Worldview Security Report – March 11, 2019
11-Mar-19

AMERICAS

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): As of 11 March 2019, at least 18 out of Venezuela’s 23 states are without power for a consecutive day. School and business activities remain suspended for the day in light of the continuing power outage. There have been reports of sporadic incidents of looting, and late on 10 March, there were also reports of protesters setting up barricades and burning debris at intersections in parts of Caracas; clashes were reported as police officers deployed to remove the roadblocks. The opposition claims that at least 17 hospital patients have died as a result of the power cut, including 15 in the city of Maturin. The government’s health minister claims that most hospitals are operating on generators and there have been no major issues for seriously ill patients. Independent confirmation of the hospital patient deaths is not available.

ASIA

Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 11 March 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan issued a revised Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in which it advised that the country’s airspace will remain closed to transit flights until 1500 local time (1000 UTC) on 12 March. Authorities did not give an explanation for the extension of the country’s airspace closure.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3) : On 9 March 2019, approximately 28,600 people participated in the 17th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests across France. Approximately 3,000 people protested in Paris, where police officers used water cannons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators on the Champs-Elysées. At least 19 people were arrested in the capital. Clashes between police officers and protesters also occurred in several other cities, including Bordeaux, Lyon and Toulouse. This weekend marked the lowest yellow vest turnout since the protests began in mid-November 2018.

Russia / Azerbaijan (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): On 11 March 2019, a Ural Airlines passenger aircraft flying to Moscow, Russia, from Bahrain made an emergency landing in Baku, Azerbaijan, after cabin crew stated that they suspected a bomb might be on board. The Airbus A21 landed safely at Heydar Aliyev International Airport (UBBB/GYD) and authorities evacuated all 225 passengers and crew from the aircraft. There were no reports of injuries. Officials are investigating the incident.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 10 March 2019, Ethiopia Airlines flight 302 crashed shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport (HABB/ADD). The Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft was carrying 157 people to Nairobi, Kenya, when it crashed near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. All 149 passengers and eight crew members died in the crash. The cause of the crash is still unknown, but witnesses stated that the aircraft was “swerving erratically” and that its tail was on fire prior to crashing. Authorities delayed and canceled several flights out of HABB following the incident. China and Indonesia have grounded all Boeing 737-MAX aircraft in light of the crash. Several other airlines — including Ethiopia Airlines and Cayman Airways — have grounded their fleets.

Madagascar / Mozambique (Security threat levels – 3 / 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 11 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Idai was located approximately 620 km (385 mi) north-northeast of Europa Island in the Mozambique Channel and was moving west at a speed of approximately 4 kph (2 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 185 kph, with gusts up to 231 kph. Idai is likely to bring strong winds, large waves and heavy rains to northern and central Madagascar, as well as Mozambique’s central coast, through at least 14 March.

Malawi (Security threat level – 3): As of 11 March 2019, heavy flooding has affected a total of 93,730 households in central and southern Malawi. Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes. At least 30 people have been killed and more than 330 injured. The flooding has also led to power outages. President Peter Mutharika has declared a state of disaster in the region, and disaster management and assessment operations are ongoing.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

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

  • “General strikes (or ‘ghost towns’) are called in the North West and South West (Anglophone) regions for each Monday, with additional days often called in particular periods including February and October. Violence and travel disruption is regularly reported on these days.
  • “There was an extended general strike imposed by armed separatists in February 2019, with reports of violence and loss of life. Urban transport in towns and cities was affected and vehicular traffic in and out of the region was restricted. Incidents of sporadic gunfire also occurred, including shooting in Bamenda, Buea and the outskirts of Limbe. Movement in and out of the North West and South West regions has now resumed, but there remains a risk of violence.
  • “There have also been multiple clashes between the Cameroonian security forces and armed groups over the past year in many places in the North West and South West regions. In January and February 2019, clashes between the army and armed separatists were reported in the towns of Bafut, Tubah, Ndu, Widikum and in Lebialem division. Restrictions including night curfews and a ban on public meetings, which were imposed following violent and deadly clashes in 2017, remain in place. There is a high risk of violent criminality, especially at night. If you decide to travel to, or within, areas of the Anglophone regions where the FCO advise against all travel or all but essential travel, you should consider carefully the risks of travel, monitor developments closely, keep a low profile and minimise your movements.”

  • Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 11 March 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Nigeria, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly elections took place on 9 March 2019. Tensions are high across Nigeria as results are announced, in particular in Akwa Ibom, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos and Rivers states. The collation of votes has already been suspended in Rivers state and several results are likely to be declared inconclusive, requiring further polls. And just like the Presidential election 2 weeks earlier, some results will be disputed and legal challenges may begin. Consequently tensions will continue to run high throughout Nigeria for some time and public gatherings and demonstrations may take place at short notice and have the potential to turn violent. You should continue to avoid rallies, public gatherings and demonstrations and monitor local media.”

  • 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.