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Worldview Weekly Security Report : May 23, 2019
Monday 20 May 2019:

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 19 May 2019, workers at state-owned jute mills decided to extend their hours of protest on 22 May to between 0800 and 1400 local time (0200 and 0800 UTC) as part of an ongoing strike action to demand wage arrears. Currently, the daily protests are taking place between 1600 and 1900 local time. During the protests, workers typically block roads and railways, leading to disruptions.

Egypt (Security threat level – 4): On 19 May 2019, a roadside bomb detonated as a tourist bus and a car were passing by the Grand Egyptian Museum, located approximately 3 km (2 mi) from the Giza Pyramid Complex. The blast shattered the windows of both vehicles. At least 16 people were injured in the blast, including several South African nationals. Authorities are investigating the explosion, for which no group has yet claimed responsibility. Terrorism is a longstanding concern in Egypt. The last explosion near Giza occurred in December 2018; the attack killed four people, including three Vietnamese nationals and one Egyptian.

Cameroon (Security threat level – 4): On 17 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Cameroon, which reads in part as follows:

  • Armed separatists have announced a general strike in the Anglophone regions on some days in May. Tensions may be particularly high around Cameroon’s National Day on 20 May. Armed separatists also imposed an extended general strike in February 2019, with reports of violence and loss of life. Urban transport in towns and cities was affected and vehicular traffic in and out of the region was restricted. Incidents of sporadic gunfire also occurred, including shooting in Bamenda, Buea and the outskirts of Limbe.
  • Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 18 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Kenya, countrywide
  • Event: Terrorist groups have a history of carrying out attacks during Ramadan. On May 15, the Kenyan Police issued a notice to the public explaining that they have enhanced patrols during this time and intensified security in areas of interest (churches, mosques) countrywide.
  • Tuesday 21 May 2019:

    Kenya (Security threat level – 4): On 21 May 2019, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issued updated travel advice for Kenya, which reads in part as follows:

  • “A terror attack could happen anywhere and at any time in Kenya. Somali terror group Al-Shabaab continues to threaten attacks. Credible information indicates that Westerners may be targeted by extremists in Nairobi, coastal areas of Kenya, Naivasha and Nanyuki. Be particularly alert in public places such as shopping malls, hotels, tourist resorts – including beach resorts and beaches, and places of worship. Kidnapping remains a serious threat. Exercise a high degree of caution in Kenya due to the high threat of terrorist attack and high level of crime. Reconsider your need to travel to Mombasa, coastal parts of Kilifi and Tana River counties, and Lamu County south of Pate Island. Higher levels apply in other parts of the country.”
  • Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 21 May 2019, approximately 1,000 people gathered in central Jakarta’s commercial and government district to show their support for opposition candidate Prabowo Subianto, who announced that he intends to challenge the results of the April election. Prabowo claims that there was widespread cheating during the election and that he will be filing a challenge with the Constitutional Court. Indonesia’s election supervisory agency and independent observers, however, maintain that the poll was free and fair, with incumbent President Joko Widodo winning approximately 55.5 percent of the vote compared to Prabowo’s 44.5 percent. Prabowo has urged his supporters to peacefully protest the decision, while the government has warned opponents of the results to not attempt to undermine the elections.

    As a precaution, authorities have issued an alert status for Jakarta, which will be in effect from 21 May through 25 May, due to the threat of militants launching “terrorist strikes” on planned rallies opposing the poll results. In recent weeks, security forces have arrested at least 30 Islamist militants suspected of planning attacks. Travelers to Jakarta should avoid all large gatherings as a precaution

    Wednesday 22 May 2019:

    Indonesia (Security threat level – 4) : On 22 May 2019, several thousand demonstrators gathered in downtown Jakarta to protest against the official election results, which named incumbent President Joko Widodo the winner over opposition candidate Prabowo Subianto. The demonstration was initially peaceful until a group of protesters set fire to several vehicles and a police dormitory, and threw fireworks and other objects at riot police officers, who responded by firing tear gas. At least six people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the clashes. At least 20 people have been arrested for their role in the violence. In response to the unrest, the government has partially blocked access to social media in an effort to curb the spread of disinformation following the incident.

    Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 21 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Burkina Faso
  • Event: Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Burkina Faso. Terrorists may conduct attacks anywhere with little or no warning. Targets could include hotels, restaurants, police stations, customs offices, military posts, mining sites, places of worship, schools, and anywhere crowds gather.
    Due to the risk of attacks throughout Burkina Faso, the U.S. Embassy prohibits official government travel to the following regions, unless approved in advance.
  • Centre Est Region,Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Centre-Nord, Centre-Ouest (Not including the Province of Boulkiemdé, Centre-Sud, Hauts-Bassin, Nord, Sud-Ouest, Ouagadougou Neighborhoods: Karpala, Balkiui and Rayongo
  • Actions to Take: Stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Indonesia (Security threat level – 4): On 22 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Demonstrations related to the announcement of election results that began on May 21 have continued overnight and as of 0600 this morning remain ongoing. At multiple sites in central Jakarta, specifically near Tanah Abang and Jl. Wahid Hasyim in Menteng, clashes are taking place between police and protesters. The Embassy strongly advises U.S. citizens to avoid these areas.
  • Actions to Take:

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations or political rallies are occurring and exercise caution if within the vicinity of any large gathering.
  • Stay current with media coverage of local events, be aware of your surroundings, and practice personal security awareness at all time.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.
  • Thursday 23 May 2019:

    Nicaragua (Security threat level – 4/3: A 24-hour-long nationwide general strike has been underway in Nicaragua since 0000 local time (0600 UTC) on 23 May 2019. The main opposition Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy announced the strike the previous day. Other opposition groups — as well as private sector entities, including the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP) — are also participating in the protest action. The strike has disrupted routine activities in the country, particularly in the capital Managua, where all schools and colleges are closed for the day. As of the latest reports, most of the commercial establishments in the city are closed and only a few vehicles are operating on the streets. The protest action is being organized to demand the release of all political prisoners and to condemn the 16 May killing of a detainee — who was a dual U.S.-Nicaraguan citizen — inside a prison near the capital.

    Afghanistan (Security threat level – 5): On 22 May 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Event: Due to political developments, increased security restrictions may cause traffic disruptions over the next several days. There may also be an increased likelihood of protests during the upcoming period. In addition, the U.S. Embassy has received reports that militants continue to plan attacks of varying complexity against targets in Kabul where foreign citizens, foreign diplomats, and Afghan government officials may gather or stay, including hotels, housing compounds, and Afghan, U.S., and other foreign government offices and facilities.
  • Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 5): On 23 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advisory for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that reads as follows: “The body of former opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is to be returned to Kinshasa on 30 May 2019. Large scale events and crowds are expected to take place through to 1 June 2019, when a funeral will take place in Kinshasa. You should exercise vigilance and be aware that there will likely be significant disruption to journeys in and around Kinshasa, as well as to and from N’Djili airport.”

    Liberia (Security threat level – 4): On 23 May 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an updated travel advisory for Liberia, which reads in part as follows: “A large protest march by opposition groups is planned for 7 June 2019 in Monrovia and other cities across the country. Traffic in and around Monrovia will likely be significantly disrupted. Routes from town to the airport could be congested or blocked. You should plan any journeys well in advance…While the organisers and Government have committed to keeping these peaceful there is always the possibility of incidents of violence. You should remain vigilant, avoid large crowds and demonstrations, and follow the advice of local authorities.

    Togo (Security threat level – 4): On 22 May 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated Travel Advisory for Togo, which reads in part as follows:

  • Exercise normal precautions in Togo. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
    Reconsider Travel To:Northern border region adjacent to Burkina Faso due to potential for terrorism and kidnapping.
  • “Exercise Increased Caution In:

  • Areas north of Kande due to potential for terrorism.
  • The cities of Sokodé, Bafilo, and Mango due to civil unrest.
  • 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.