Worldview Security Report – April 19, 2019
19-Apr-19

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): As of 19 April 2019, “yellow vest” demonstrations are expected to occur across France for the 23rd consecutive weekend on 20 April. Organizers have focused on gathering demonstrators in Paris after the previous week’s efforts were focused on Toulouse. Government authorities expect a revitalization of the movement due to the Easter holiday. French authorities have announced increased police officer presence in Paris and banned demonstrations on Paris’ Champs-Elysées, Place de l’Etoile and near the Élysée Palace, the National Assembly and the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Officials have also banned protests in other parts of France, including the downtown areas of Bourg-en-Bresse, Caen, Lyon, Rouen and Toulouse.

Despite the bans, protests are likely to occur in the aforementioned cities. In Paris, demonstrators intend to march from Place de la Porte Maillot in northwest Paris to the Cité de la Musique in the 19th arrondissement. Participants have also announced plans to protest on the Champs-Elysées and in the vicinity of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in defiance of the bans. Demonstrations are also currently scheduled for Bordeaux, Bourg-en-Bresse, Caen, Lille, Lyon, Montpellier and Toulouse, but most protesters are expected to converge on Paris.

Spain (Security threat level – 3): As of 18 April 2019, airport ground handling workers are planning to launch a nationwide strike at airports across Spain beginning on 21 April and running through 24 April. Approximately 60,000 members of the Workers’ Trade Union (USO) and the General Union of Workers (UGT) are expected to walk off the job if the strike occurs as planned. Significant delays and cancellations are expected at AENA-operated (or state-operated) airports, which include Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas (LEMD/MAD), Barcelona-El Prat Airport (LEBL/BCN) and Palma de Mallorca Airport (LEPA/PMI), among others. Negotiations are underway to improve wages and working conditions, but airport officials are warning passengers to contact their airlines for information on delays.

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): Late on 18 April 2019, rioting occurred in Belfast’s Creggan area after police officers conducted raids to search for weapons and ammunition that they believed would be used in attacks on police officers over the weekend. Rioters threw bricks, bottles, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at police officers, and hijacked and set fire to two vehicles. At least one gunman also indiscriminately fired shots at police officers, killing a local journalist covering the violence. Police officials have blamed the New IRA for the journalist’s death and stated that they will be investigating the shooting as a “terrorist incident.”

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 19 April 2019, organizers of the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town announced that a credible safety threat had forced them to cancel the inaugural relay and change the route for the ultra-marathon. The organizers announced the change less than 24 hours before the planned start time of the races after a discussion with local law enforcement and government officials. Authorities plan to close several roads on 19 and 20 April for the event. A full list of the locations and times of the road closures can be found here.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 18 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Algeria issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Throughout Algeria
  • “Event: Demonstrations continue to take place throughout the country. At previous demonstrations, there were reports of confrontations between police and protestors involving tear gas and water cannons and reports of property damage and injuries. U.S. government personnel are encouraged to limit non-essential movements during and immediately after large demonstrations and to not participate, watch, or remain near demonstrations or areas where they observe acts of criminality.”
  • Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 18 April 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Benin, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Legislative elections will take place on 28 April 2019. Protests may be scheduled ahead of the elections and on election day. You should remain vigilant during this period, avoid crowds and demonstrations, monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.”
  • Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 18 April 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Kenya, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Due to a current cluster of cases of cholera at the Nairobi Hospital in April 2019, you should consider the need for urgent treatment and use the Nairobi Hospital if travelling to other emergency departments would cause delay in reaching appropriate medical care.”
  • Serbia (Security threat level – 3):
    On 18 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Belgrade, Serbia
  • “Event: There will be a pro-government protest on Friday, April 19, 2019 from 3:00PM to 9:00PM in front of the Parliament building (Trg Nikole Pašica 13). The organizers have announced they expect 100,000 protesters. Expect traffic congestion throughout the city.
  • “There will be an opposition protest on Saturday, April 20, 2019 from 6:00PM to 10:00PM marching from Terazije Fountain through downtown to the RTS building. This protest is affiliated with the weekly Saturday protests downtown that have drawn thousands of protesters. Expect traffic congestion near the protests.”
  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.