Worldview Security Update – February 26, 2020
26-Feb-20

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): As of 26 February 2020, widespread flooding in the Jakarta metropolitan area has caused significant disruptions to daily routine activities, including transportation services. Many businesses remain closed, although water levels have begun to recede on 26 February. Water levels in parts of the metropolis had reached between 20 cm and 1 m (8 in-3 ft) following heavy rains on 24-25 February. There were at least five flood-related fatalities and three people have been reported missing. Nearly 20,000 residents from the 214 subdistricts of the Greater Jakarta area have been displaced from their homes; residents of East Jakarta are the most affected.

Meanwhile, on 25 February a small-scale demonstration broke out near the AEON MALL Jakarta Garden City in East Jakarta as residents protested against construction, which allegedly exacerbated the flooding in the area. At least 23 people were detained for vandalism related to the protest. In neighboring West Java province, the Bekasi, Karawang, and Subang regencies also experienced significant flooding, with as much as 20- 200 cm of water in some locations. In Karawang, at least 47,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes. Authorities have also warned of possible landslides in the area due to the heavy rains.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Kenya / Somalia (Security threat levels – 4 / 5): On 25 February 2020, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced that it had carried out a precision airstrike on a senior leader of the al-Shabab Islamist militant group near Saacow, Somalia — located approximately 320 km (200 mi) west of Mogadishu — on 22 February. The airstrike killed two people, including the targeted leader and his spouse. The killed leader had reportedly coordinated a 5 January attack on a Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) base at Manda Bay Airstrip, located in Kenya’s Lamu county.

Analyst Comment: Three U.S. military personnel — including one soldier and two private defense contractors — were killed in the 5 January attack, which targeted a KDF base adjacent to AFRICOM’s Camp Simba. Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for that attack, which was the first attack to target U.S. forces in Kenya. AFRICOM forces have conducted at least 18 confirmed airstrikes against al-Shabab targets in Somalia since the start of 2020.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 25 February 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Locations: Announced gathering points include, but are not limited to, the following places in Bamako, Mali:

  • February 27 – Ministry of Security in ACI 2000
  • February 28 – Place de Liberte and Monument de L’independence

“Events:

“February 27: Former police recruits are planning a sit-in on Thursday, February 27 at 7:00 AM to express their dissatisfaction. The event will take place in front of the Ministry of Security in ACI 2000 near the 14th Police Precinct. Local authorities have not authorized the event.

“February 28: The Platform Against Corruption and Unemployment is calling for a march on Friday, February 28 at 2:00 PM to call for the re-opening of schools. They have invited all civil organizations, unions, and school partners to join the demonstration. This event will begin at Monument de l’Independance and finish at Monument de la Paix. The government has authorized the march.

“While these demonstrations are expected to be peaceful, other demonstrations in Bamako have caused traffic disruptions and resulted in burning of tires and the deployment of tear gas.”