AMERICAS Colombia / Ecuador (Security threat levels – 4 / 3): ...
Benin (Security threat level – 3): As of 17 June 2019, tensions remain high in Savè and Tchaourou following several days of clashes between security forces and protesters over a series of arbitrary arrests allegedly linked to the April parliamentary elections. The most recent incident of violence occurred in Savè on 15 June, when security forces opened fire on protesters who have been blocking the Cotonou-Parakou road since 11 June. At least two civilians were killed and seven others were injured. It is unclear if roadblocks in Savè have been cleared. There have been no reports of violence in Tchaourou since 14 June. Currently, there are three mediators in Tchaourou seeking to negotiate with protesters, but clashes may still occur without notice.
Analyst comment: Savè and Tchaourou are strongholds of former President Boni Yayi, who remains under house arrest due to his call to boycott the April parliamentary elections.
Iraq (Security threat level – 5): On 19 June 2019, a short-range Katyusha missile struck the residential and operations headquarters of several foreign oil companies at the Burjesia Business and Residence Center, located approximately 25 km (17 mi) southwest of Basra. Companies at the site include Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Eni SpA. Shortly after the attack, Exxon Mobil announced that it was evacuating 21 foreign employees; the rocket landed 100 m (328 ft) from its section of the center. Three Iraqi nationals were injured in the strike. No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack.
Analyst Comment: The attack in Basra is consistent with other recent small-scale rocket attacks against U.S. targets in Iraq. Similar attacks targeted U.S military bases near Mosul and Baghdad on 17 and 19 June, respectively. None of the attacks have produced significant casualties. The attack on the Burjesia Business and Residence Center near Basra comes after the U.S. government evacuated non-essential personnel from its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Erbil over concerns on 15 May about possible attacks against U.S. diplomatic facilities in the country. In keeping with that advice, Exxon had also evacuated its personnel; it had only recently allowed its employees back into Iraq.
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.