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Worldview Security Report – March 7, 2019
8-Mar-19

AMERICAS

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): As of 8 March 2019, a power outage is continuing to affect the capital Caracas and 22 out of Venezuela’s 23 states following a malfunction at the Guri hydroelectric dam, which serves as one of the country’s main power sources. The blackout began on 7 March at approximately 1650 local time (2050 UTC). While authorities had originally announced that the issue would be resolved in three hours, the outage is continuing as of this writing. In Caracas, while the blackout briefly forced authorities at Simon Bolivar International Airport (SVMI/CCS) to divert some arriving flights and suspend departing flights, normal flights have resumed; metro and rail services in Caracas, however, remain disrupted. In light of the outage, President Nicolás Maduro has ordered the suspension of school and work activities, as authorities seek to fully restore power. While Maduro blamed the outage on “sabotage” by local opponents and their allies, opposition leaders pointed to the government’s failure to maintain the country’s power grid as the cause of this and other recent outages.

ASIA

Pakistan (Security threat level – 5): On 8 March 2019, the Civil Aviation Authority of Pakistan extended its airspace closure until 1500 local time (1000 UTC) on 9 March. The restrictions apply for all overflight routes, except for certain east-west routes that do not transit India. Domestic and international operations to Pakistani airports are operating with some restrictions.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): The 17th consecutive weekend of “yellow vest” protests will take place in cities across France beginning on 8 March and running through 11 March 2019. Organizers have called for demonstrations and roadblocks beginning at 1830 local time (1730 UTC) on 8 March and continuing until 0630 local time on 11 March, with the majority of protests expected on 9 March. In Paris, a rally is expected to take place on the Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower for the duration of the protest period; demonstrations are also expected on the Place de la République, Place de l’Etoile, along the Champs-Elysées, near the Louvre and at the Luxembourg Gardens on 9 March. In addition, protest organizers have called for a protest at Terminal 1 of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (LFPG/CDG) at approximately 1300 local time on 9 March.

Meanwhile, between 2,000 and 3,000 protesters are expected to demonstrate in Le Puy-en-Velay, a town in southern France located approximately 100 km (62 mi) southwest of Lyon, on 9 March. Ahead of the protests, authorities have erected barricades, advised shops and merchants to bring outdoor furniture and valuables inside, and prohibited the sale of alcohol on 9 March. Large demonstrations are also expected in Bordeaux, particularly on the Place de la Bourse, on both 9 and 10 March. Protests are also planned in Brest, Caen, Chamonix, Doullens, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Nevers, Phalsbourg, Quimper, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Tours, among other French cities on 9 March.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 8 March 2019, several thousand demonstrators gathered outside Algiers’ Grand Post Office Square to protest against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s decision to run for re-election. There were no reports of violence, but security was tight in and around Algiers. In an effort to prevent demonstrators from gathering, authorities shut down all rail and metro service in the city.




GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 8 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a Security Alert regarding an upcoming demonstration, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Meskel Square in Addis Ababa and the Oromia Region
  • “Event: The U.S. Embassy is aware of calls for a protest to be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Meskel Square. It is unknown whether the protest has been or will be approved by Ethiopian authorities. Protests have already occurred in many parts of the Oromia region since March 6, and additional protests may materialize.
  • “U.S. Embassy personnel are advised to avoid Meskel Square and limit movement around Addis Ababa on Sunday, March 10. U.S. Government travelers have been advised not to arrive or depart Bole International Airport on Sunday, March 10, and U.S. Embassy personnel are also temporarily prohibited from traveling to Oromia.”

  • France (Security threat level – 3): On 7 March 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for France, which reads in part as follows: “Passengers travelling from France to the UK via the Eurostar, Eurotunnel or northern ferry ports should be aware that industrial action by customs officers is causing significant delays to all services. You should check with your service provider before travelling.”


    Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 7 March 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location 1: RTE Studios, Nutley Road, Dublin 4
  • “Event 1: Reports indicate that a demonstration is planned for 12:30-2:00 pm Friday, March 8, 2019, outside the RTE Studios on Nutley Road in Dublin 4. The group intends to encourage the boycott of the winning Irish entry in the Eurovision 2019 contest in Tel Aviv, Israel later this year.
  • “Location 2: Dublin City Center, Dublin 1
  • “Event 2: Reports indicate that a second demonstration is planned for Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 2:00-4:00 pm in Dublin city center. The group intends to highlight the housing and homeless crisis across Ireland.
  • “The exact duration of the demonstrations and number of participants are unknown.”

  • 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.

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