Worldview Security Report – May 17, 2019
17-May-19

AMERICAS

Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 16 May 2019, Mexico City officials extended the city’s environmental alert and announced a second day of school closures, as heavy pollution continued to affect air quality in the city. Authorities have restricted the use of older vehicles, shut down some construction sites and ordered certain industries to cut emissions by 30 to 40 percent in an effort to bring pollution levels under control. Several major outdoor events, including several sporting events, have been postponed or relocated. It is unclear how long these measures will remain in effect.

United States (Security threat level – 2): On 16 May 2019, an F-16 fighter jet crashed into a warehouse located outside the March Air Reserve Base, approximately 65 mi (105 km) east of Los Angeles, California. The crash triggered a small fire, which the warehouse sprinkler system was able to contain. The pilot ejected from the aircraft prior to the crash and was not seriously injured. At least 12 people inside the warehouse sustained minor injuries. The cause of the crash remains unclear, although U.S. Air Force officials stated that it may have been due to a problem with the aircraft’s hydraulic system.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): As of 17 May 2019, “yellow vest” demonstrations are expected to occur nationwide on 18 May for the 27th consecutive weekend. Yellow vest organizers have called on supporters to gather in Lyon and Paris. Turnout in Paris is expected to be lower than the 18,600 people who attended the previous weekend’s demonstrations. French authorities have announced continued bans on demonstrations on Paris’ Champs-Elysées, at Place de l’Etoile and near the Élysée Palace, the National Assembly and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Officials have also banned protests in other parts of France, including in the city centers of Alès, Caen, Dijon, Le Mans, Lyon, Montauban, Nancy and Toulouse.

Despite the bans, protests are likely to occur in the aforementioned cities. Demonstrations are currently scheduled to take place in Amiens, Bordeaux, Le Mans, Montpellier, Reims, Rouen, Strasbourg and Villefranche-sur-Saône. In Paris, demonstrators intend to march from the Esplanade de La Défense — located on the outskirts of the city — to Sacré-Cœur — located in the 18th arrondissement. In Lyon, organizers called on protesters to gather at Place Antonin-Poncet in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon.

Germany (Security threat level – 3): As of 17 May 2019, tens of thousands of people are expected to hold demonstrations across Germany on 19 May to protest against the rise of nationalism and the far-right. Demonstrations are scheduled to occur in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart; more than 50,000 participants are expected to attend the demonstration in Berlin. Travelers should avoid all large gatherings, as even peaceful demonstrations can quickly turn violent

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

United Arab Emirates (Security threat level – 2): At approximately 1945 local time (1745 UTC) on 16 May 2019, officials at Dubai International Airport (OMDB/ DXB) briefly suspended flights at the facility after a small private aircraft crashed there. The crash killed all four people on board the U.K.-registered DA42 aircraft, including three British nationals and one South African national. Disruptions to services lasted until approximately 2050 local time. The cause of the crash remains unclear.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 16 May 2019, heavy flooding has severely disrupted traffic throughout Bamako. The government has dispatched emergency response teams to help rescue people stranded by the flood waters. The flooding has damaged a number of buildings, and at least 15 people have died and two others have been injured. It is not known if the flood waters will continue to disrupt all activities throughout Bamako on 17 May.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Côte d’Ivoire (Security threat level – 4): On 16 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Côte d’Ivoire, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Violence erupted in Beoumi (400 km north of Abidjan) on 15 May between different ethnic groups and the situation is not yet contained, despite the presence of security forces. A curfew is in place from 1800 to 0600.”
  • Georgia (Security threat level – 3): On 16 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Georgia, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Friday 17 May 2019 is International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT). Demonstrations are likely to take place throughout the day in central Tbilisi, particularly around Parliament. Demonstrations in Tbilisi are usually well policed, but you should avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and follow the instructions of local authorities.
  • “Georgia will hold municipal by-elections in Marneuli, Sagarejo, Akhmeta, Zestaponi, Chiatura, Tkibuli, Tskaltubo, Ozurgeti, Zugdidi, Khulo and the Mtatsminda district of Tbilisi on Sunday 19 May 2019. You should avoid any political meetings or demonstrations during this period, including on election day.”
  • Ireland (Security threat level – 2): On 16 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Dublin issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Parnell Square, Dublin
  • “Event: Reports indicate a demonstration is scheduled to begin at 1 pm this Saturday, May 18, 2019, in Parnell Square. The demonstration is being organized by Sinn Fein, The Workers Party, Unite against Racism, and the Travelers’ Movement, among others. The event is advertised as being potentially well-attended and will likely disrupt traffic in the city for the duration. The exact number of participants is unknown.”
  • Moldova (Security threat level – 3): On 16 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Along Strada Bucuresti in downtown Chisinau
  • “Event: Supporters of LGBTI rights will participate in a Solidarity March on Sunday, May 19, at 12 noon. Several hundred people will likely participate and police presence will likely be heavy. Disruptions to traffic should be expected.
  • “Counter-protests are likely to occur. Individuals may instigate violence. In the past, isolated physical confrontations have occurred but were limited by police actions to protect and/or evacuate participants.”
  • Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 16 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Sudan, which reads in part as follows:

  • “On 15 May security forces, again, attempted to remove barricades on Nile Street and other roads around the perimeter of the protest site. Live ammunition was used to disperse crowds and there have been further reports of fatalities and injuries following these incidents.
  • “Protesters are erecting an increasing number of unofficial barriers across roads and bridges in Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan since 13 May 2019. These appear with little or no warning resulting in bridges closing and severe traffic congestion. You should exercise caution, plan ahead, be prepared for significant delays and follow the advice of local authorities. If you encounter a roadblock, remain calm and seek an alternative route. Do not attempt to force your way through it.”
  • Zimbabwe (Security threat level – 4): On 16 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe issued a Security Alert regarding vehicle safety tips, which reads as follows:

  • “Location: Across Zimbabwe
  • “Event: On May 16, 2019, an American was accosted by a small group of local national men in an attempted crime of opportunity when the American driver stopped at the intersection of Northwood Rise and Moorgate Road, in Mount Pleasant, Harare. There were no signs of weapons and the only attempt to gain access to the vehicle was when the assailants attempted to open the car door. Currently, there is no evidence of a rise of this type of crime in this area or any other specific area.
  • “Actions to Take:
  • Program your phone with numbers for the police and local neighborhood patrol
    Vary the times you depart your residence and the routes you take. Do not fall into a predictable routine.
  • Maintain situational awareness. Remain alert for people and things that appear out of the ordinary. Do not become distracted by your phone, GPS, conversations, etc.
  • Never leave valuable items visible in your vehicle. These items can make you a target for “smash and grab” robbers.
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and windows up at all times – especially when driving slowly and when stopped (e.g., at intersections).
  • Slow down well in advance of red lights. This can give the light time to turn green (i.e., obviate the need to stop). When stopped at an intersection, leave plenty of space between your bumper and the car in front of you. This will give you room to maneuver and escape.
  • “If you are accosted in your vehicle:
  • Make noise! Draw attention to the incident by making loud noises (rev engine, blow horn, activate car alarm / panic button, etc.). Activate DriveCam if your car is equipped with it.
    Get off the X!” Leave the scene of the incident. Do not remain at the scene because an attacker is standing in the way of your vehicle. Your safety has priority over any potential harm that may come to an attacker who tried to prevent your escape. Drive away and keep driving until you reach a safe location. Do not return to your residence if you are followed – go somewhere else.”
  • 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.