Worldview Security Report – March 22, 2019
22-Mar-19

AUSTRALASIA

Australia (Security threat level – 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 22 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Trevor was located approximately 200 km (125 mi) north of Mornington Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and was moving southwest at a speed of 11 kph (7 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 157 kph, with gusts of up to 194 kph. Trevor is expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm near Borroloola on the northeastern coast of Northern Territory on 23 March. Flooding will remain a serious concern as the storm moves inland and through southeastern Northern Territory, northeastern South Australia and southwestern Queensland.

Australia (Security threat level – 2): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 22 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Veronica was located approximately 340 km (210 mi) northwest of Port Hedland in Western Australia, and was moving southwest at a speed of 4 kph (2 mph). At that time, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 204 kph, with gusts up to 250 kph. Veronica is currently expected to make landfall on the coast of Western Australia between Port Hedland and Karratha on 24 March. Damaging winds, as well as up to 500 mm (20 in) of rain, are possible between 23 and 26 March.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): As of 22 March 2019, the French government is expected to implement stringent security measures for the 19th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests. Following significant violence during yellow vest protests on 16 March, authorities have banned demonstrations in Paris in areas that were most affected by that action, including on the Place de l’Etoile (where the Arc de Triomphe is located) and on the Champs-Elysées, where looting and clashes between police officers and protesters have occurred in multiple past actions. Officials has also banned protests in other parts of France, including on the Place Pey-Berland in Bordeaux, on the Place du Capitole in Toulouse and in certain neighborhoods in Marseille. The French government is planning to deploy Operation Sentinel anti-terror troops across the country on 23 March to guard key sites including government buildings. Stringent protest restrictions will also be implemented in Nice ahead of a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping on 24 March.

Despite these bans, protests will likely continue to occur at these locations. In Paris, protesters have called for demonstrations along the Champs-Elysées, as well as near the Elysées Palace and Place du Trocadero, located across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. Protesters are also planning to march from Place Denfert-Rochereau in the southern 14th arrondissement to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica located in the northern 18th arrondissement. Protests are also expected in other French cities, including Bordeaux, Charleville-Mezieres, Guéret, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Metz, Montpellier, Nice, Strasbourg and Toulouse.

Spain (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 22 March 2019, a large demonstration against the far-right Vox party is scheduled to occur in Barcelona on 23 March. Approximately 200 organizations, including the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium, will take part in the protest march, which will begin at the Jardinets de Gràcia and end at the Gran Via Avenue. Traffic disruptions are expected along the march route, and violence between protesters and Vox supporters is possible. The “Stop Vox” action was organized to protest against many of the party’s policies and statements, which critics claim are xenophobic and sexist.

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): According to reports on 22 March 2019, a large demonstration is scheduled to occur in London on 23 March to protest against the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (or Brexit). Organizers of the rally estimate that the demonstration will be larger than a similar march held in October 2018, in which between 450,000 and 700,000 participated. Organizers have booked at least 200 buses to transport people from across the country to London to participate in the march. The march is expected to begin at on the north side of Park Lane near Marble Arch at 1200 local time/UTC and end at Parliament Square, where speeches will begin at approximately 1400 local time. The demonstration is expected to also spread to nearby Trafalgar Square. Other anti-Brexit protests are also planned, including a rally that will be held at Stanhope Gate at 1100 local time. Traffic disruptions are expected at all demonstration sites. In addition, counterprotests are likely, and the possibility of violence between opposing groups cannot be discounted.

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 3): On 22 March 2019, rail services through London’s Waterloo station, the busiest station in the U.K., were disrupted after power supply issues resulted in engineering works running past scheduled completion time, forcing Network Rail to cancel all services between 0500 to 0700 local time/UTC. Network Rail has reported that severe delays and cancellations are likely until the afternoon and that disruptions remain possible for the rest of the day.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Comoros (Security threat level – 3): On 21 March 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for Comoros, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Exercise increased caution in The Union of the Comoros due to the upcoming presidential election
  • .

  • “Comoros will hold elections on March 24, 2019, and April 21, 2019, if a run-off election is warranted. Travel within Comoros may be disrupted during these times by roadblocks and political demonstrations. From March 21-March 26, U.S. government personnel will be permitted to travel to the islands of Anjouan and Moheli for pre-approved official purposes only.”
  • Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 5): On 21 March 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which reads in part as follows:

  • “Reconsider travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk.
  • “Do Not Travel To:
  • North Kivu and Ituri provinces due to Ebola.
  • Eastern DRC and the three Kasai provinces due to armed conflict.
  • “Violent crime, such as armed robbery, armed home invasion, and assault, while rare compared to petty crime, is not uncommon, and local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime. Be aware that assailants may pose as police or security agents.
  • “Many cities throughout the country experience demonstrations, some of which have turned violent. Police authorities have at times responded with heavy-handed tactics that have resulted in civilian casualties and arrests.
  • “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Kinshasa due to extremely limited infrastructure and poor security conditions.”
  • Germany (Security threat level – 3): On 22 March 2019, the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: City Center, Frankfurt, Germany
  • “The rally has two starting points and will join together half way through and continue as a one demonstration:
  • Route1: Opernplatz – Taunusanlage – Kaiserstrasse – Moselstrasse – Karlstrasse – Mainzer Landstrasse
  • Route 2: Bockenheimer Warte – Senckenberg-Anlage – Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage – Mainzer Landstrasse.
  • Both rallies merge at Platz der Republik and move on from Mainzer Landstrasse – Schmidtstrasse – Am Römerhof – Zum Rebstockbad – Max-Pruss-Strasse to Rebstockgelände.
  • “Event: The U.S. Consulate is aware of police and media reports of a planned demonstration in Frankfurt on March 23, 2019. The Demonstration is expected to begin at 10:00 hours and continue until 20:00 hours.
  • “Additional protests may occur at other times and places. Attacks on the police and other disturbances including acts of vandalism and violence are possible.
  • “The U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Germany will direct U.S. Mission employees to avoid all demonstrations or large gatherings.”
  • Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 22 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Mali issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Announced gathering points include, but are not limited to, the following places in Bamako, Mali:
  • Bourse du Travail
  • Monument de l’Independence.
  • “Event: At 16:00 on March 22 a peaceful demonstration is planned in response to the ongoing school crisis. The planned route is from Bourse du Travail to the Monument de l’Independence. The demonstration has been approved by local authorities and may attract large crowds. Traffic disruptions in the area are likely. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid the listed locations on March 22, 2019.”
  • Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): On 22 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Mozambique issued a Weather Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Sofala, Zambezia, Manica, and Tete Provinces
  • “Event: Cyclone Idai made landfall on Thursday March 15, 2019 in the city of Beira, in Sofala Province, and left a trail of destruction across the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Zambézia, and Tete. Road access to Beira has been cut off due to flood waters. Electricity, potable water, and telephone service in Beira and surrounding areas are is. Heavy rains are expected to continue.”
  • Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): On 21 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev issued a Demonstration Alert regarding an event planned for 23 March, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
  • “Event: On Saturday, March 23, a Ukrainian nationalist group plans to demonstrate at Maidan Nezalezhnosti Square (also known as Independence Square), located on Khreschatyk Street near the city center. This group has been linked to violence and public disorder, including clashes with police; earlier this week, members attacked police during a demonstration in another Ukrainian city. Large crowds are expected at Maidan Nezalezhnosti on Saturday; furthermore, this group has been known to move from the Maidan to other Kyiv locations, such as Bankova Street and the Presidential Administration Building.”

  • 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.