Worldview Security Report – March 26, 2019
26-Mar-19

AMERICAS

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): As of 26 March 2019, at least 14 out of Venezuela’s 23 states are without power for a second consecutive day. The government has suspended school and business activities nationwide for the day in light of the power outage. Parts of the capital Caracas have also been affected and the city’s metro system has halted services. Venezuelan authorities claim that the blackout is a result of two “attacks” on the Guri hydroelectric plant that occurred on 25 March. It remains unknown when services will resume.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 25 March 2019, the French National Railway Company (SNCF) halted rail traffic between Paris and southwestern France after protesters blocked tracks in the cities of Le Mans and Vendôme. At least 24 trains were canceled, affecting up to 12,000 passengers. In Le Mans — located approximately 200 km (130 mi) from Paris — fairground workers blocked train tracks and roads, and clashed with riot police officers over a decision to move the city’s fairgrounds away from the city center. In Vendôme — located approximately 100 km from Paris — protesters staged a sit-in on railway tracks against a decision to close the city’s paper factory. While train services resumed after police officers cleared the protesters, knock-on delays continued throughout the day.
Netherlands (Security threat level – 2): On 26 March 2019, railway traffic between Utrecht and Amsterdam was disrupted after a train struck a person on its tracks. Train services between Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena and Utrecht Central Station, Schiphol International Airport (EHAM/AMS) and Utrecht Central Station, and Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena and Breukelen Station, have been suspended. Officials have advised travelers to find alternative means of travel, as delays and overcrowding are expected throughout the day.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Israel / Palestinian Territories (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): As of 26 March 2019, schools in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip have been closed and Israeli and Palestinian authorities are preparing bomb shelters for use, following a night of heavy engagement between Israeli forces and Gaza militants. Israeli military forces have gathered on the Gaza border, imposed restrictions on civilian public gatherings, blocked roads in the southern part of the country and canceled all trains south of the city of Ashkelon in preparation for an escalation with Gaza militants. The security measures come after a long-range rocket fired from Gaza hit a home in central Israel on 25 March, injuring seven people. The incident prompted Israeli forces to launch retaliatory air strikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad group targets in the Gaza Strip on 25 March and into early 26 March; Palestinian officials claim that those strikes have injured at least seven people. Meanwhile, air strikes from Gaza targeting communities in southern Israel also continued to occur through early 26 March, with rockets landing in open areas. While Hamas claims that it reached a ceasefire with Israel late on 25 March, Israeli officials have denied this and stated that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the Israeli army to continue striking Hamas targets until further notice.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mauritius (Security threat level – 1): As of 0900 UTC on 26 March 2019, Tropical Cyclone Joaninha was located in the Indian Ocean, approximately 70 km (45 mi) east-northeast of Port Mathurin, Mauritius, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. At that time, the storm was moving east-southeast at a speed of 11 kph (7 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 204 kph, with gusts of up to 250 kph. Mauritius Meteorological Services has issued a Class IV Cyclone Warning for Rodrigues Island and has stated that Joaninha will likely be at its “highest point” as it passes over the island. Authorities have advised residents to avoid beaches and low-lying coastal areas, where flooding is likely. Operations at the island’s Sir Gaetan Duval Airport (FIMR/RRG) will remain suspended through at least 26 March.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 26 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert that reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Carradeux
  • “Events: Roadblocks.”
  • Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 26 March 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Nigeria, which reads in part as follows:

  • “National and state elections took place across Nigeria in February and March 2019. A few results are still outstanding and others are subject to legal challenge. Consequently tensions will continue to run high across 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.