Worldview Security report – February 11, 2019
11-Feb-19

AMERICAS

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 10 February 2019, thousands of people staged anti-government gatherings in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti for the fourth consecutive day. In Port-au-Prince, protesters burned tires and erected barricades on a road near President Jovenel Moise’s residence in the Petionville neighborhood. There were also reports of clashes elsewhere in the capital, as protesters used burning tires to block roads and threw rocks at police officers. Thus far, a total of four protesters have been killed since the latest series of opposition demonstrations began on 7 February.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 9 February 2019, “yellow vest” protests continued for a 13th consecutive weekend in locations across France. Approximately 51,400 people participated in demonstrations nationwide, including approximately 4,000 people in Paris, the capital; transportation disruptions occurred when protesters blocked roads, including the Champs-Élysées. While the protests in Paris were mostly peaceful, clashes between protesters and police officers occurred when demonstrators attempted to break through barriers near the National Assembly. In addition, protesters in Paris also set fire to cars, motorbikes and trash bins and smashed shop windows; police officers responded with tear gas and batons. At least 17 people were arrested in Paris and several injuries were reported. In Bordeaux, at least eight police officers were injured after clashes broke out between protesters and officers. Protests also occurred in other French cities, including Marseille, Montpellier and Toulouse; there were no reports of significant violence at these gatherings.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 11 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka issued a Security Alert for Bishwa Ijtema, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Tongi, Gazipur, Bangladesh, and surrounding areas
  • “Event: Bishwa Ijtema, the world’s second-largest Muslim gathering, will be held in Bangladesh February 15 – 18, 2019. Bishwa Ijtema will be held on the banks of the Turag River in Tongi. The main gathering point is approximately 3km north of Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Approximately four to five million attendees are expected to participate.
  • “This event will have a major impact on vehicular and pedestrian traffic patterns throughout Dhaka. The Dhaka Metropolitan Police, in an effort to ease traffic congestion, are expected to limit vehicular access on several of Dhaka’s major thoroughfares February 15 – 18 between 0500 – 1800hrs.
  • “We encourage you to review your scheduled travel during the above listed timeframes and consider factoring in additional transit time. Airport travelers should have their airline tickets in possession and be prepared to present their airline tickets at police checkpoints.
  • “Embassy Operations: Embassy operations are normal.”

  • Belgium (Security threat level – 3): On 8 February 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Belgium, which reads in part as follows:

  • “A number of trade unions have called for a national strike in all sectors starting at 10pm on Tuesday 12 February and ending at 10pm on Wednesday 13 February. The strike is likely to cause disruption to public services and transport. You should check with your transport operator before travel, and follow local news providers for further information.”

  • Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 8 February 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Cameroon, which reads as follows:

    “The FCO now advise against all but essential travel to Limbe in Fako division (South West region) and against all travel to North West region and the rest of South West region; the town of Garoua in North region now falls within the area where the FCO advise against all but essential travel.”


    Cameroon (Security threat level – 4) : On 8 February 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Cameroon to include the following:

  • “Since 4 February there has been an extended general strike imposed by armed separatists in the [Anglophone] region. There have been reports of loss of life. Urban transport in towns and cities has been suspended, vehicular traffic in and out of the region is restricted, and incidents of sporadic gunfire have occurred. If you’re planning travel to or within areas of the Anglophone regions where the FCO advise against all or all but essential travel, you should consider carefully the risks of travel at this time, monitor developments closely, keep a low profile and minimise your movements.”

  • Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 10 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Protest activity continues in Port-au-Prince and other areas of Haiti. Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy has instructed its employees to shelter in place until further notice. The Embassy will open two hours late on Monday, February 11. The children of U.S. employees will not be transported to school on February 11. Embassy employees’ movements remain restricted within Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti at this time. Embassy personnel are prohibited from traveling in their personal vehicles. All Embassy staff movements must be approved by the security office in advance.”

  • South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 8 February 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: U.S. Embassy Pretoria
  • “Event: The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) is planning to demonstrate outside the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria on Monday, February 11, 2019, from 12 pm until 2:30 pm. Up to 250 demonstrators are expected to gather at the corner of Pretorius and Orient Streets. Disruptions to motor vehicle traffic are possible in the vicinity of the Embassy.”

  • 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.