Worldview Security Report – January 30, 2019
30-Jan-19

AMERICAS

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 30 January 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaidó and his supporters plan to take to the streets across Venezuela at midday for peaceful two-hour demonstrations. The demonstrations will take place one day after Venezuela’s Supreme Court agreed to a prosecutor’s request to ban Guaidó from leaving the country, and to freeze his assets, while the government conducts a criminal probe into his anti-government activities.

Meanwhile, President Nicolas Maduro stated in an interview that he would be willing to begin talks with the opposition “for the sake of Venezuela’s peace and its future,” and suggested Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, the Vatican or Russia as potential third-party mediators. However, he also ordered the creation of 50,000 “popular defense units” that would be tasked with assisting the Bolivarian National Armed Forces with the “integral defense of the fatherland”; it remains unclear whether these community groups would be armed, but the creation of such a force raises the potential for increased violence against anti-government protesters

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ASIA

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): On 30 January 2019, authorities at Bacolod-Silay Airport (RPVB/BCD) in Silay City, Negros Occidental province declared a heightened alert status and increased security measures following twin bombings that targeted a church in Jolo, Sulu province, which is approximately 575 km (355 mi) southwest of Silay City. There have been no reports of threats directed specifically toward Bacolod-Silay Airport. As part of the security measures, airport authorities have increased the number of security personnel stationed at the entrance and along the perimeter of the airport. Authorities also urged airlines to intensify their security measures, including luggage and passenger screening.

EUROPE

France / United Kingdom / Belgium / Netherlands (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 3 / 2): On 30 January 2019, winter storm Gabriel is affecting transportation in countries across Western Europe, but particularly in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In France, more than 41,000 homes remain without power after winds of up to 130 kph (80 mph) downed several power lines; the departments of Aisne, Oise and Somme have been particularly affected. Across France, 15 departments remain on alert for hazardous winter weather conditions, including: Aisne, Ardennes, Aube, Aveyron, Côte-d’Or, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meuse, Nièvre, Nord, Oise, Pas-de-Calais, Saône-et-Loire, Somme and Yonne. France’s transport minister has advised motorists to avoid unnecessary travel throughout the day on 30 January, as road conditions remain hazardous. In Paris, certain routes on the train lines C, D and E have been disrupted due to fallen trees, and at least 30 flights through Paris’ Orly Airport (LFPO/ORY) have been canceled.

In the Netherlands, Dutch national railway NS is running reduced services on 30 January due to widespread snowfall. In addition, Dutch airline KLM canceled at least 40 departures and arrivals through Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport (EHAM/AMS). In the United Kingdom, authorities at Manchester Airport (EGCC/MAN) and Liverpool John Lennon Airport (EGGP/LPL) briefly closed all runways due to heavy snowfall. Both airports resumed flights after approximately three hours. Meanwhile, authorities at several airports throughout Europe, including Manchester Airport, Liverpool Airport, Schiphol Airport, Orly Airport, Paris’ Roissy-Charles de Gaulle (LFPG/CDG) and Brussels International Airport (EBBR/BRU) have advised passengers to check road conditions and flight statuses before traveling to the airports and have warned that additional delays and disruptions due to weather conditions are possible. Winter weather conditions are expected to improve throughout the day on 30 January but worsen again on 31 January and 1 February.


GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Benin (Security threat level – 3): On 29 January 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel advisory for Benin, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Exercise normal precautions in Benin. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • “Reconsider Travel To:
  • The northern border region adjacent to Burkina Faso due to terrorism.
  • Parc W due to terrorism.
  • “Exercise Increased Caution In:
  • Urban areas due to crime.”

  • Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 29 January 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel advisory for Ethiopia, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Exercise increased caution when traveling in Ethiopia due to sporadic civil unrest and communications disruptions. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
  • “Do Not Travel To:
  • Somali Regional State due to potential for civil unrest, terrorism, and landmines.
  • “Reconsider Travel To:
  • The East Hararge region and the Guji zone of Oromia State due to armed conflict and civil unrest.
    Benishangul Gumuz and the western part of Oromia State due to armed conflict and civil unrest.
    The Danakil Depression region in Afar due to crime.
  • Border areas with Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Eritrea due to crime, armed conflict, and civil unrest.”

  • Namibia (Security threat level – 2): On 29 January 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Windhoek issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Windhoek
  • “Event: The U.S. Embassy has received reports of a planned demonstration by the Centre for People’s Resistance regarding U.S. policy towards Venezuela on Wednesday, January 30, starting at 12:45 p.m. The demonstration will begin at the Kudu near the High Court on Independence Avenue and travel to the U.S. Embassy near the Post Office at Ausspannplatz. The demonstration is expected to last until 2:30 p.m.”

  • United States (Security threat level – 2): On 30 January 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the United States, which reads in part as follows: “A severe winter storm is affecting several states within the US Midwest region, including Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin; hazardous weather conditions have led to power outages and travel disruption in some areas, including delays and cancellations to flights; road conditions may become hazardous; if you’re in an affected area or due to travel, you should monitor local media, follow the advice of the local authorities and check with your airline or transport provider before travelling.”


    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.