Worldview Weekly Security Update – June 6, 2019
6-Jun-19
Monday 03 June 2019:

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): Early on 2 June 2019, protesters attacked a convoy of 32 Dole Food Company fruit trucks passing through Guadalupe Carney, a village located approximately 330 km (205 mi) from Tegucigalpa. Protesters looted the contents of the containers and burned the trucks. At least one truck driver was injured in the event. The trigger for the attack remains unclear.

Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 31 May 2019, protests turned violent for a second consecutive day in Tegucigalpa. Thousands of protesters marched along the capital’s central roads, including Bulevard Fuerzas Armadas and Bulevard Centroamerica, as part of the 48-hour nationwide strike against health care and education privatization. Police officers deployed tear gas to disperse protesters and clashed with groups of demonstrators who erected barricades.

In central Tegucigalpa, a group of protesters set fire to tires and debris at the entrance of the U.S. Embassy. In a statement, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa denounced the act as “unacceptable” and claimed to be “working closely with Honduran authorities to bring those responsible to justice.” The embassy also announced that its Consular Section had canceled “all visa appointments and routine services for U.S. citizens from June 3-7, 2019, and cannot schedule any new appointments.” The statement further noted that “U.S. citizens experiencing an emergency will be assisted.”

Nigeria (Security threat level – 5): On 31 May 2019, police officers used tear gas and fired warning shots to disperse thousands of protesters demanding the release of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria on al-Quds day. Following Friday prayers, the demonstrators marched along Kano Road chanting slogans. At the intersection with Ahmadu Bello Way, security forces fired shots into the air. The incident disrupted trade at the Sheik Gummi Central Market. At least three protesters were reportedly injured.

Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 3 June 2019, Sudanese security forces launched a raid to disperse the sit-in protest outside the military headquarters in central Khartoum. Heavy gunfire and explosions — which were reported across Khartoum as Rapid Support Forces (RSF) attempted to disperse the sit-in protest earlier in the raid — have subsided. However, sporadic gunfire continues and the current situation is unknown. Meanwhile, the RSF have blocked roads across Khartoum, including those surrounding the military headquarters. Reports indicate the RSF have raided several local hospitals in Khartoum — including Royal Care, al-Moalem and SharqaIneel facilities — in an effort to pursue demonstrators and that they are preventing ambulances from offloading injured protesters. Internet services in Khartoum have been disconnected amid the unrest. RSF officers have also prevented foreign journalists from leaving their hotels. At least 19 people have been killed and a number of people injured in the ongoing raid, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors. The protest organizers, known as Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), have called for protesters to continue to rally at the sit-in site.

Meanwhile, there were similar reports of clashes in the town of Omdurman, located on the outskirts of Khartoum, where RSF forces clashed with demonstrators, killing at least five protesters.

Analyst Comment: Multiple isolated clashes between protesters and security forces have occurred over the previous week during attempts by security personnel to disperse demonstrations associated with the protest movement, which the TMC refers to as a “danger” to national security. The clashes follow a breakdown in negotiations between the TMC and the SPA, who have called for a “limited military representation” in the future government.

Bangladesh (Security threat level – 4): On 2 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka issued a Security Alert regarding the Eid-al-Fitr holiday that reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Throughout Bangladesh
  • Event: The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens living in or visiting Bangladesh during the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday period to remain vigilant in light of recent attacks in Bangladesh and around the world.
    The U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for Bangladesh is still in effect, and the terrorist threat remains credible. The Islamic State (also referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]) and al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) have publicly claimed credit for various attacks in Bangladesh since September 2015. Further terrorist attacks could occur against foreigners and may coincide with the holiday season.
  • Criminals also know when holiday breaks occur and may take advantage of empty residences or unattended property.
  • Niger (Security threat level – 5): On 1 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Niamey issued a Security Alert regarding terror attacks, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Niamey, Niger
  • Event: According to credible sources, terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Niger and may attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and/or local government facilities and areas frequented by large crowds. Vigilance and security measures in Niger remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups
  • Tuesday 04 June 2019:

    Sudan (Security threat level – 5): Scattered incidents of violence were reported across Sudan, including in Khartoum, on 4 June 2019. Reports indicate the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) unit continues to patrol the streets and accost civilians, but there have been no reports of fatalities thus far. Khartoum International Airport (HSSS/KRT) is reportedly open, but travelers should plan for delays and possible disruptions, as the Sudanese Aviation Professionals Association (SAPA) has announced it will participate in civil disobedience. Additionally, Emirates Airline has suspended flights between Khartoum and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, citing unrest.

    Meanwhile, on 4 June, Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) announced that it had halted negotiations with opposition leaders and had scrapped the existing agreement between the two parties. The TMC further stated that it plans to organize snap elections within nine months. Sudanese opposition forces — headed principally by the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) — rejected the government’s call for early elections and continued to call for civil disobedience and protests. The two parties had previously settled on a three-year period for Sudan’s transition to a full civilian government.

    The TMC’s announcement follows Sudanese security forces’ efforts on 3 June to violently disperse sit-in protesters in central Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan. According to the Central Commission of Sudanese Doctors, at least 35 protesters were killed and several hundred others were injured during the raids, in which security forces used live ammunition to disperse protesters. Several Western governments, including the U.S., U.K. and Germany, have denounced the Sudanese military’s use of force.

    Burkina Faso (Security threat level – 4): On 3 June 2019, the U.S. Department of State issued an updated travel advisory for Burkina Faso, which reads in part as follows:

    Reconsider travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism, crime, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Do Not Travel to the following regions due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping:

  • The Boucle du Mouhoun Region
  • The Cascades Region
  • The Centre-Est Region
  • The Centre-Nord Region
  • The Centre-Ouest Region except Boulkiemde Province
  • The Centre-Sud Region
  • The Est Region
  • The Hauts-Bassins Region
  • The Nord Region
  • The Sahel Region
  • The Sud-Ouest Region
  • The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the listed regions because U.S. government personnel travel to these areas is restricted. Do Not Travel to the following parts of the city of Ouagadougou due to terrorism and crime:

  • Arrondissement 11: Karpala, Balkiui, and Rayongo (also known as Dayongo) neighborhoods.
  • Honduras (Security threat level – 4): On 3 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa issued a Demonstration Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Honduras, countrywide
  • Event: Ongoing demonstrations by members of the health and education sectors. Students, other activists, and workers from other economic sectors, e.g., bus and taxi drivers, may also participate in the protests.
    In light of these ongoing demonstrations, the U.S. Embassy maintains its recommendation to minimize all unnecessary travel throughout the week of June 3 – 7, 2019. Unannounced protests could occur throughout the week and lead to the closure of businesses, and ongoing and persistent roadblocks in major cities and along the highways connecting Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, Choluteca, Choloma, Villaneuva, Tocoa, and other cities and major highways countrywide.”
  • Mexico (Security threat level – 4): On 3 June 2019, the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Event: Change in Travel Policy for U.S. Government Employees in Chihuahua State
  • The U.S. government has lifted restrictions on employee travel to Ciudad Juarez’s downtown (Centro) area put into effect last year. U.S. government employees may now travel at any time to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juarez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ochampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to all other portions of Ciudad Juarez, except for direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport and the factories (maquilas) located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres. Additionally, travel to the factory (maquila) and cattle inspection station in San Jerónimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. Travel via Anapra is prohibited.
  • U.S. government employee travel restrictions outside of Ciudad Juarez have not changed. U.S. government employees may only travel to Ojinaga, Palomas, and the Nuevo Casas Grandes area via the nearest U.S. port of entry. All travel to Chihuahua must take place during daylight hours via Highway 45, and U.S. government personnel may not visit the Villa, Zapata, or Morelos districts of the city.
  • U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling to all other areas of Chihuahua State, including Copper Canyon.
  • Wednesday 05 June 2019:

    Egypt (Security threat level – 4): On 4 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Egypt
  • Event: Given ongoing security concerns, the Embassy reminds U.S. citizens resident or traveling in Egypt of our standing recommendation to exercise increased caution due to terrorism. Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Egypt and may attack with little or no warning. U.S. citizens are encouraged to stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners.
  • Thursday 06 June 2019:

    Sri Lanka (Security threat level – 3): On 6 June 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice for Sri Lanka to read in part as follows:

  • The FCO no longer advise against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka
  • Analyst Comment: The FCO upgraded its travel advice in April 2019 to warn against all but essential travel after multiple bombings targeted hotels and places of worship in Batticaloa, Colombo and Negombo on 21 April.
  • Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 5 June 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum issued a Security Alert, which reads in part as follows:

  • Location: Each city in metropolitan Khartoum (Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North) and in other cities across Sudan.
  • Event: Violence and civil unrest continue in Khartoum and across Sudan. Communications systems, such as cellular data and internet, are not functional. Cellular voice and SMS are functional. The airport in Khartoum is open; however, some flights have been cancelled or are being rescheduled. Traveling to the airport may be hazardous due to roadblocks, civil unrest, and violence.
  • Movement by U.S. government personnel at the U.S. Embassy has been reduced to minimal official movements only. The Embassy is closed to the public.
  • Sudan (Security threat level – 5): On 5 June 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued an update to its travel advice for Sudan, which reads in part as follows:

  • The FCO [now] advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Sudan, including Khartoum. If you’re in Sudan, you should consider carefully whether your need to remain is essential and consider leaving the country by commercial means. As of 5 June 2019, the decision was made to withdraw non-essential British Embassy staff and dependants from Sudan.
  • Analyst Comment: The U.K. FCO continues to maintain its previous advisory against all travel to the Abyei region, the states of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan, the “southern area of West Kordofan state that was previously part of South Kordofan,” areas within 200 km (124 mi) of the border with Libya, and areas within 50 km of the “border with South Sudan in White Nile and Sennar states.
  • 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.