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Worldview Security Update – May 2, 2019


Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 2 May 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaidó called on public sector employees to go on strike as part of ongoing efforts to oust President Nicolás Maduro. Guaidó stated that he hopes the public sector strike will lead to a series of escalating actions that will result in a general strike. Guaidó has also called for daily protests until there is a peaceful transition of power. Clashes broke out between Guaidó supporters and Venezuelan security forces in Caracas on 1 May, when pro-Maduro security forces used tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators. At least one person was killed and 46 others were injured.


India / Bangladesh (Security threat levels – 3 / 4): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, as of 0900 UTC on 2 May 2019, Tropical Cyclone Fani was located approximately 200 km (125 mi) southeast of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh state. At that time, the storm was moving north-northeast at a speed of 17 kph (11 mph) and was generating maximum sustained winds of 213 kph, with gusts of up to 260 kph. Fani is currently a Category 4 hurricane, but is expected to continue to strengthen as it tracks north-northeast toward the coast of India. Current forecasts predict that the storm will make landfall in Odisha state by 3 May, producing a storm surge of up to 9 m (30 ft). The storm is expected to dissipate after making landfall and as it tracks over northeast India and into northern Bangladesh, although severe flooding between 150 and 300 mm is still possible in the areas in Fani’s path, including Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and portions of northern Bangladesh.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a Severe Weather Warning and has evacuated more than 800,000 people from the low-lying northeastern coastal regions, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha states. Authorities have also suspended operations at the Paradip port in Odisha state and the Visakhapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh state. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has preemptively dispatched emergency response teams to the coastal states ahead of the storm. As a precaution, IndiGo canceled all flights to and from Biju Patnaik International Airport (VEBS/BBI) in Bhubaneswar for 3 May, as well as all flights to and from Visakhapatnam Airport (VOVZ/VTZ) on 2 May.


France (Security threat level – 3): On 1 May 2019, approximately 164,500 people participated in International Workers’ Day protests in cities across France. While most demonstrations were peaceful, there were reports of violence in Lille, Lyon and Paris. In the first two cities, police officers fired tear gas to disperse protests. In Paris, protesters threw projectiles, looted several stores and set fires in the streets as they marched from Montparnasse station to Place d’Italie. In response, police officers fired tear gas and rubber pellet grenades to disperse protesters. Government officials attributed much of the violence in Paris to the anti-capitalist “Black Bloc” group. Police officers arrested 330 people and conducted more than 15,000 security checks during the demonstration in Paris; at least 24 protesters and 14 police officers were injured in that protest. Thousands of people also conducted peaceful demonstrations in Bordeaux, Grenoble, Marseille, Nantes and Toulouse.


Benin (Security threat level – 3): As of 2 May 2019, hundreds of people have taken to the streets in cities across Benin for the second day in a row to protest against the release of the initial results of the parliamentary elections, which opposition candidates were banned from contesting. As of last report, hundreds of protesters in Cotonou had set up roadblocks in the Cadjéhoun and Haie Vive neighborhoods. The previous day, demonstrators in Cotonou used burning tires to block roads, set fire to businesses, broke government building windows, and threw stones at police officers. Security forces initially used tear gas and then fired live ammunition to disperse crowds; at least one person was killed in the unrest. Elsewhere in Benin on 1 May, protesters set fire to a cotton factory in Kandi, a town located approximately 620 km (385 mi) north of Cotonou.


Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 1 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou issued a Security Alert regarding terrorist and criminal attacks, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Burkina Faso
  • “Event: Terrorist and criminal groups continue plotting in Burkina Faso and attacks can occur with little to no warning. Between April 26 and 29, seven out of thirteen administrative regions suffered significant security incidents, and there has been a notable increase in the number of incidents occurring outside of the restricted travel zone.
  • “The U.S. Embassy has limited ability to provide emergency services in these areas. Read the full Travel Advisory for Burkina Faso.
  • “Actions to Take:
  • Reconsider travel in Burkina Faso and do not travel to the restricted travel zones illustrated in our Travel Advisory.”
  • Jamaica (Security threat level – 3): On 2 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Jamaica, which reads in part as follows:

  • “A State of Emergency in the parishes of St James, which includes Montego Bay, Hanover and Westmoreland has been declared until 13 May 2019.
  • “As part of these security enhancement measures, the Government of Jamaica has put in place a number of Zones of Special Operations (ZOSOs) which are currently active in:
  • Denham Town in Kingston (due to expire on 18 June 2019);
  • Mount Salem in Montego Bay (due to expire 8 July 2019).
  • “Both the State of Emergency and ZOSO measures allow the military to support the police in joint security operations in response to recent violence and shooting incidents.
  • “Security operations are ongoing and further activity including curfews could occur with little or no notice. You should exercise caution if you’re in the area, particularly if travelling at night, and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any restrictions. These may also result in road closures or travel delays, and the operating hours of some businesses may be subject to change.”

    Macedonia (Security threat level – 3): On 2 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for North Macedonia, which reads in part as follows:

  • “His Holiness Pope Francis will visit the Republic of North Macedonia on 7 May 2019. During the visit, the Pope will visit a number of locations in Skopje, and conduct a Holy Mass in the central Square Macedonia. Traffic restrictions are expected from 6am until 7pm. Local authorities advise that public transport will be free of charge in Skopje, and encourage those travelling to Skopje from other towns in North Macedonia to use the railway. Enhanced security restrictions will be in place. It’s advisable that you carry ID with you at all times.”
  • Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): On 1 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Mozambique, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Coastal areas have a risk of tropical cyclones during the rainy season (November to April). Cyclone Kenneth made landfall on Thursday 25 April. Cabo Delgado and Nampula continue to experience rain and flash flooding. Travel to and through the affected region is likely to be extremely difficult for some time. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and follow the advice of local authorities.”
  • Solomon Islands / South Pacific Islands (Security threat levels – 2 / 1): On 1 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the Solomon Islands, which read in part as follows: “On Thursday 2 May at 9.30am the High Court in Central Honiara will meet for a case relating to the Prime Minister’s election and you should be alert to the risk of further protest, and move away from any large gathering. You should monitor local media and be vigilant.”

    South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 2 May 2019, the U.S. Consulate General in Durban issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Location: Durban City Hall, Anton Lembede Street, Durban
  • “Event: Municipal employees are demonstrating outside the Durban City Hall on Thursday, May 2, 2019. Disruptions to motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic are likely in the area of City Hall, and clashes between police and protesters are possible. The U.S. Consulate General has closed early for the day due to the protest activity.”
  • South Africa (Security threat level – 4): On 2 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for South Africa, which reads in part as follows: “South Africa will hold national and provincial elections on 8 May 2019; protest marches and demonstrations can occur anywhere in South Africa and sometimes at short notice; you should avoid areas where demonstrations and marches are taking place.”

    Tanzania (Security threat level – 3): On 2 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Tanzania, which reads in part as follows:

  • “Tropical Storm Kenneth made landfall as an intense tropical cyclone in Northern Mozambique on Thursday 25 April 2019 and parts of Southern Tanzania have been affected. If travelling to affected regions, you should take extra care and follow any advice given by the local authorities.”
  • 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.