Worldview Security Report – January 16, 2019
16-Jan-19

AMERICAS

Peru (Security threat level – 3): On 15 January 2019, marchers took to the streets in major cities across Peru to protest against labor reforms recently approved by the government in December 2018, which labor unions contend undermine workers’ rights. According to reports, the demonstrators in Lima gathered at the Plaza Dos de Mayo at 1600 local time (2100 UTC) and marched toward Plaza San Martín. The march caused traffic disruptions and prompted the city’s bus service to reroute several bus lines. Groups of demonstrators also gathered in the cities of Arequipa, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura and Tacna, in addition to other cities and towns in Peru. There were no reports of violence at any of the marches.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): On 16 January 2019, heavy snowfall prompted authorities at Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport (VISR/SXR) in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir state, to cancel all flight operations beginning in the afternoon. Additional heavy snowfall is forecast to impact the area between 19 and 23 January, and authorities warned it could continue to disrupt flight operations.

EUROPE

Greece (Security threat level – 3): On 16 January 2019, public sector union ADEDY announced plans to stage a 24-hour walkout on 17 January to show support for teachers, who have been protesting against proposed changes to public sector hiring procedures since 11 January. In addition to the strike, the union called on supporters to take part in a rally outside Parliament in Athens that same day at 1100 local time (0900 UTC). It is unclear to what extent the strike will disrupt public services.
United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 15 January 2019, the U.K. Parliament rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, with 432 members voting against the deal and 202 voting for the deal. Following the defeat, leaders of the opposition Labour Party called for a vote of confidence in the government; the House of Commons is expected to hold the confidence vote at approximately 1900 local time/UTC on 16 January. If the government loses the vote, any parties that could command a majority would have 14 days to win a confidence vote. If no party or coalition can achieve this, general elections will be held.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Tunisia (Security threat level – 3): On 15 January 2019, the Tunisian Labor Union (UGTT) reiterated its plans to launch a general strike on 17 January, amid rumors that the union would cancel the strike. Reports indicate that the UGTT president and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed failed to reach an agreement on salary increases for public sector workers. The strike will involve public sector employees and other civil service workers across Tunisia. Reports indicate the strike will include workers at all airports in the country, along with seaports and government offices. The full extent of the disruptions to services remains unknown.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Kenya (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1045 local time (0745 UTC) on 16 January 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta stated in a televised address that security forces had “eliminated” all attackers involved in the siege that targeted the Dusit D2 Hotel complex, located in the upscale Westlands area of Nairobi. The number of attackers involved is unclear, with some reports indicating that there were four. The president also stated that 14 people were killed in the attack, although the Kenyan Red Cross stated that 24 people were killed. He also reported that 700 people were safely evacuated from the complex and that security forces would pursue “every person that was involved in the funding, planning and execution of this heinous act.”

Initial reports of the attack emerged at 1500 local time on 15 January, when gunshots and at least two explosions were reported at the Dusit D2 Hotel complex, which hosts a hotel, as well as several banks and offices. Police officers cordoned off the area amid reports of continued gunfire. At approximately 2300 local time, Kenya’s interior minister announced that the situation at the Dusit D2 Hotel complex had been contained, although sporadic gunfire and reports of victims trapped inside the complex continued into the morning of 16 January. The al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.

Senegal (Security threat level – 3): Protests broke out in Dakar on 15 January 2019 over the Constitutional Council’s decision to reject numerous political leaders as candidates in the upcoming presidential elections. Demonstrators burned tires on the Voie de dégagement Nord (VDN), a major thoroughfare in Dakar, which led to heavy traffic congestion. In another notable incident, protesters ransacked the seat of the Convergence Macky Horizon 2019, according to local media reports. Meanwhile in the Sacré-Cœur area of the city, security personnel dispersed protesters who were burning tires in the area for the second day in a row. Reports indicate that the demonstrators in the Sacré-Cœur area are supporters of former Dakar Mayor Khalifa Sall, who is serving a five-year prison sentence on charges of forgery and using public funds for private purposes. The Constitution Council is expected to release the final list of approved candidates on 20 January; Sall has filed an appeal to contest the council’s decision to reject his candidature.

Zimbabwe (Security threat level – 4): As of 16 January 2019, the streets of Harare and other cities in Zimbabwe are mostly empty as trade unions observe the third and final day of a nationwide strike against a recent fuel price hike, and as security forces have cracked down on protests. Most shops, businesses, government offices, banks and schools are closed, with little traffic on the roads. There are also reports that the government internet shutdown is still in effect. In Harare, police officers reportedly fired tear gas at a crowd gathering at a bakery. Meanwhile, authorities arrested an activist pastor at his house in a Harare suburb on 15 January on charges that he incited violence in the central business district via social media. Preliminary reports indicate that at least eight people have been killed and 30 others injured since the protests began on 14 January. Human rights groups contend that the majority of victims suffered gunshot wounds when security forces opened fire on crowds.


GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Argentina (Security threat level – 3): On 15 January 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Argentina, which reads in part as follows:

  • “An outbreak of Hantavirus has been reported in Epuyén, Province of Chubut in southern Argentina. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).”

  • Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 16 January 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Kenya regarding the security incident in Nairobi, which reads in part as follows:

  • “The Kenyan government has stated that the security operation in the Riverside area of Nairobi has concluded. You should continue to avoid the immediate area, remain vigilant and follow the advice and instructions of local authorities. The British High Commission Nairobi will be closed for routine business on Wednesday 16 January while we respond to the incident and support British Nationals affected. If you’ve been directly affected by this incident, and need our help, you can contact the British High Commission on +254 (0)20 284 4000. If you’re in the UK and worried about a British national in Kenya, call the FCO in London on 020 7008 1500. This page will be updated as the situation develops.”

  • Serbia (Security threat level – 3): On 16 January 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: City Center, Belgrade
  • “Event: A demonstration is expected to take place today, Wednesday, January 16th from 6:00PM to 8:00PM. The purpose of the demonstration is to mark the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Kosovo Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic. Organizers expect approximately 2000 participants.”

  • 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.