Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 13 September 2022, William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s president during an inauguration ceremony at Kasarani stadium in the capital Nairobi. Ruto secured victory in the tightly contested 9 August election with 50.49% of the vote against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who garnered 48.85% of the vote. The country’s Supreme Court confirmed Ruto’s victory on 5 September, dismissing multiple petitions to annul the election outcome.
Armenia / Azerbaijan (Security threat levels – 4 / 4): In the early hours of 13 September 2022, clashes broke out between Armenian and Azerbaijani military forces along the border between the two countries, including near the Armenian villages of Artanish, Goris, Ishkhanasar, Jermuk, Kapan, Sotk and Vardenis. Azerbaijani officials reported fighting near the Dashkesan, Kelbajar and Lachin border districts and alleged that the Armenian military attacked multiple bases along the border. Meanwhile, Armenia’s Defense Ministry claimed that Azerbaijani security personnel attacked Armenian military bases and civilian infrastructure at approximately 0005 local time (2005 UTC on 12 September) using drones, artillery and firearms. Armenian officials stated that at least 49 people were killed in the clashes, while Azerbaijani officials have not disclosed the extent of casualties. The latest fighting is the most significant escalation of hostilities between the two sides since the six-week-long war over the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh in 2020, which concluded with a Russia-mediated truce.
In response to the clashes, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan appealed to the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a military coalition led by Russia, to resolve the situation. The Russian Foreign Ministry is now declaring that a ceasefire has been reached between Armenia and Azerbaijan, effective as of 1000 local time (0600 UTC).
India (Security threat level – 3): On 13 September 2022, police officers fired water cannons and tear gas at supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outside the Raniganj railway station, located in the district of Paschim Bardhaman in West Bengal state. The party’s supporters were attempting to scale barricades at the station in order to travel to the state capital Kolkata and participate in the “Nabanna Chalo” rally taking place there. Police officers arrested multiple demonstrators. Clashes between BJP cadres and police officers were also reported in several areas of Kolkata. At least one police vehicle was set on fire in the central Lalbazar neighborhood. Local media reports indicate that an unknown number of demonstrators and police officers were injured in the violence. The BJP organized the rally to protest corruption among leaders of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress Party.
Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On the afternoon of 12 September 2022, a shootout between security personnel and alleged cartel members occurred in the central area of the city of Orizaba, Veracruz state. Reports indicate that members of the Secretariat of Public Security fired live ammunition at members of a criminal group residing in a safe house located between the streets of Oriente 4 and Sur 15. Officials implemented a “Code Red” operation and advised residents to shelter in place amid the deployment of state police officers and military personnel to the area. Multiple social media posts depicted residents seeking refuge to avoid being caught in the crossfire. At least one suspected cartel member was killed and two others were arrested, including a prominent regional leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).
China / Taiwan (Security threat levels – 4 / 2): As of 1800 local time (0900 UTC) on 13 September 2022, Typhoon Muifa was located approximately 370 km (230 mi) west of the Nakagami district in Okinawa prefecture, Japan, and was moving north-northwest at a speed of about 7 kph (5 mph), according to the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, Muifa had maximum sustained winds of 167 kph, with gusts of up to 204 kph. Muifa is expected to strengthen as it tracks toward the East China Sea and makes landfall near the city of Zhoushan, located in Zhejiang province, on 14 September. The storm is also expected to make landfall on the Japanese island of Ishigaki as it passes near Taiwan’s northeastern coast in its trajectory toward China. Muifa brought strong winds and heavy rainfall ranging from about 390-560 mm (15-22 in) to the northern Taiwanese districts of Fuxing, Niaozuishan, and Wulai. The typhoon generated waves of up to nearly 5 m (16 ft) high along the coast of Taiwan.
The Chinese Central Meteorological Administration has implemented an “orange warning” — the second most severe weather warning — for areas in the provinces of Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, as well as for the municipality of Shanghai, in anticipation of high wind gusts and heavy rain during 14-15 September. Chinese authorities have ordered the suspension of maritime operations on the East China Sea by 1200 local time on 14 September. Taiwanese authorities have advised residents in low-lying areas to take precautions due to the risk of flooding and landslides.
Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 13 September 2022, the U.S. mission in Pakistan issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Local media report upcoming Chehlum processions for Saturday, September 17 in Karachi, though processions may occur throughout Pakistan on major thoroughfares.
“In Karachi, a large procession is scheduled to depart from Shah-e-Khurasan near Nishter Park (8km northeast) to Imambargah Hussainiyah Iranian in Kharadar (3km northwest) via M. A. Jinnah Road, Empress Market Saddar, M.A. Jinnah Road, Market Street, Bombay Bazar Road, Adamjee Dawood Street, Rampart Row, and Embankment Road. The procession will depart Shah-e-Khurasan at 13:00, make a stop at Imambargah Ali Raza for afternoon prayers at 15:00, and conclude at Hussainiyah Iranian at around 22:00.
“While we are not aware of any threats to this year’s processions, we remind U.S. citizens that due to instances of sectarian violence directed at the Chehlum mourning processions in recent years, the Embassy has advised its employees to avoid these areas, and we recommend that private U.S. citizens observe the same precaution. These events may result in increased security presence, traffic delays, street closures, and disruption of cell phone networks. All U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the situation via local media and our website, stay clear of all known procession routes and areas, keep a low profile, exercise caution, avoid large gatherings, and to remain vigilant of their surroundings.”