Worldview Security Update – August 21, 2019
21-Aug-19

ASIA

Philippines / Taiwan (Security threat levels – 4 / 2): Tropical Depression Bailu developed in the Pacific Ocean on 21 August 2019. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC, Bailu was located approximately 1,325 km (823 mi) south-southeast of Kadena Air Base in Japan. At that time, Bailu was moving northwest at 13 kph (8 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 46 kph with gusts of up to 65 kph. Current forecasts predict that Bailu will make landfall along the southeastern coast of Taiwan by 24 August. However, it is also possible that Bailu could shift to a more northern trajectory and move toward Japan instead. Although Bailu is not forecast to make landfall in the Philippines, the storm is expected to bring scattered rainfall to parts of Bicol, Quezon and the Eastern Visayas regions due to its proximity to the eastern portion of the country.

EUROPE

France (Security threat level – 3): On 20 August 2019, officials announced plans to implement heightened security measures in the southwestern coastal town of Biarritz in advance of and during the G7 Economic Summit, which is scheduled to take place from 24-26 August. Authorities will deploy at least 13,200 law enforcement and military officers to secure the Hôtel Palais Biarritz — the event venue — and surrounding areas. In addition, officials will ban access to Le Grande Plage beach, where the hotel is located. Authorities will also impose transportation restrictions in Biarritz and surrounding towns from 23-26 August. Commercial flights scheduled to operate through Biarritz Pays Basque Airport (LFBZ/BIQ) from 0700 local time (0500 UTC) on 23 August until 2000 local time on 26 August have been canceled. Additionally, train stations in Biarritz, Bayonne, Boucau, Deux-Jumeaux and Guéthary will be closed from 23-26 August.

Meanwhile, authorities have banned demonstrations in Biarritz and neighboring Anglet and Bayonne; demonstrations will be allowed in Hendaye and Irun, which are located approximately 30 km (18 mi) from Biarritz. Despite the increased security measures and bans, activists have announced plans to stage demonstrations over a variety of issues in Bayonne.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): Early on 21 August 2019, gunfire broke out across Bamenda, the capital of the Anglophone Northwest region, including along Commercial Avenue, and near Nkwen market and Bali Park. The majority of businesses and schools throughout the city are closed, and anecdotal reports indicate that many local residents are sheltering indoors. Thus far, there have been no reports of significant injuries. Additional police officers have been deployed to the city in response to the unrest.

The unrest in Bamenda follows the sentencing of Sisiku Ayuk Tabe, a prominent Anglophone separatist leader, to life in prison by a military court in the national capital Yaoundé on the previous day. Tabe is the leader of the Governing Council of Ambazonia, which is the governing body of the so-called Republic of Ambazonia, a desired independent region of the Anglophone separatist movement. The court also sentenced nine additional separatist leaders to life imprisonment on 20 August on a variety of charges, including terrorism, rebellion and hostility against the state.

Somalia (Security threat level – 5): On 20 August 2019, local officials in the southern Somali state of Jubbaland — a semi-autonomous region — announced that all roads leading to the state capital Kismayo will remain closed through 23 August. In addition to road closures, Kismayo Airport (HCMK/KMU) will also be closed through that date. Authorities are enacting the closures due to the scheduled 22 August polls to elect the president of the semi-autonomous region. In a statement, Jubbaland officials announced that the closures aim to prevent the Somali federal government from interfering in the polls. Tensions between the province and the central government are high, and Jubbaland officials accuse the Somali federal government of interfering in the election.