Worldview Security Update – June 14, 2019
14-Jun-19

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): As of 14 June 2019, the Civil Human Rights Front plans to hold a rally near the Legislative Council Complex in Hong Kong’s Central district on 16 June to protest against a proposed extradition law. The group is also calling for a general strike beginning on 17 June to pressure authorities into withdrawing the bill. Following violent protests on 12 June, the Legislative Council canceled debates on the bill on 13 and 14 June. There is currently no scheduled date for debates to continue, and several pro-Beijing lawmakers have advocated withholding a vote to allow more discussion as a means to calm the situation.

India (Security threat level – 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 14 June 2019, Tropical Cyclone Vayu was located approximately 460 km (286 mi) south-southeast of Karachi, Pakistan. At that time, the storm was tracking west-southwest at 7 kph (4 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 157 kph, with gusts of up to 194 kph. More than 275,000 people in coastal districts of India’s Gujarat state were evacuated ahead of the storm’s passage. Although Vayu did not heavily affect the area, Indian authorities have advised residents to remain in evacuation shelters through 14 June. Vayu is forecast to weaken as it continues to track west-southwest toward Oman in the Arabian Sea.

EUROPE

United Kingdom (Security threat level – 2): As of 14 June 2019, climate activists affiliated with “Extinction Rebellion” are expected to disrupt operations at London Heathrow International Airport (EGLL/LHR) on 18 June. The group has demanded that the airport close for the day to call attention to climate change and force the British government to take action on the issue. Extinction Rebellion is expected to launch drones during the early morning and disrupt air traffic throughout the day. The protesters have also warned that they will disrupt operations from 1-11 July if the British government does not cancel plans to expand the airport with a third a runway. Authorities stated that operations will continue as planned and have increased security measures around the airport, but warned passengers to contact their airlines for additional information on possible disruptions.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Saudi Arabia (Security threat level – 3): On 14 June 2019, Saudi-led coalition forces intercepted and destroyed at least five unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) near Abha International Airport (OEAB/AHB), located approximately 830 km (515 mi) southwest of Riyadh and 100 km north of the Yemeni border. No casualties or damage were immediately reported, and airport operations were unaffected, according to officials. Meanwhile, Houthi-controlled TV claimed that Houthi forces had launched drones at Abha International Airport. The UAV attack comes one day after the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes targeting Houthi assets in Sanaa, Yemen, following a Houthi missile attack on Abha International Airport the previous day.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Benin (Security threat level – 3): Emerging reports on 14 June 2019 indicate that security personnel clashed with protesters during an ongoing demonstration in the city of Savè, approximately 160 km (100 mi) south of Parakou. Military personnel opened fire on protesters, who have erected barricades on the main thoroughfare between Cotonou and Parakou. Meanwhile, security personnel clashed with protesters in the Tchaourou commune, located approximately 100 km north of Savè. Military officers are deployed across the commune and are attempting to dismantle roadblocks that protesters set up along the road between Tchaourou and Parakou. Clashes between protesters and security personnel have been ongoing in Savè and Tcharourou for four days in a row; an unspecified number of people have been injured thus far. Moreover, at least one person was killed in Savè. Elsewhere in Benin, unconfirmed reports indicate that security personnel dispersed anti-government protesters in the economic capital Cotonou. Demonstrations over the outcome of the April parliamentary elections have occurred across Benin in recent months. Travelers and expatriates in Benin should avoid all areas where demonstrations are taking place.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Brazil (Security threat level – 3): On 13 June 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Brazil, which reads in part as follows:

  • “A national general strike has been planned for Friday 14 June which will affect public transport across Brazil. City buses and trains will not be running, metro services will be disrupted. Long distance buses and the airports are not on strike, but the strike may affect services if people struggle to get into work. Taxis will be operating but will be busy. If you are travelling on Friday, you should check with your airline / bus company before setting out and allow extra time to reach the airport or bus station as there may be more traffic on the roads.
  • “Demonstrations are planned in major cities, including on the Avenida Paulista in Sao Paulo and Avenida Presidente Vargas between Central do Brasil and Candelaria in the centre of Rio de Janeiro. We recommend that you avoid these areas on Friday.”
  • Burundi (Security threat level – 5): On 13 June 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued updated travel advice for Burundi, which reads in part as follows:

  • “An outbreak of cholera continues in Burundi. You should take necessary precautions and seek urgent medical attention if you become unwell.”
  • Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 14 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince issued a Security Alert that reads in part as follows:

    “Locations:

  • – Sainte Therese Church in Petionville
  • – Champ de Mars area
  • – Airport road
  • “Events:

  • “The funeral for the HNP Inspector killed on May 26 is scheduled to be held on June 14 at Sainte Therese church in Petionville at 0630hrs. The possibility for protests after the funeral exist.
  • “There are also planned demonstrations announced by the opposition in the Champ de Mars area and possibly Airport road.”
  • Moldova (Security threat level – 3): On 14 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Chisinau issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Parliament Building, Stefan cel Mare Boulevard, downtown Chisinau
  • “Event: A demonstration is planned on June 16 at 11:00am. Large crowds are expected and police presence will be heavy. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn dangerous.”
  • Oman / United Arab Emirates / Iran (Security threat levels – 2 / 2 / 3): On 13 June 2019, the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a Maritime Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Two near-simultaneous maritime attacks have been reported in the Gulf of Oman in the vicinity of 25-27N 057-22E on June 13, 2019 against two vessels on an outbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz. These attacks have been confirmed and involve damage to both vessels. The precise means of attack is currently unknown. Exercise caution when transiting this area. Vessels operating in this area are advised to review U.S. Maritime Advisory 2019-006 (Threats to U.S. Interests from Iran – Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb, and Red Sea). This alert will automatically expire on June 20, 2019. Any questions regarding this alert should be directed to GMCC@uscg.mil.”
  • Peru (Security threat level – 3):
    On 13 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Lima issued a Health Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Throughout Peru
  • “Event: Peru’s Ministry of Health has reported approximately 466 cases of Guillain-Barré Syndrome in locations throughout Peru so far in 2019, including the Lima Metropolitan area. The Ministry of Health reports that six people have died from this syndrome.”
  • Security threat levels range from 1 (Very Low) to 5 (Very High) and are determined using a comprehensive system that utilizes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The primary factors used to determine a location’s security threat level are Armed Conflict, Crime, Demonstrations/Strikes, Ethnic/Sectarian Tensions, Graft/Corruption, Kidnapping, Political Instability, Government Restriction and Terrorism.