Worldview Security Report – November 30, 2018
30-Nov-18

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): On 30 November 2018, the farmers protest previously announced in Hot Spots continued in New Delhi when approximately 100,000 protesters marched from Ramlila Ground to Parliament Street. The demonstrators chanted anti-government slogans as they demanded loan forgiveness and higher crop prices. Several political opposition figures joined the protesters and gave speeches criticizing the government. There were traffic disruptions along the protest route, but no reports of violence.

EUROPE

Belgium (Security threat level – 3): On 30 November 2018, “yellow vest” demonstrators gathered in central Brussels to protest fuel taxes and the rising cost of living, as well as to demand that the government resign. Reports indicate that the gathering began peacefully, initially only causing transportation disruptions, as authorities were forced to close city road access tunnels and protesters blocked the central Arts-Loi intersection. However, as the approximately 300 protesters converged on government offices, some members of the crowd threw rocks, firecrackers and other objects at police officers, who responded by firing water cannons and tear gas. Protesters also damaged two police vehicles. Authorities arrested at least 60 people. The protesters wore fluorescent yellow vests, a symbol of protests in neighboring France over the same issues. Meanwhile, demonstrations also reportedly occurred near Charleroi, which is located approximately 60 km (40 mi) south of the capital.

Ukraine (Security threat level – 4): On 29 November 2018, the Ukrainian government began announcing the first significant changes to take place under martial law, which started the previous day. According to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Russian nationals in Ukraine will see restrictions on deposit withdrawals, currency exchange transactions and general travel. He also announced that all foreign citizens — including but not limited to Russian nationals — will be prohibited from entering Crimea via the previously legal Ukrainian-administered border checkpoint. Only Ukrainian citizens will now be permitted entry to Crimea. The Ukrainian State Border Guard has also increased its security presence in regions along the Russian border and the Sea of Azov.

Additionally, since the confrontation with Russian forces in the Sea of Azov on 25 November, Belarusian officials have reported that Russian nationals are being turned away from the Ukrainian border upon arrival. On 30 November, the Ukrainian border service announced that all Russian males between the ages of 16 and 60 will be refused entry into Ukraine; earlier, the border service stated that Russian citizens who cannot confirm their purpose of travel will not be allowed entry.

Ukrainian officials have also now announced that local elections scheduled for 23 December will be suspended in the 10 regions currently under martial law. The announcement has further stoked public suspicion that the imposition of martial law was meant as a way for the ruling administration to manipulate upcoming elections, although such concerns have mainly focused on the presidential election scheduled for March 2019.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 29 November 2018, thousands of workers staged a nationwide strike and a demonstration in the capital Ouagadougou to protest rising fuel prices. The National Coalition Against Costly Living (CCVC) organized the actions, which included a march from the chamber of commerce to the trade ministry. The protesters handed over a list of demands to the trade minister that included the reversal of the fuel price hike and the elimination of proposed legislation that would ban labor strikes; reports indicate that petrol and diesel prices have increased by 12 percent in Burkina Faso since 9 November. There were no reports of violence during the demonstration.

Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 29 November 2018, police officers fired tear gas and used batons to disperse approximately 500 opposition supporters who had gathered for a rally near parliament in Conakry. Police officers cordoned off the area around parliament prior to the demonstration, but protesters attempted to break through, causing the clash. Reports indicate that four demonstrators were injured in the unrest. The political opposition staged the rally to protest government violations in appointing local government officials from a disputed election that occurred on 4 February.





GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

France (Security threat level – 3): On 30 November 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: “Location: Paris and throughout France. Gathering points and routes in Paris include, but are not limited to, the following locations and surrounding areas: Champs-Elysees, Place de la Concorde, Place de la Madeleine, Place de la Bastille, Place de la République, Assemblée National, Port Maillot affecting traffic on the Périphérique (ring road around Paris), Place de Ballard and Porte de Versailles, and the Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower.

  • “Event: Demonstrations by the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ (yellow vests) are expected again on December 1, 2018 and may continue through the coming weeks. The group is protesting fuel prices and taxes. Demonstrations on Saturday, November 24 resulted in violent confrontations between demonstrators and police, including the use of tear gas. In addition to the demonstrations in Paris and other major cities, organizers continue to call for traffic interruptions and blockades throughout France.”

  • France (Security threat level – 3): On 30 November 2018, the U.S. Embassy in Paris issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: France, countrywide
  • “Event: During the holiday season security measures in France remain heightened due to ongoing threats posed by transnational terrorist organizations and individuals inspired by extremist ideology throughout Europe. Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations such as Christmas holiday markets, shopping malls, airports, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, and other soft targets frequented by Westerners.”

  • 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.