Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4): On 30 March 2019, hundreds of people gathered in downtown Managua to demand that the government release all political prisoners. The participants clashed with police officers at a commercial center. At least four people were injured when security forces reportedly opened fire to disperse the group. At least 10 other protesters were detained. The demonstration occurred one day after President Daniel Ortega had reportedly signed an agreement with the opposition coalition to affirm citizens’ right to protest.
Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): Beginning at 0600 local time (0000 UTC) on 2 April 2019, jute mill workers launched a 72-hour strike nationwide to demand the formation of a wage commission and compensation for workers’ deaths. In Chittagong, workers blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong highway and the Chittagong-Rangamati highway from 0800 until 0930 local time. Blockades in cities such as Khulna and Jessore were removed by 1200 local time, when the shutdown was scheduled to end. Protests are expected to continue over the next two days.
Algeria (Security threat level – 4): On 2 April 2019, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned in the wake of large-scale protests and increasing pressure from the military to step down. Under the terms of Algeria’s Constitution, the speaker of the upper house of Algeria’s parliament, Abdelkader Bensalah, will serve as acting president until government officials organize new elections. Bouteflika’s official successor, however, has not yet been announced. Algeria’s Constitutional Council will meet on 3 April to formally determine an interim replacement.
In response to Bouteflika’s announcement, demonstrators gathered in downtown Algiers to celebrate. However, some of the attendees stated that Bouteflika’s resignation was not sufficient to satisfy their demands, which include dealing with corruption and a transition to democracy. There were no reports of violence.
Analyst Comment: Bouteflika has served as Algeria’s president since 1999, and his resignation marks the beginning of a new era of uncertainty in the country. Anti-government protests and celebratory gatherings may continue following Bouteflika’s ouster and travelers should monitor developments closely.
Additionally, travelers should plan for increased military and security force activity throughout the country — particularly in the capital Algiers — in the coming days, as the government seeks to stabilize the situation. Individuals visiting or currently residing in Algeria should adhere to the directions of local officials and closely monitor local news reports. In addition, those in Algeria should avoid all large gatherings and demonstrations, as even seemingly peaceful gatherings can quickly turn violent.
Morocco (Security threat level – 3): On 2 April 2019, the U.S. Department of State raised its Travel Advisory Level for Morocco to a Level 2 from a Level 1, citing an increased terrorism threat. The update reads in part as follows:
Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 4 April 2019, clashes broke out in Khulna, a city located approximately 140 km (90 mi) southwest of Dhaka, on the last day of a 72-hour strike by jute mill workers demanding better wages and benefits. The clashes occurred after protesters attacked a police post following rumors that police officers were taking pictures of the protesters. At least 16 people were injured, including four police officers. Demonstrators also blocked roads and railways in other cities, including Chittagong and Narsingdi; rail services between Khulna and Dhaka, as well as between Chittagong and Dhaka, were suspended during the morning. Most blockades were removed by 1200 local time (0600 UTC). There were no reports of violence at any of the other roadblocks/demonstrations.
Somalia (Security threat level- 5): On 3 April 2019, police officials in Mogadishu warned that they had received credible information indicating that the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group is planning to detonate a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) in Mogadishu. Police officers have asked the public to remain on alert for a Toyota Prado SUV. Security forces foiled a similar threat on 1 April when they confiscated a large truck filled with explosives in Sabid village, located approximately 40 km (25 mi) northwest of Mogadishu; the confiscated VBIED was also intended to target the capital.
Uganda (Security threat level – 4): On 4 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala issued a Security Alert regarding the ongoing criminal event in southwestern Uganda, which reads in part as follows:
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.