AMERICAS Ecuador (Security threat level – 3): On 21 January...
Peru (Security threat level – 3) : On 12 November 2020, protesters demonstrated in several areas of Peru, including in the capital Lima, for a third consecutive day. Police officers deployed tear gas against several hundred protesters near the intersection of Avenue Nicolás de Piérola and Avenue Abancay, located in central Lima. A journalist was injured after being hit by a tear gas canister. Demonstrations also occurred at the Plaza San Martín and elsewhere in Lima in the districts of Barranco, Chosica, Comas, Lince, Miraflores, San Miguel and Surco. While protesters also demonstrated in the cities of Arequipa, Trujillo, Chiclayo, Cusco, Madre de Dios, Huancayo, Iquitos, Puno and Tumbes, these demonstrations remained peaceful. The protesters are rallying against the impeachment and removal of former President Martín Vizcarra by Congress and the subsequent inauguration of Manuel Merino as president.
United States (Security threat level – 2): On 12 November 2020, officials in Chicago, Illinois, announced that a 30-day citywide stay-at-home advisory will begin on 16 November. Residents of the city are advised to stay indoors and to avoid travel, except for essential reasons, such as commuting to and from work, traveling for medical reasons, or grocery shopping. Social gatherings or meetings of more than 10 people will be prohibited. Additionally, officials have urged families to forgo traditional celebrations during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. The full text of the advisory is available here.
In Texas, a judge with the Texas 8th Court of Appeals on 12 November ordered a temporary hold on El Paso County’s lockdown order that was extended until 1 December. The ruling temporarily halts restrictions enacted as part of the lockdown order which closed nonessential businesses and instituted a 2200-0500 local time (0400-1100 UTC) nightly curfew. The court is set to issue a final verdict later on 13 November.
In Missouri, the mayor of St. Louis city issued a ban on private gatherings of more than 10 people, effective as of 14 November. Meanwhile, officials in St. Louis County — which comprises the westernmost portion of the St. Louis metropolitan area but excludes the city of St. Louis — plan to introduce additional coronavirus-related restrictions later on 13 November. According to reports, the restrictions will remain in effect for four weeks beginning on 17 November, during which residents will be required to stay at home unless going to work or school, seeking medical care, exercising, or shopping for essential goods and supplies. Private gatherings of more than 10 individuals will be banned. Indoor dining at restaurants will be suspended, but restaurant patios and curbside service will remain available. Businesses, including grocery stores, will be limited to 25% of occupancy.
Vietnam / Philippines (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 0900 UTC on 13 November 2020, Typhoon Vamco was located approximately 655 km (410 mi) east of Da Nang, Vietnam, and was moving west at 20 kph (13 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 138 kph, with gusts of up to 166 kph. On its current forecast path, Vamco is expected to begin affecting coastal areas of Vietnam near Da Nang on 14 November while weakening slightly before making landfall north of Hue on 15 November.
As of the morning of 13 November, Vamco — known locally in the Philippines as Ulysses — has caused extensive flooding and damage in the metro Manila area, leaving several million people without electricity. Authorities evacuated more than 350,000 people and have rescued more than 138,000 others. At least 39 individuals were killed, 40 were injured and 22 more are missing after the storm’s passing.
Morocco / Western Sahara (Security threat levels – 3 / 1): On 13 November 2020, the Moroccan military launched an operation near the village of Guerguerat, which is located in the far south of Western Sahara near the Mauritanian border. An official at the Moroccan Foreign Ministry stated that the operation’s aim was to end a blockade by supporters of Western Sahara’s Polisario Front, which has been restricting travel between Moroccan-controlled areas of Western Sahara and Mauritania since 21 October. Shortly after the military operation, Polisario Front leaders promised to respond with force, stating that Morocco’s actions canceled a previously existing ceasefire.
Analyst Comment: Western Sahara is a disputed region to the southwest of Morocco along the Atlantic coast and bordering Mauritania. The Moroccan government claims the area and occupies approximately 80% of it. The remaining 20% of Western Sahara is controlled by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic — which claims the rights to all of Western Sahara — and whose governing structures are deeply entangled with the Polisario Front. The Polisario Front engaged in an armed conflict with Morocco in the 1980s and signed a ceasefire with Morocco in 1989, and has stated that any movement of Moroccan troops into the buffer zone, such as the current operation, would constitute an end to that ceasefire. The most recent development threatens to begin conflict between the Polisario Front and Morocco anew. Those with interests in Morocco should monitor the situation closely.
Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 12 November 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert on the Ministry of Health’s adjustment to the city-level quarantine measures, which reads in part as follows: “As of November 12, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 526,438 cases of COVID-19 in Chile. The government of Chile has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on November 12:
The entire alert from the U.S. Embassy is available here.
Cyprus (Security threat level – 2): On 13 November 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations are expected on Monday, November 16 at the Ledra Street checkpoint, Ledra Palace, and Agios Kassianos parish. Events are scheduled to begin at 10:30 am and end at 1:00 pm. Cyprus National Police officers will be present.
“A demonstration is expected on Tuesday, November 17. Demonstrators are expected to gather at the PASYDY building and march toward the U.S. Embassy. Demonstrators are expected to arrive at the Embassy at approximately 11:00 am. The demonstration is expected to be peaceful, and last no longer than an hour. Cyprus National Police officers will be present.”
Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 13 November 2020, the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) updated its travel advice to advise against all travel to the Tigray region, which reads in part as follows: “The FCDO advise against all travel to the whole of Tigray regional state and within 30km of its borders with Amhara and Afar regional states. The Ethiopian Federal Government have declared a State of Emergency in Tigray Regional State, following military clashes in Tigray and northern Amhara. In addition to enabling the Federal Government to take military action, the State of Emergency allows for a curfew, restrictions on movement and transport, the banning of weapons and the imposition of stop and search powers. You should exercise extreme caution in Tigray, stay indoors and comply with the instructions of the authorities. Domestic and international land borders may be closed. Flights to Mekele, Shire and Axum have been suspended. You should contact your airline for more information. Mobile networks and internet connections are not operating in Tigray. You should monitor local media for further information.
“There may be restrictions on travel between towns and cities in Tigray Regional State. Follow the advice of the local authorities.”
Tanzania (Security threat level – 3): On 13 November 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam issued a Security Alert regarding violence in southern Tanzania that reads in part as follows: “Location: Mtwara Region in southern Tanzania
“Event: There have been reports of violence in Mtwara Region in southern Tanzania. Increased activity by extremists along the southern border has led to attacks against both government and civilian targets.”