Worldview Weekly Security Overview – May 02, 2019
2-May-19

29 April – 02 May 2019

Monday 29 April 2019:

Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 26 April 2019, police officers exchanged gunfire with militants in the eastern city of Sainthamaruthu, located in Ampara District, during a raid related to the 21 April bombings that killed approximately 250 people. Local sources stated that the militants initiated the gunbattle when they began shooting at the officers, who were conducting search operations in the area. Police officers exchanged gunfire with the militants for several hours, during which time three of them detonated explosives. At least 15 people, including three suspects in the 21 April attacks, were killed during the exchange. Approximately 600 locals fled the area during the raid.

Tuesday 30 April 2019:

Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): On 30 April 2019, opposition leader Juan Guaidó gathered outside Caracas’ La Carlota air base with a small contingent of soldiers and previously detained activist Leopoldo Lopez to call on the military and the Venezuelan people to take to the streets to oust President Nicolas Maduro. There have been reports of Venezuelan security forces firing tear gas at Guaidó and his supporters outside the air base. There have also been unconfirmed reports live gunfire in the vicinity of the base. As of this writing, Guaidó and his growing number of supporters have gathered at Plaza Altamira. The Venezuelan government has stated that it is confronting a small group of “military traitors,” but that the situation in Caracas remains calm. It has called on its supporters to gather at the presidential palace in Caracas to defend Maduro. Guaidó’s call for action comes one day before he and the opposition were planning to hold the “largest march in the country’s history” on 1 May.

South Sudan (Security threat level – 5) : On 29 April 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for South Sudan, which reads in part as follows:

  • Further deterioration in the security situation remains a real possibility, and could be prompted by a number of factors including developments in the fragile economy and the ongoing peace process. Tensions may increase as we approach the scheduled formation of a new government on 12 May 2019. In the event of a serious deterioration, similar to those of July 2016 and December 2013, routes in and out of South Sudan may be blocked, Juba airport may be closed or inaccessible, and flights may be suspended at short notice. Regional developments may also increase the unpredictability of infrastructure and transport, as happened recently when events in Sudan led to the temporary closure of South Sudan’s airspace. The main road connecting Juba to Uganda is extremely dangerous, with regular reports of car crashes and attacks on vehicles by armed groups.”
  • Uganda (Security threat level – 4): On 30 April 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kampala issued an alert regarding ongoing demonstrations, which reads in part as follows:

  • Event: Sporadic politically motivated protests and demonstrations are currently being reported and will likely continue to occur tonight and into tomorrow. Some violent acts (tire burning, blocking of traffic) have been reported and other similar disturbances may occur. Armed police are reportedly responding with tear gas and other crowd control measures. Increased traffic congestion in the Kampala area is also likely.
  • Locations: While it is unknown where demonstrations may occur, the following areas have been reported and are most likely: “Kampala: Kisekka market area Kololo and adjacent areas.”
  • Wednesday 01 May 2019:

    Venezuela (Security threat level – 4): Opposition leader Juan Guaidó and President Nicolás Maduro have called on their supporters to take to the streets nationwide on 1 May 2019. While Maduro claims that the military has defeated the “coup” attempt that occurred on 30 April, Guaidó maintains that his “Operation Freedom” will continue. In clashes between Maduro’s forces and Guaidó’s supporters on 30 April, one person was killed and at least 70 others were injured. According to Foro Penal, a local organization that tracks political detentions, at least 119 people were arrested nationwide.

    Thursday 02 May 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.

    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.
  • 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.