Worldview Security Update – January 14, 2020
14-Jan-20

ASIA

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): Ash plumes generated by Taal Volcano — located on southern Luzon Island — continued to disrupt operations at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (RPLL/MNL) on 14 January 2020, with approximately 30 flights canceled, although airport officials have indicated that operations continue to normalize. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) maintains the recommendation that residents within a 14 km (9 mi) radius of Taal evacuate due to the high risk of increasingly dangerous volcanic activity. Taal continues to intermittently emit ash, as well as small fountains of lava. Authorities have already evacuated more than 30,400 people in Batangas and Cavite provinces, and have declared a “state of calamity” for Batangas province in order to access funds to help those affected by the volcano. Officials also reported that approximately 27,000 households in Batangas province are without power due to ashfall from Taal. Since 11 January more than 200 earthquakes have been detected near the volcano.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Guinea (Security threat level – 4): As of 14 January 2020, the situation in the capital city Conakry has largely settled following clashes that occurred the previous day during protests against a potential third term by President Alpha Condé. Many businesses in the city remain closed and a heavy police presence remains in place across the city, including along the central Rue le Prince. The opposition National Front for the Defense of the Constitution (FNDC) coalition organized nationwide protests on 13 January, which materialized in at least seven cities across the country, including Boffa, Conakry, Labe and Nzérékoré. In Conakry’s upper Cosa suburb, fighting broke out between protesters and police officers; one person was shot and killed in the violence. Authorities also confirmed the death of another protester in the city of Labe — located approximately 350 km (215 mi) northeast of Conakry — during protest-related violence. FNDC-organized protests are likely to continue in the lead-up to the February legislative and October presidential elections, and could become increasingly violent and/or spontaneous.

Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 14 January 2020, reports emerged of clashes between rival security forces in the capital city Khartoum. Members of the Sudanese General Intelligence and Security Services reportedly fired live ammunition into the air, burned tires and blocked several roads near two buildings used by the intelligence service, as well as in the Kafouri and Soba areas of Khartoum. Military police officers have deployed armored vehicles and have closed several roads across the city in an effort to quell the clashes, which reports indicate are ongoing. Reports also indicate that Khartoum International Airport (HSSS/KRT) may have temporarily suspended operations due to ongoing clashes in the city, although this information remains unconfirmed.

Additional unconfirmed reports indicate that a dispute related to severance pay for internal intelligence service employees prompted the initial clashes between members of the security forces, who then exchanged gunfire with military police officers. At this time, there is no information available regarding potential casualties. Officials have diverted at least two flights en route to Khartoum. Individuals in Khartoum should monitor the situation closely, as reports of heavy gunfire continue and escalation to further widespread violence in the city remains a concern.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Malawi (Security threat level – 3): On 13 January 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Malawi (Nationwide)

“Event: The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has called for mass, nationwide demonstrations on January 16, 2020. In Lilongwe, the demonstration is scheduled to take place from 12:00 to 17:30. The route in Lilongwe will begin at Lilongwe Community ground and proceed through Kamuzu Procession Road, Chilambula Road, M1- Area 18 roundabout, Presidential Way, Chilembwe and end at Capital Hill.”