3 November 2014


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News summary

 
CANADA - Travel ban on persons arriving from Ebola-affected countries
MEXICO - Bodies of missing US nationals discovered in Matamoros
 
AFGHANISTAN / PAKISTAN - Elevated terrorism threat for Ashura
BANGLADESH - Countrywide power outages following technical difficulty
INDIA / PAKISTAN - Bombing results in casualties at Wagah border crossing
PAKISTAN - Clashes in Orakzai agency result in casualties
 
FRANCE - Strike action set to significantly disrupt transport services throughout the country
RUSSIA - Rallies expected in urban centres to mark Unity Day
SWITZERLAND - Opposing rallies take place in Bern
TURKEY - Thousands attend pro-Kurd rallies throughout the country to highlight Kobane conflict
UKRAINE - Separatist elections held amid hostilities in eastern regions
 
BAHRAIN - Anti-government civil unrest possible during Ashura
IRAN - Countrywide anti-US rallies possible during 1979 embassy takeover anniversary
IRAQ - Shiites targeted in bombings ahead of Ashura
LEBANON - Elevated security for Ashura-related events throughout the country
YEMEN - Militants attack military in al-Hudaydah governorate
 
BURKINA FASO - (Update) Protests against military rule in Ouagadougou
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - Attacks in Beni result in fatalities
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - Sit-in protest planned in Kinshasa
KENYA - Ambush on security forces in Turkana County causes casualties
KENYA - Militant attacks on security forces in Mombasa and Kilifi result in casualties
 

Crisis Management Assistance

 

Americas

CANADA (Country risk rating: Low); 1 November; Travel ban on persons arriving from Ebola-affected countries

According to reports released on 1 November, authorities in Canada announced a ban on travellers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea on 31 October. The ban includes halting the issuance of travel visas for persons from the aforementioned countries; however, visas may be granted on a case-by-case basis. It remains unclear whether the country has also implemented additional screening measures and the quarantine of persons arriving from Ebola-affected countries. The ban will not apply to citizens and permanent residents. It is unclear how long the measures will remain in place. The ban was initiated as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of Ebola, which is currently affecting the above-mentioned West African states. At this stage, the ongoing Ebola outbreak is largely contained within the West African states of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali. Outside of this region, cases of Ebola have been confirmed in the US, Spain and France. There have been no confirmed cases in Canada. In response to the Ebola outbreak, a number of travel restrictions and advisories have been issued by various governments and international health bodies. Although these too have been largely concentrated in West Africa, the latest travel bans underscore the potential for wider travel disruptions and regulations in response to the outbreak. Persons intending to travel to Canada from or via Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are advised to contact their travel provider prior to departure for further information and travel alternatives.


MEXICO (Country risk rating: High); 30 October; Bodies of missing US nationals discovered in Matamoros

The bodies of three missing US nationals were discovered in Matamoros, located in Mexico's western Tamaulipas state, on 30 October. The foreign nationals, who had been missing since 13 October, had reportedly been detained by police immediately prior to their disappearance. Security force members are reportedly under investigation for their alleged involvement in the disappearance and subsequent homicide. Although details remain unconfirmed, the alleged involvement of law enforcement officials comes weeks after several security force members were detained for being involved in the disappearance of 43 students in Guerrero state. Corruption among security force members is a pervasive problem in Mexico and members of the police have been known to collude with cartels and organised criminal gangs. Although the majority of those targeted are locals, with a large proportion of criminal incidents occurring in low-income areas of cities, the aforementioned incident underscores that foreign nationals may also be at risk. Due to various security concerns, particularly an elevated threat of crime, all non-essential travel to Tamaulipas is advised against. Clients are advised to minimise unnecessary contact with the police whenever possible. Persons currently in Tamaulipas, as well as in other drug-affected areas of Mexico, are advised to exercise extreme situational awareness and ensure that robust security measures are in place at all times.


 

Asia and Pacific

AFGHANISTAN / PAKISTAN; 1 November; Elevated terrorism threat for Ashura

Shiites in Afghanistan and Pakistan will commemorate Ashura, the tenth day of Muharram, from 3 November. Ashura marks the day Shiites believe Imam Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was killed during the Battle of Karbala (680 AD). There is an elevated threat of Sunni extremist violence targeting Shiite communities, processions and religious sites and gatherings across the countries during the forthcoming religious period. Attacks, should they occur, are likely to focus on pilgrimage routes and major Shiite religious centres. The threat is considered elevated in the cities of Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif, in Afghanistan, as well as Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi, in Pakistan. In November 2012, an improvised explosive device (IED) blast targeting a Shiite procession in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, left up to 23 people dead and 60 injured. Furthermore, also in November 2012 twin blasts targeting a Shiite mosque in Karachi left up to three people dead. Afghanistan has also experienced attacks on Shiite targets; in December 2011, over 50 people were killed and at least 100 others injured in a series of bombings targeting Ashura celebrations in the capital, Kabul, as well as the cities of Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar. Given this threat, security is likely to be significantly increased in and around mosques and other sensitive religious sites in anticipation of any violence. Additional security checkpoints along major routes should also be anticipated. In Pakistan, bans on pillion riding on motorcycles are likely to be implemented; mobile phone services are also likely to be blocked in urban centres to prevent militant groups from coordinating attacks or triggering remote-controlled IEDs. Due to a number of ongoing security concerns, all travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan is advised against. Clients currently in these countries are advised to exercise heightened situational awareness and vigilance and avoid all Shiite religious sites and processions, which are susceptible to attacks by extremists.


BANGLADESH (Country risk rating: High); 1 and 2 November; Countrywide power outages following technical difficulty

Bangladesh experienced widespread power outages following the failure of the transmission line supplying electricity from India on 1 November. The power outage was initially countrywide, as the technical fault triggered an automatic emergency shutdown of the country's power stations; however, by 2 November a number of power stations had been restarted, restoring electricity to the country. Clients in Bangladesh are advised to monitor local media for updates and advisories from the local authorities. Furthermore, persons in areas affected by power outages should anticipate disruptions to utilities, transport and telecommunication services in the near-term.


INDIA / PAKISTAN; 2 November; Bombing results in casualties at Wagah border crossing

A suicide bombing resulted in the deaths of at least 60 people and left 110 others wounded near the shared border crossing between Pakistan and India on 2 November. The blast occurred at the Wagah border crossing, the only road border between the two countries that connects India's city of Amritsar with Pakistan's city of Lahore. The blast occurred on the Pakistani side of the border and targeted crowds that had gathered for a daily flag lowering ceremony at the crossing. Splinter groups of the Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan (TTP), have since claimed responsibility for the attack. There is an extreme risk from terrorism in Pakistan. The threat stems primarily from Islamist militants. Prominent among these groups is the militant TTP, which has previously carried out attacks in and near Lahore. A heightened security force presence in the affected area is expected to continue on 3 November as cleanup operations continue; the death toll is likely to increase in the coming days. In addition, associated traffic disruptions are also possible in the vicinity of the blast in the short-term. Due to various security concerns, including extreme levels of terrorism, clients are advised against all travel to Pakistan. Additionally, persons in India are advised against non-essential travel to within 10km of India's shared border area with Pakistan. Clients near the affected area are further advised to exercise heightened security awareness at this time, and should report all suspicious persons, packages, and/or vehicles to the local authorities.


PAKISTAN (Country risk rating: Extreme); 1 November; Clashes in Orakzai agency result in casualties

At least 20 militants and four security personnel were killed during clashes between militants and security forces in the Orakzai agency, located in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in north western Pakistan, on 1 November. Further information is currently unavailable. The Pakistan Army is currently engaged in an offensive against Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) strongholds and pockets of al-Qaeda militants in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and FATA, which remain hotbeds of militant activity. Further militant activity, as well as targeted security operations, are likely to continue in the short- to medium-term, at least. Due to a number of security concerns, including the threat of terrorism, clients are advised against all travel to Pakistan. Persons in or planning to travel to the country are advised to implement robust security measures at all times.


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Europe and Russia

FRANCE (Country risk rating: Medium); 3 November; Strike action set to significantly disrupt transport services throughout the country

France's national rail company, SNCF, and the state-owned RATP, which operates public transport in the capital, Paris, are set to be affected by strike action called for by the CGT union from 3 November. The national rail strike is expected to commence at 19:00 local time and conclude at 08:00 on 5 November; intercity, regional and high-speed train services are set to be affected. The public transport strike in Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region is set to begin at 22:30 on 3 November and conclude at 06:30 on 5 November. Transport services, including the Paris Metro, the RER regional train service, the city bus system and the Paris tram network, are set to be significantly affected. The strikes have been organised in opposition to recently passed rail reform legislation. The legislation was passed despite a two-week rail strike at the time the legislation was debated in June. This calls for the restructuring of SNCF and the company which manages the country's rail infrastructure, Reseau Ferre de France (RFF), in a purported effort to improve their cost effectiveness. CGT continues to maintain that the restructuring will result in significant staff redundancies. Although SNCF and RATP are expected to implement contingency measures, countrywide rail services, as well as the majority of public transport services in Paris, are set to be significantly disrupted by the upcoming industrial action. Persons in France should anticipate significant disruptions to countrywide rail services and public transport services in the capital. Clients should contact their travel provider or the applicable transport operator to confirm the status of services.


RUSSIA (Country risk rating: High); 4 November; Rallies expected in urban centres to mark Unity Day

Two major demonstrations are expected to take place in Russia's capital, Moscow, on 4 November. A major nationalist event, titled 'Russian March', is set to take place in the outlying Lyublino district, located in the south east of the capital. This will involve a march along Pererva Street followed by a possible rally; city authorities have not sanctioned the rally but have approved the march for up to 10,000 participants. Another nationalist demonstration is expected to take place in the north western Shchukino area. Authorities have sanctioned the event for up to 5,000 participants. Similar smaller-scale events are expected in St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Vologda, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and elsewhere. Additionally, anti-fascism and opposition groups are expected to stage counter-demonstrations in Moscow, and possibly St Petersburg, on the affected day. The upcoming gatherings will coincide with Unity Day, a former national holiday that commemorates the liberation of Moscow from Polish-Lithuanian occupation in 1612. In recent years, Unity Day celebrations have developed into a more contemporary celebration of Russian patriotism. However, ultra-nationalist elements have increasingly used the event to organise anti-immigrant rallies promoting Slavic nationalism. In 2013, a sanctioned Unity Day rally in the Lyublino district drew 30,000 participants and proceeded relatively peacefully. Nonetheless, confrontations between rival demonstrators as well as between protesters and police are possible. Persons in Moscow are advised to avoid the vicinity of both sanctioned and unsanctioned Unity Day rallies due to the risk of civil unrest at these events. Clients should also monitor local media for announcements of other events, and avoid all related gatherings and concentrations of security forces as a precaution.


SWITZERLAND (Country risk rating: Low); 1 November; Opposing rallies take place in Bern

A number of opposing rallies took place in Switzerland's capital, Bern, on 1 November. Trade unions and left-wing political parties, including the Young Socialists and the Greens, staged a major rally in Bundesplatz, near the Parliament building in the central Old City area, from 11:00 local time. At the same time, an opposing, yet unsanctioned, rally was led by the ECOPOP initiative. Finally, nationalist groups also staged a rally in the vicinity of the Bundesplatz on the same day. A large security force deployment was reported in the vicinity of the Bundesplatz; however, no civil unrest was reported. The trade union rally was organised in opposition to the ECOPOP initiative. The initiative is a proposal by a group of ecologists to limit population growth and immigration into Switzerland in order to reduce the country's ecological footprint. In recent months, immigration has become a key issue in the country; in February, immigration quotas were narrowly approved by the electorate despite warnings from EU officials that the re-introduction of quotas would have negative consequences. Accordingly, the European Commission has temporarily suspended co-operation on research and education with Switzerland. Despite this, a referendum on the ECOPOP initiative is expected to take place on 30 November. Given this, further demonstrations regarding this issue should be anticipated in the near-term. Localised travel disruptions should be anticipated in the vicinity of any protest gatherings.


TURKEY (Country risk rating: High); 1 November; Thousands attend pro-Kurd rallies throughout the country to highlight Kobane conflict

Thousands of people attended a number of rallies, called for by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), in Turkey on 1 November. These were called in solidarity with pro-Kurdish groups fighting Islamist extremist group, the Islamic State (IS), in the Syrian border town of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab). The most significant event was held in Diyarbakir, located in the eponymous province, as well as in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara. The events were largely peaceful with the exception of low-level violence being reported in Diyarbakir. No casualties were reported. The protest call follows similar demonstrations and associated violent civil unrest in a number of areas in Turkey in early October, which lead to the deaths of at least 39 people. The protests were initially prompted by calls for Turkish intervention to prevent IS from capturing the Syrian Kurd-controlled town of Kobane, located in Syria's Aleppo governorate, which borders the Suruc district in Turkey's southern province of Sanliurfa. It should be noted that all associated gatherings are deemed highly susceptible to violence. All non-essential travel to the provinces of Erzincan, Tunceli, Bingol, Elazig, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Batman, Mus, Bitlis, Siirt, Sirnak, Hakkari, Van and Agri, as well as Mount Ararat (also known as Mount Agri) in nearby Igdir province in Turkey, is advised against due to a number of security concerns. Clients are also advised against all non-essential travel to within 10km of Turkey's shared border with Syria.


UKRAINE (Country risk rating: High); 2 November; Separatist elections held amid hostilities in eastern regions

Separatist elections took place in Ukraine's self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) and Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) on 2 November amid reports of hostilities and shelling in a number of areas in the eastern regions. Leaders of the separatist eastern regions had called for the elections in reaction to the exclusion of the regions in Ukraine's parliamentary elections that took place on 26 October. The elections concluded without incident and official results of the elections are yet to be announced. Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions have experienced a significant decrease in hostilities since a ceasefire agreement was concluded in Minsk, Belarus, on 5 September. Nevertheless, intermittent clashes continue to be reported throughout the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. According to military officials on 1 November, at least six Ukrainian armed forces personnel had been killed and ten more injured in separate clashes between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russia separatist militants near the Donetsk International Airport, in Donetsk, and near Bakhmutka, in Luhansk. The elections are said to be in contravention of the Minsk peace agreement; as such, the security situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions is expected to remain tenuous in the short-term, at least; the potential for a deterioration in the security environment persists. Clients are advised against all travel to the aforementioned regions due to instability and frequent clashes involving armed forces and separatist militants.


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Middle East and North Africa

BAHRAIN (Country risk rating: High); 3 November; Anti-government civil unrest possible during Ashura

Shiites in Bahrain will commemorate Ashura, a significant religious observance, on 3 November. An increase in Shiite processions and events ahead of the day has already occurred, and further gatherings are anticipated over the near-term. These are expected to largely occur in Shiite areas outside of the capital, Manama. There is a possibility of some of these events being characterised by increased anti-government sentiment. Shiite political opposition parties continue to oppose the Sunni-minority regime and have held numerous protests in recent years to further their demands of greater political powers. The risk of clashes between Shiites commemorating Ashura and the security forces is considered elevated, particularly if the religious processions display anti-government characteristics. The risk to foreign nationals is considered largely incidental. For red24's full Bahrain advisory, please click here.


IRAN (Country risk rating: Medium); 4 November; Countrywide anti-US rallies possible during 1979 embassy takeover anniversary

The anniversary of the takeover of the US Embassy in 1979, during the Iranian Revolution, will be marked on 4 November in Iran. Local media reports have indicated that a statement by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has encouraged people to participate in, and has called for, rallies and events countrywide on the day. Rallies and street marches commemorating the day are anticipated in the capital, Tehran, and in other major cities and towns on the day. In Tehran, public gatherings are likely near the former US Embassy compound, located on Taleghani Avenue in the city centre. Rallies near other Western diplomatic facilities are also possible. Despite the recent thaw in relations between Iran and the US, anti-Western and anti-Israel sentiment is likely at all rallies commemorating the US Embassy takeover. Although security is anticipated to be increased, minor acts of violence cannot be discounted. Clients in Iran are advised to monitor local developments closely and should avoid all street protests and gatherings as a precaution.


IRAQ (Country risk rating: High); 1 to 3 November; Shiites targeted in bombings ahead of Ashura

Shiites in Iraq will commemorate Ashura, a significant religious observance, on 3 November. An increase in Shiite processions and events are anticipated on the day. These are likely to focus on the city of Karbala. An increased level of security has been noted ahead of the day in response to the risk of terrorism. Sunni extremists are frequently implicated in attacks against Shiites and the incident frequency tends to increase during Shiite religious periods. Highlighting this risk, bombings targeting Shiites were reported in the capital, Baghdad, on 1 and 2 November, leaving at least 28 people dead. The incidents occurred in the Saidiyah, Sadoun and Sadr City areas. Further bombings are anticipated over the immediate-term. For red24's full Iraq advisory, please click here.


LEBANON (Country risk rating: High); 3 and 4 November; Elevated security for Ashura-related events throughout the country

The authorities in Lebanon announced increased security measures ahead of the Shiite religious commemoration of Ashura on 3 and 4 November. The security measures are expected to be implemented in Shiite-majority areas, particularly in southern parts of the capital, Beirut, and in Nabatieh and Tyre. These measures include increased checkpoints, road closures, restricted vehicular access to some areas, and patrols. It should be noted that Sunni militants and rebel groups have increased their presence in parts of Lebanon since 2011. These groups have been implicated in clashes and attacks against Lebanese state and Shiite Hezbollah forces on a number of occasions. Given the probability of high-profile Shiite Muslim events during Ashura, militants may seek to escalate attacks. Despite the increased security measures, the possibility of a successful incursion cannot be discounted. In addition, Shiite or Alawite Muslim religious events or processions in mixed areas, such as Tripoli, may serve to increase the likelihood of communal violence and civil unrest with rival religious orders, specifically Sunnis. For red24's full advisory for Lebanon, please click here.


YEMEN (Country risk rating: Extreme); 1 November; Militants attack military in al-Hudaydah governorate

Clashes between suspected Sunni Islamist militants and the security forces in Yemen's western al-Hudaydah governorate left at least 20 soldiers and three militants dead on 1 November. The confrontation occurred in the town of Jabal Ras. The violence coincided with ongoing agitation by the Shiite Houthi rebel group. In recent weeks, the group has taken control of numerous cities in the centre and north of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, and al-Hudaydah city. The Yemeni military and police have largely acquiesced to the Houthis; however, Sunni militant and tribal resistance has been significant, particularly in Ibb and al-Bayda governorates. Further political instability and associated conflict are anticipated. For red24's full Yemen advisory, please click here.


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Sub-Saharan Africa

BURKINA FASO (Country risk rating: High); 31 October to 2 November; (Update) Protests against military rule in Ouagadougou

Political instability persists in Burkina Faso despite the resignation of long-time former president, Blaise Compaore, on 31 October. Thousands of people gathered in the capital, Ouagadougou, on 2 November to denounce the military takeover of the country and the appointment of Lieutenant Colonel Yacouba Isaac Zida as the country's new leader. The protest was later dispersed by military forces. The political opposition and civil society has called for the military to step aside and make way for a democratic and civilian transition of power. Following Zida's assumption of power, a night-time curfew (22:00 to 06:00 local time) was enforced. Further protests in reaction to his takeover are anticipated over the near-term. Additional travel restrictions, including the closure of roads, borders, airports and the implementation of curfews, may also be enforced in response to developments on the ground. For red24's full advisory for Burkina Faso, please click here.


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Country risk rating: High); 30 October to 2 November; Attacks in Beni result in fatalities

At least 22 people have been killed in an armed attacks in Beni territory, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s North Kivu province, since 30 October. Militants, armed with machetes, attacked the town of Kampi ya Chui, located approximately 70km north of Beni town, killing 14 people on 30 October. In addition, at least eight people were killed in a similar attack in Beni city's eastern Bel-Air district overnight on 1/2 November. In addition, associated protests condemning the attacks were held in the vicinity of the Beni's city hall on 2 November and were subsequently dispersed by the military. Local media reports have linked the attack to the Uganda-based group, the Allied Democratic Forces-National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF-NALU). The group has been implicated in several attacks in the territory in recent weeks, culminating in an estimated 110 fatalities. Although the latest incursion matches the modus operandi of recent incidents, which have been linked to ADF-NALU, it should be noted that North Kivu hosts several militant groups. Furthermore, it should be noted that growing public discontent over protracted insecurity in the region has promoted several demonstrations in Beni in recent days. As such, further attacks may serve as a catalyst for further protest action. Due to various security concerns, particularly the extreme threat of conflict, all travel to North Kivu province is advised against, including Beni territory. Persons currently in the region despite this advisory should ensure that robust security measures are in place. Clients located in Beni town are advised to avoid all large protest gatherings as a precaution.


DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Country risk rating: High); 3 November; Sit-in protest planned in Kinshasa

Opposition parties, including the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) and L'Union pour la Nation Congolaise (UNC) are set to hold a sit-in protest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s capital, Kinshasa, on 3 November. The participants are set to gather outside the US Embassy and the headquarters of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), located along Avenue des Aviateurs, in the Gombe municipality in the Lukunga district of Kinshasa. Additional police officers have been deployed in the area in order to secure the sit-in protest. The demonstration has been called in protest against President Joseph Kabila's intentions to amend the country's constitution, to allow him to contest the presidency for a third successive term in 2016. Although anticipated to conclude peacefully, the sit-in is likely to be emotive, and the possibility of violent civil unrest cannot be discounted. Furthermore, it should be noted that the gatherings may also result in the restriction of access to a number of foreign diplomatic representations, most notably the US Embassy, located along Avenue des Aviateurs. As with the previous sit-in protest held on 20 October, this gathering is set to be well attended; as such, localised traffic disruptions are likely in the vicinity of Avenue des Aviateurs. Due to various security concerns, all non-essential travel to the DRC, including Kinshasa, is advised against. Clients in the capital are advised to avoid the protest gathering and all related demonstrations as a precaution. If intending to visit any diplomatic and/or business venues in and around the protest-affected area, clients are advised to confirm the status of such facilities telephonically prior to departure.


KENYA (Country risk rating: High); 31 October; Ambush on security forces in Turkana County causes casualties

At least seven police officers were killed and an additional 17 remain missing following an attack by gunmen in Kenya's north western Turkana County on 31 October. The police officers are believed to have been ambushed in an undisclosed location in the vicinity of the Kapedo area by suspected gunmen from the Pokot community, according to local media reports. Inter-tribal violence occurs sporadically in the rural parts of Kenya, and is often related to conflicts over resources, such as land and water. Turkana County carries an elevated risk of tribal violence, banditry and cattle rustling. Tensions over natural resources and pasture rights have resulted in several clashes between the Pokot and Turkana communities in recent years. The most recent incident follows an announcement by Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, on 26 October that security forces would intervene in tribal clashes in Turkana to prevent civilian casualties. Given that local media reports have indicated the perpetrators belong to the Pokot community, it is possible that the most recent violence is linked to an associated security force initiative to address communal violence; however, other motivations cannot be discounted. Increased security measures are likely in the violence-affected area following the latest incident. Although foreign nationals are not directly targeted, there is an incidental risk to bystanders during periods of tribal conflict. Clients currently in the aforementioned county are advised to monitor developments closely and implement adequate security measures when travelling in the area, specifically when travel outside major urban centres is considered.


KENYA (Country risk rating: High); 2 November; Militant attacks on security forces in Mombasa and Kilifi result in casualties

At least six people were killed and one wounded during clashes between unidentified gunmen and security forces in Kenya's Mombasa and Kilifi counties on 2 November. In Mombasa's Nyali area, an attempted raid by armed militants and ensuing clashes left one security force officer severely wounded and six militants dead. A near-simultaneous attack on an administrative police camp in Malindi, located approximately 116km north east of Mombasa, in Kilifi County, caused significant property damage. No casualties were reported. There have been no claims of responsibility; however, local media reports quoted officials as suggesting they were perpetrated by a separatist group, known as the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC). This group has been known to conduct small-scale attacks targeting security interests in the past. Nonetheless, given that the motive of the latest attacks and the confirmed identities of the attackers are yet to be established, the possibility of another group's involvement cannot be discounted. Clients operating in Mombasa are advised to exercise a high degree of caution at all times, due to the high terrorism threat in the country. Due to elevated security risks, clients are advised against all non-essential travel to the city's Mombasa Island area. Furthermore, persons in the country, particularly in areas recently affected by violence, should implement adequate security measures when travelling, especially when travel is undertaken outside major urban centres.


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