Worldview Security Report – March 28, 2019
28-Mar-19

AMERICAS

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 27 March 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on supporters to take to the streets in cities across Venezuela on 30 March to protest against the nationwide power outage that began on 25 March. Guaidó stated that he would provide further information regarding the protest action in the coming days.

In a separate development, Guaidó announced that the opposition plans to stage an “Operation Freedom” mobilization that will seek to place “maximum popular political pressure” on the Nicolas Maduro regime in the coming weeks. Details regarding the mobilization have not yet been released, although preliminary reports indicate that it will culminate in a large-scale march in the capital Caracas. A “rehearsal” for the event is expected to be held on 6 April.

ASIA

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): At approximately 1300 local time (0700 UTC) on 28 March 2019, a fire broke out at the FR Tower high-rise office building in Dhaka’s upscale Banani area. The fire reportedly started on the ninth floor of the 22-story building, but the cause of the fire remains unknown. Thus far, at least eight people have died — including several individuals who jumped from the building — while another 60 have been injured. While the fire was brought under control at 1645 local time, emergency personnel are still searching for people who may be trapped in the building and the number of casualties could rise.

EUROPE

Iceland (Security threat level – 1): On 28 March 2019, Iceland’s Wow Air abruptly ceased operations and canceled all flights after failing to reach an agreement with investors, stranding thousands of passengers. The airline has advised passengers to re-book flights on other airlines and noted that some airlines may offer flights at a reduced rate in light of the circumstances. Wow Air is the latest budget airline to go out of business; other recent failures include Britain’s Flybmi, Nordic airline Primera Air and Cypriot airline Cobalt.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 28 March 2019, an explosive-laden vehicle detonated outside a hotel and restaurant in Mogadishu’s Waberi district. The blast occurred outside the Bilsan restaurant and near the Hotel Weheliye on the busy Maka al-Mukarama road, damaging several buildings and vehicles. Preliminary reports indicate at least 11 people were killed and 16 others were injured in the bombing; the majority of the casualties were among people who were dining at the restaurant. While no group has claimed responsibility for the blast, the al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabab militant group has conducted similar attacks in Mogadishu in the past.
Uganda (Security threat level – 4): On 28 March 2019, dozens of students gathered at Kyambogo University to protest against what they deem to be an unfair fee policy. Police officers used tear gas and live ammunition to disperse the protesters, injuring several students. Several businesses in and around the university have closed as a precaution. Police officers have also closed all roads leading to and from the university. The students have vowed to continue protesting until the university changes its policy.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 28 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon issued a Security Alert regarding travel safety, which reads as follows:

  • “Do Not Travel to: “North, Far North, Northwest and Southwest Regions, and Parts of East and Adamawa Regions, due to due to armed conflict. Violent crime, such as armed robbery and carjacking, is common throughout Cameroon. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents.
  • “The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North, Far North, Northwest, Southwest, and Parts of Adamawa and East Regions of Cameroon due to current official travel restrictions.”
  • Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 28 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Rue Carradeux
  • “Events: Roadblock.”

  • 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.