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Worldview Security Update – December 4, 2019


Colombia (Security threat level – 4): As of 4 December 2019, a nationwide general strike and accompanying demonstrations are ongoing in Colombia. In the capital Bogota, protesters have begun marching at a number of locations throughout the city and have begun gathering at the city’s main Plaza de Bolívar to participate in the rally; the city mayor reversed the previously enacted ban on the rally at the site. Demonstrators have blocked traffic at the intersections of Carrera 24 and Calle 47, as well as Carrera 18 with Avenida 1 de Mayo. Officials have suspended the Portal de Suba metro service after protesters blocked tracks with garbage containers. Transportation services are highly likely to be disrupted due to the protest actions; a number of Transmilenio bus stations have been suspended due to the ongoing demonstrations.

Elsewhere in the country, protesters have also started gathering to participate in the general strike. In the southwestern city of Cali, protesters are organizing at different locations throughout the city, and in one instance vandalized a bus. Cali authorities closed the Santa Librada, Manzana del Saber and Estadio bus stations as a result of an ongoing demonstration at the Parque de las Banderas. Similar demonstrations are planned in other major cities such as Bucaramanga, Cartagena and Medellín. In Bucaramanga, protesters have gathered at the Parque San Pio, Industrial University of Santander and Luis Carlos Galán Sarmiento Civic Plaza. In Cartagena, demonstrators are expected to march from the Napoleon Perea Recreational Center through Transversal 54, Avenida Crisanto Luque, Peaje Manga, Avenida Jímenez and conclude at the city’s historic center. In Medellín, demonstrators have gathered at the University of Antioquia and blocked the Autopista Norte highway. While organizers have pledged to peacefully carry out the protest actions, violence is an ever-present concern during such gatherings and clashes between police officers and participants are likely. As such, travelers and expatriates in Colombia should limit their movements to the extent possible to mitigate the threat of being collaterally affected by any possible violence at protests.


Somalia (Security threat level – 5): As of 0600 UTC on 4 December 2019, Tropical Cyclone 06A was located approximately 470 km (290 mi) off the Yemeni Island of Socotra, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). The storm is currently heading north toward Socotra at 4 kph (2.5 mph), but the forecast indicates that it will move in an easterly direction toward the Somali coast on or around 5 December. Currently, the storm has maximum sustained winds of 64 kph, with gusts of up to 83 kph, but the storm is expected to weaken in the coming days and make landfall in the Puntland region of Somalia by 7 December, after which it is likely to rapidly dissipate. Heavy rains stemming from the cyclone could cause flash floods in areas north of the Somali capital Mogadishu.


Lesser Antilles (Security threat level – 1): On 3 December 2019, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs issued an update to its travel advice for Dominica regarding ongoing opposition protests against the upcoming 6 December elections. The advice notes that protests have involved the use of roadblocks and occasional violence, resulting in transportation-related disruptions. The ministry has advised travelers to keep apprised of local developments and avoid travel to Dominica to the extent possible during the upcoming election period.
Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): On 4 December 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Mozambique, which reads in part as follows:

“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to the districts of Nangade, Quissanga, Ibo, Macomia, Mocimboa da Praia, Palma and Meluco in Cabo Delgado province, due to attacks by groups with links to Islamic extremism. This includes the islands off the coast.

“Since August 2019, there have been a number of armed attacks on vehicles on roads in Sofala province. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all but essential travel on the EN1 between Inchope and the town of Gorongoza and the EN6 between Tica and Inchope.”

South Pacific Islands (Security threat level – 1): On 5 December 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Apia, Samoa, issued an Alert, which reads in part as follows: “To comply with the Orders of State of Emergency issued by the Government of the Independent State of Samoa, the U.S. Embassy in Apia will be closed on Thursday, December 5 and Friday, December 6, 2019. Media report that all public and private businesses must remain closed on December 5 and 6, 2019, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Exceptions to this order are limited and include health and safety operations, the airport, and hotels.”