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Worldview Security Update – September 10, 2019


United Kingdom (Security threat level – 2): On 10 September 2019, pilots for British Airways are observing the second half of a planned 48-hour general strike over a long-standing pay dispute. As a result, British Airways has canceled almost all of its 850 daily flights, affecting more than 100,000 passengers on 10 September. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), which organized the strike, plans to stage another labor action on 27 September if the airline does not agree to hold negotiations with BALPA representatives. Currently, no talks are scheduled between the groups. British Airways has offered full refunds or alternative bookings for passengers affected by the strike, which has primarily disrupted flights scheduled to operate through London Heathrow Airport (EGLL/LHR) and Gatwick Airport (EGKK/LGW).


Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 10 September 2019, a stampede occurred at the Imam Hussein shrine in the city of Karbala, located approximately 110 km (70 mi) south of Baghdad, amid a commemoration of the Ashura religious holiday. At least 31 Shiite pilgrims were killed and as many as 100 others were injured in the stampede. Tens of thousands of pilgrims gather in the holy city of Karbala for Ashura, which commemorates Imam Hussein’s martyrdom.


Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 10 September 2019, Shiite Muslims held processions in several cities across Nigeria, including Kaduna, Bauchi and the capital Abuja, in observance of the Ashura religious holiday. In Abuja, processions concluded peacefully; however, police officers reportedly erected checkpoints throughout the city during the marches. Meanwhile, violence broke out during a procession in the northern city of Kaduna. Police officers opened fire on a group of people who had gathered along Nnamdi Azikiwe Highway during the early morning hours; at least three suspected IMN members were killed and 10 others were injured. Violence was also reported during processions in Sokoto and Bauchi states. Nigerian officials had prohibited members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) — a banned Shiite Muslim group — from participating in processions nationwide.


Kyrgyzstan (Security threat level – 4): On 10 September 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Kyrgyzstan, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations on political and socio-economic themes occur both in central Bishkek and in other parts of the country. In August 2019 there were a series of demonstrations and acts of civil disturbance in the Koy Tash area and in Bishkek city center linked to the arrest of former President Atambayev. Ongoing political tensions within Kyrgyzstan mean that there is an increased likelihood of demonstrations, and these may occur suddenly. You should remain vigilant and avoid all demonstrations.”

Mozambique (Security threat level – 3): On 10 September 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Mozambique, which reads in part as follows: “On 15 October, Mozambique will hold presidential, legislative and provincial elections. The electoral campaign period will run from 31 August to 12 October. In the past, the electoral period has resulted in civil unrest and intermittent outbreaks of violence. You should exercise caution whilst travelling around the country and avoid travelling to unfamiliar places during the week of the elections (from 13 to 20 October). Avoid large gatherings, demonstrations and political rallies, as there is a risk they could turn violent.”

Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): On 9 September 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Managua issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows: "Location: Managua

"Event: The Embassy has advised personnel of potential traffic disruption and strong police presence due to possible protest marches September 9-11. On September 9, Movimiento Defensa Estudiantil announced an intended march between Plaza de las Victorias and Central American University (UCA), at an unspecified time. Movimiento Defensa Estudiantil has also requested police permission to march at 2:30 p.m. on September 10 between the main branch of LAFISE, near the Centroamerica traffic circle, and the Alexis Arguello monument. The Comite Pro Liberacion de Presos Politicos has requested permission to march at 2:00 p.m. September 11 between Plaza el Sol and UCA. Police permits have not been granted for any of these marches, and additional demonstrations may occur in Managua or elsewhere in Nicaragua with little or no notice. Please monitor local media for updates, and remember that violence may break out at any demonstration."

Papua New Guinea (Security threat level – 4): On 10 September 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Papua New Guinea, which reads in part as follows: “Kieta airport has been closed by the National Airports Corporation until 11 September 2019 pending essential safety works; you should check with your airline/travel operator if visiting Bougainville and New Britain.”