Worldview Security Update – July 9, 2020
9-Jul-20

EUROPE

Serbia (Security threat level – 3): On the night of 8 July 2020, clashes broke out between protesters and police officers near the National Assembly building in the capital Belgrade for a second consecutive day. Protesters threw rocks and bottles at police officers, who deployed tear gas canisters in response to disperse the crowd. Subsequently, hundreds of protesters gathered in central Belgrade as additional police officers in armored vehicles were deployed across the city. A total of 17 demonstrators and 19 police officers were injured during the violence. Elsewhere in Serbia, demonstrations occurred in the cities of Smederevo, Kragujevac, Nis and Novi Sad — where protesters threw rocks at City Hall, a media outlet and facilities belonging to the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). On the previous day, demonstrators gathered in Belgrade following President Aleksandar Vucic’s announcement that the government is reinstating a curfew in the city during the upcoming weekend, while also imposing other coronavirus-related restrictions, including a countrywide ban on gatherings of more than five people. Vucic has since backtracked his decision to reinstate the curfew, although other restrictions are likely to be announced later on 9 July. There has been a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in Belgrade and at least three other cities in the country after officials annulled restrictive measures in May and held parliamentary elections on 21 June.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Morocco (Security threat level – 3): On 8 July 2020, officials announced that Moroccan nationals and their dependents residing abroad will be permitted to return to the country beginning on 14 July. Those returning will only be allowed to pass through airports and seaports. Morocco’s land borders remain closed until further notice.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 4): On 9 July 2020, protests against the National Assembly’s decision to appoint a new chief official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) broke out in the capital Kinshasa, where police officers fired tear gas to disperse supporters of President Felix Tshisekedi’s Union for Democracy and Progress (UDPS) party who had marched to the People’s Palace. An unspecified number of police officers and demonstrators suffered injuries during the clashes in the capital. Meanwhile, in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi, security forces fired tear gas and live ammunition into the air to disperse protesters. Additional gatherings occurred in the cities of Beni, Goma, Kabinda, Kananga, Kisangani and Mbuji-Mayi. Authorities arrested an undisclosed number of protesters during the demonstrations for violating the coronavirus-related ban on gatherings of more than 20 individuals.

Analyst Comment: The protests were organized by the ruling UDPS party. The newly appointed chief official is currently the CENI’s secretary general, and has been accused of helping former President Joseph Kabila in rigging past elections. President Felix Tshisekedi has yet to ratify the National Assembly’s decision to appoint the new chairman of the CENI.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Chile (Security threat level – 2): On 8 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Santiago issued a Health Alert regarding extended city-level quarantine measures as well as other new COVID-19 measures, which reads in part as follows:

"As of July 8, the Ministry of Health has confirmed 303,083 cases of COVID-19 in Chile. The government of Chile has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. The following new measures were announced by the Chilean government on July 8:

  • Extension of quarantine for Gran Santiago as well as six nearby comunas until Friday, July 17
  • Extension of quarantines for the following additional comunas until Friday, July 17: Iquique (I Region), Alto Hospicio (I Region), Pozo Almonte (I Region), San Felipe (V Region), Los Andes (V Region), Valparaíso (V Region), Viña del Mar (V Region), Quillota (V Region), San José de Maipo (RM), Calera de Tango (RM), Peñaflor (RM), Talagante (RM), El Monte (RM), Melipilla (RM), Curacaví (RM), Tiltil (RM), Rancagua (VI Region), Graneros (VI Region), Machalí (VI Region), Curicó (VII Region)
  • The mandatory use of masks in all urban areas nation-wide

“The following measures in the Regions of Los Ríos and Aysén beginning Monday, July 13:

  • Restaurants may re-open at 25% capacity
  • Cinemas and theaters may re-open at 25% capacity Sporting events re-start (up to 10 participants indoors and 50 participants outdoors, but without public present)
  • Residents age 75 and older may leave their homes once a day
  • The establishment of a sanitary corridor around each Region

“For a full list of measures implemented by the Chilean government, please visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19. This webpage is updated daily.”
Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On the morning of 9 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Boulevard 15 Octobre / Carrefour Fleuriot

"Events: Reports of burning tires and possible gunfire at Carrefour Fleuriot."

The full text of the Security Alert can be read here .
Mali (Security threat level – 5): On 8 July 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bamako warned of a demonstration planned for 10 July, which reads in part as follows:

"Location: Announced gathering point includes, but is not limited to, the following place in Bamako, Mali:

  • Monument de l’Independance

"Event: The group Mouvement du 5 Juin – Rassemblement des Forces Patriotiques is planning a demonstration at the Monument de l’Independance on Friday, July 10 at 2:00 p.m. The Malian authorities have not approved this demonstration.

"Recent demonstrations have turned violent, resulting in the burning of tires, clashes with the police, and the deployment of tear gas. Some of these violent clashes have taken place following the demonstration in adjacent neighborhoods. At a minimum, these demonstrations cause traffic disruptions.

"U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid the demonstration area and immediate vicinity on July 10, 2020."

The full text of the alert is available here .