AMERICAS Argentina / Jamaica / Panama (Security threat levels –...
South Korea (Security threat level – 2): On 5 April 2019, authorities declared a national emergency as forest fires continued to burn along South Korea’s northeastern coast. The initial fire broke out on 4 April near the town of Goseong in Gangwon province, reportedly as a result of a transformer spark. The fire subsequently spread to the cities of Gangneung and Sokcho, destroying at least 135 residences and forcing more than 4,000 people to evacuate. One person was killed and 11 others were injured. As of this writing, the fire in Sokcho has been fully contained, while 50 percent of the fire in Gangneung has been contained. More than 3,250 firefighters, as well as 16,500 soldiers, have been deployed to combat the fire and provide assistance.
France (Security threat level – 3): As of 5 April 2019, “yellow vest” protesters are expected to gather in cities across France on 6 April for the 21st consecutive weekend of demonstrations. Authorities will continue to ban demonstrations on Paris’ Champs-Elysées, Place de l’Etoile and near the Élysée Palace and the National Assembly. Officials have also banned protests in other parts of France, including in the city centers of Auxerre, Caen, Charleville, Mézières, Rouen and Toulouse. The Constitutional Court has also approved legislation that bans protesters from covering their faces and allows police officers to search demonstrators; however, it also struck down a law granting officials the authority to pre-emptively ban protesters from demonstrations.
Despite the bans, protests are likely to occur in the aforementioned cities. In Paris, protesters are planning to march from the Place de la République to the La Défense business district, located northwest of the Paris city center. Demonstrations are also scheduled to take place in Bordeaux, Bort-les-Orgues, Boulou, Desvres, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Rouen, Saint-Nazaire, Strasbourg and Toulouse. The potential for violence at all of these gatherings remains a concern.
MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 5 April 2019, several thousand people gathered outside the Central Post office in downtown Algiers to call for the overthrow of Algeria’s entire governing regime. There were also reports of demonstrations in Tizi Ouzou, located approximately 100 km (62 mi) west of Algiers. While security measures were tight at both demonstrations, there were no reports of violence.
Analyst Comment: These protests are the first to take place since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on 2 April. The size of these new protests indicates that Bouteflika’s resignation has not satisfied demonstrators, who will likely continue protesting in the absence of further concessions or a major security crackdown.
Libya (Security threat level – 5): On 5 April 2019, supporters of the Libyan National Army (LNA) temporarily took control of a key checkpoint located approximately 30 km (18 mi) from Tripoli before a militia from a nearby town retook the checkpoint following a brief exchange of fire. The militia captured at least 20 LNA supporters. There were no reports of casualties.
The fighting comes after LNA commander Khalifa Hafter ordered his forces to begin an offensive on Tripoli on 4 April. The LNA is the military force of the unrecognized eastern Libyan government, known as the House of Representatives (HoR). The LNA is the largest military faction in the country and it has aircraft and special operations capabilities. Tripoli is currently under the nominal control of the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA). Hafter referred to the GNA as “corrupt oppressors,” but ordered his troops to only fire in self-defense and to protect foreign nationals in the capital. Reports from Tripoli indicate the GNA is preparing to defend the city using a coalition of military, security forces and local militias, and that these forces are concentrating their defenses in southern areas of the city near the closed Tripoli International Airport (HLLT/TIP).
As of this writing, local media are reporting long lines at local gas stations in Tripoli, as people stock up on fuel. As of last report, Mitiga International Airport (HLLM) was still operating.
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 4 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Mali issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
Serbia (Security threat level – 3):
On 4 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 4 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:
Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 4 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Caracas issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
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.