boi station when it derailed and collided with the passenger train. The driver of the passenger train was killed and 85 passengers were injured. Following the collision, approximately 14 firefighting brigades, 12 police units, two SEM helicopters and two psychologists were deployed to assist in evacuating passengers. Train services were temporarily disrupted on the Llobregat-Anoia line between the train stations of Cornellà and Colònia Güell. Additionally, authorities closed the C-32 highway near Sant Boi de Llobregat in both directions due to the collision.
Libya (Security threat level – 5): On 17 May 2022, militias allied with parliament-appointed Prime Minister Fathi Bashaga clashed with allied militias supporting Abdul-Hamid Dbeibah, the prime minister of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). The fighting occurred as Bashaga arrived in Tripoli and attempted to take control of the government, but Dbeibah refused to cede power. Following the fighting, Bashaga was forced to leave Tripoli and will likely run his government from the city of Sirte.
Analyst Comment: Elections that were scheduled to take place in December 2021 failed to occur due to political infighting. With two rival governments and neither able to fully secure control of the country, Libya is likely headed for a long period of political deadlock.
Guinea-Bissau (Security threat level – 4): On 16 May 2022, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo dissolved Guinea-Bissau’s parliament, the National People’s Assembly. Embalo stated that he dissolved parliament due to alleged corruption on the part of lawmakers and “insurmountable differences” between parliament and other branches of government. Legislative elections are scheduled for 18 December.
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 16 May 2022, Mali’s ruling military junta claimed that it foiled an alleged Western-backed coup attempt which took place from 11-12 May. In a televised address, a spokesman for the junta announced that a small group of soldiers identified as “anti-progressive” have been taken into custody for allegedly taking part in the coup attempt. Approximately 10 military officers were reportedly arrested. Following the announcement, security checkpoints were erected at entrances and exits of the capital Bamako as well as at border crossings in order to find other suspected conspirators who are believed to be at large. The junta’s announcement did not specify which Western country supported the alleged coup attempt.
China (Security threat level – 3): On 16 May 2022, the U.S. Mission in China issued a Health Alert regarding countrywide coronavirus-related restrictions, which reads in part as follows: “The PRC continues to enforce strict COVID-19 testing, quarantine, and travel restrictions throughout the country. These restrictions may cause interruptions in the supply of food, water, medicine, and other essentials. Travel between cities and provinces is extremely difficult and regulations change frequently. You may be required to remain within your residence for extended periods of time, without prior notice. Local health officials may enter your residence to disinfect it. The ability to depart the PRC may become limited.
“The U.S. Embassy in Beijing and the U.S. Consulates in Guangzhou and Shenyang continue to provide both emergency and routine services for U.S. citizens. The U.S. consulates in Shanghai and Wuhan are able to provide limited emergency U.S. citizen services only.”
The full text of the alert is available here.