Worldview Security Update – November 19, 2019
19-Nov-19

AMERICAS

Bolivia (Security threat level – 3): In the morning hours of 19 November 2019, supporters of former President Evo Morales blocked the bioceanic road that connects the eastern Bolivian city of San José de Chiquitos to the country’s border with Brazil. Intercity bus services from San José de Chiquitos to other cities have been suspended. Road blockades have also been reported in the towns of San Julián and Cuatro Cañadas. No reports regarding protest actions in major cities, including La Paz and Cochabamba, have emerged as yet. The availability of basic essentials, such as food and fuel, continues to be an issue in La Paz and other urban centers due to roadblocks on the country’s major highways.

On 18 November thousands of members of the Council of Peasant Federations of the Yungas of La Paz (Cofecay) marched to downtown La Paz from the nearby city of El Alto. Meanwhile, in Cochabamba, police officers fired tear gas to disperse protesters who were attempting to enter the city. Police officers in Cochabamba arrested one person who was allegedly in possession of stolen police supplies, including bulletproof vests and grenades. Clashes between demonstrators and police officers also occurred in the southern town of Villazón. Nonetheless, there were no reports of significant injuries during these clashes.

In a related political development, the Catholic Church, in coordination with the U.N. and the EU, has initiated a national dialogue in which the government, political parties and civic leaders will participate to resolve the current crisis in Bolivia. The negotiations will focus on restoring peace, reaching a consensus to elect a new Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) and calling for new general elections. However, a negotiated settlement of the current political crisis is unlikely without the involvement of Morales, who has sought political asylum in Mexico.

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 18 November 2019, unidentified perpetrator(s) fired live ammunition amid a small-scale anti-government protest in the capital Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of people were marching from the Delmas neighborhood to the upscale Petion-Ville area at the time. At least four people, including two police officers and one protester, suffered gunshot wounds. Elsewhere in Haiti, protesters erected flaming barricades in the cities of Port-Au-Prince, Croix-des-Bouquets, Miragoane and Les Cayes. The march followed a speech by President Jovenel Moïse in which he refused to resign from office and stated that he was open to further dialogue with the opposition to quell the unrest. The protest actions coincided with the commemoration of the Battle of Vertières, which marks the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution.

ASIA

India (Security threat level – 3): As of 19 November 2019, protests against a proposed fee increase are ongoing on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus in the capital New Delhi. Authorities filed two First Information Reports (FIRs) against the student demonstrators on 19 November following clashes between protesters and police officers the previous day. Authorities stated that approximately 30 police officers and 15 protesters suffered injuries during clashes when the demonstrators attempted to march from the JNU campus to Parliament, which is located approximately 10 km (6 mi) to the north. Police officers stated that they temporarily detained approximately 100 demonstrators during the protests, which initially began on 11 November.

Philippines (Security threat level – 4): As of 0900 UTC on 19 November 2019, Typhoon Kalmaegi — locally known as Ramon — was located approximately 560 km (350 mi) north-northeast of Manila, and was moving northwest at 7.5 kph (5 mph), according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). At that time, Kalmaegi was generating maximum sustained winds of 139 kph with gusts of up to 167 kph. The storm is forecast to make landfall later on 19 November in Cagayan province, from where approximately 5,500 people have been evacuated ahead of the storm; schools across the province have suspended classes for the day due to potential effects of the storm. Kalmaegi is expected to bring heavy rainfall, which may cause landslides in the harder-hit areas.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Ethiopia (Security threat level – 4): On 18 November 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Ethiopia, which reads in part as follows: “A referendum on the question of forming a new regional state will be held in the Sidama Zone of Southern Nations Region on 20 November, with the results expected in the days following. Street protests around this issue have led to violence in the past. Consequently as a precaution, British Embassy staff are being told to postpone travel to the Sidama zone, including the city of Hawassa, until later dates. If you are in the area you should ensure you familiarize yourself with the relevant sections of this travel advice , exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.”

Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 18 November 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Conakry issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:
“The National Women’s Committee of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) has announced a planned protest march to occur in Conakry and across all of Guinea on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. In Conakry, the protest march is projected to start on Rue de Prince at Bambéto circle, continue through Hamdallaye circle, and end at the Bellevue heliport/soccer field adjacent to Bellevue circle. The announced time of the protest march is from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“Embassy Conakry personnel have been ordered to avoid Rue de Prince and Bellvue Boulevard between the Bambéto and Bellevue circles from 7 a.m. Tuesday, November 19, 2019 until 7 a.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

“As a reminder, Guinea is under a Level 2 Travel Advisory , which means that U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution when traveling here due to civil unrest. Frequent, unpredictable demonstrations occur across the country. Some have turned violent, resulting in injuries and fatalities. Demonstrators have also attacked vehicles when drivers attempted to pass through or around the protests. Criminals take advantage of the resulting traffic congestion to rob/extort money from drivers and pedestrians.”

Haiti (Security threat level – 4): On 19 November 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Haiti, which reads in part as follows: "There have been sporadic, unpredictable and sometimes violent demonstrations, protests and roadblocks in Port au Prince and throughout Haiti since July 2018, with a notable increase in civil unrest in the weeks since 2 September 2019. The movement of goods and people into and within the country is often disrupted due to blocked roads and security incidents. As a consequence, there are sometimes fuel and food shortages. There are currently no UK diplomats in country, although the Embassy remains open."

Israel (Security threat level – 3): On 18 November 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Israel issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

“Location: Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza

“Event: The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens in or considering travel to or through Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness in light of the current environment. Individuals and groups opposed to the Secretary of State’s recent announcement may target U.S. government facilities, U.S. private interests, and U.S. citizens. Potential targets include public events, such as demonstrations, holiday events, and celebratory gatherings; hotels, clubs, and restaurants popular with U.S. citizens; places of worship; schools; shopping malls and markets; tourism infrastructure; public transportation and airports.”

The full text of the Security Alert is available here .