Worldview Security Report – March 1, 2019
1-Mar-19

ASIA

Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 1 March 2019, the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) announcing the partial reopening of Pakistani airspace. Pakistani airspace will remain closed until 1300 local time (0800 UTC) on 4 March, with the exception of flights to and from Karachi Jinna International Airport (OPKC/KHI), Peshawar’s Bacha Khan International Airport (OPPS/PEW), Quetta International Airport (OPQT/UET) and Islamabad International Airport (OPIS/IBD). The aforementioned airports have now resumed operations. Travelers who are planning to visit Pakistan, or whose flights cross over Pakistan, should check with their airlines to determine flight status.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 2 March 2019, the 16th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests is expected to occur in cities across France. In Paris, several demonstrations are planned, including along the Champs-Élysées where protest organizers have called for demonstrators to block the Place de l’Étoile, also known as the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. Protests are also expected on the Champ-de-Mars and in front of the BFM TV headquarters in the 15th arrondissement. Large demonstrations are also expected in Lille, located in northern France near the border with Belgium, where organizers have called for protesters across France and from neighboring countries to gather on the Place de la République at 1300 local time (1200 UTC). Protests are also expected in other French cities, including Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulouse. Significant violence and disruptions have occurred at yellow vest protests in the past, and these security factors remain a concern on 2 March.
Germany (Security threat level – 3): At approximately 0700 local time (0600 UTC) on 1 March 2019, authorities evacuated Düsseldorf International Airport (EDDL/DUS) after discovering that three passengers had entered a secure area without passing through required security checks. Operations were halted for approximately two hours as authorities evacuated all three terminals and required all passengers to complete security procedures once again. Reports indicate that officials arrested two of the suspects but are still searching for the third. Several flights were canceled due to the disruptions, including services to Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna. In addition, significant delays and long lines at security checkpoints were reported following the incident. An airport spokesperson stated that travelers should expect delays throughout the day on 1 March.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 1 March 2019, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in cities across Algeria to protest President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s plan to seek a fifth term in office. Tens of thousands marched in the capital Algiers, where police officers fired tear gas at protesters as they attempted to enter Central Postal Square in the downtown area. Reports indicate that authorities have shut down rail service in the capital in an effort to prevent protesters from gathering. Elsewhere in the country, thousands demonstrated in Bouira, Constantine, Oran, Tizi Ouzou and Setif. There have been no reports of notable violence or casualties thus far.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 28 February 2019, a suicide car bomb detonated outside the Maka al Mukarama Hotel and the Hilac UK Restaurant, located on Maka al Mukarama road in Mogadishu. Approximately one hour later, a second suicide car bomb exploded near the K4 junction. Following the first blast, unidentified gunmen seized an adjacent building, where they continue to exchange gunfire with security forces as of 1 March. According to government-run media, security forces have shot dead three militants thus far. Security personnel have rescued an unspecified number of civilians from the building where the gunfight is ongoing, as well as from several other buildings in the area. According to officials, 29 people were killed and 80 others were injured in the bombings and subsequent gunbattle; however, authorities stated that the casualty count may rise, as rescue operations are ongoing. The bombings also damaged several nearby buildings, including the Ga’al Pharmacy, Wardhere Hotel, Maka al Mukarama Hotel and other shops and restaurants. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 1 March 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued an update to its travel advice for Algeria, which reads in part as follows:

  • “We now advise you to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ in Algiers. Reconsider your need to travel to Algeria overall. Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.”

  • Senegal (Security threat level – 3): On 28 February 2019, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) issued updated travel advice for Senegal, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Presidential elections were held on February 24, 2019. Preliminary results were announced on February 28, 2019. The Constitutional Council will issue final results.
  • “Demonstrations could occur in reaction to the announcement of the results. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.”

  • South Pacific Islands / Solomon Islands (Security threat levels – 1 / 2): On 28 February 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the Solomon Islands, which reads in part as follows:

  • “On 5 February 2019, a bulk carrier vessel ran aground in Kangava Bay on Rennell Island. The surrounding area has been affected by the resulting fuel leakage, which has not yet been controlled. You should take local advice on precautions if visiting affected coastal areas.”

  • 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.