1 November 2017

News summary

UNITED STATES - Vehicle-ramming incident reported in Manhattan, New York State
UNITED STATES / CANADA - Winter weather to cause disruptions
AFGHANISTAN - Bomb attack in Kabul results in casualties
BANGLADESH - BNP student wing calls for nationwide protests
BANGLADESH - Elevated security for upcoming event
BANGLADESH - Opposition plans rally in Dhaka
INDIA - (Update) Planned doctors' strike called off
INDIA - BJP political march in Karnataka State
INDIA - Possible flight disruptions at Delhi's airport
INDIA - Protests expected across Maharashtra State
INDONESIA - (Update) Increased security near PTFI Grasberg mine following shootings
PAKISTAN - Authorities increase security nationwide for Chehlum
PAKISTAN - Heightened security likely ahead of anniversary event in Lahore
PHILIPPINES - Disruptions and increased security for ASEAN Summit in Metro Manila and Clark Freeport Zone
THAILAND - Flooding continues to impact much of the country
ITALY - Skirmishes possible at upcoming football match in Rome
RUSSIA - Storm warnings for Rostov-on-Don area
No new significant incidents reported. Refer to the red24 website for country-specific security risk assessments for this region.
COTE D'IVOIRE - Communal violence reported in Moyen-Cavally region
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO - General strike expected in South Kivu Province
ERITREA - Violent protests erupt in Asmara
KENYA - (Update) Opposition rejects election results and calls for protests
KENYA - Election-related protests turn violent in Kericho
SOMALIA - Commercial goods vehicle ban in Mogadishu
SOUTH SUDAN - Intermittent clashes continue across the country



UNITED STATES (Country risk rating: Medium); October 31; Vehicle-ramming incident reported in Manhattan, New York State

At least eight people died, and at least 11 others sustained injuries following a vehicular incident in Lower Manhattan, New York City, on October 31. A pickup truck ploughed into pedestrians and cyclists along the Hudson River Greenway, which runs parallel to West Street, near Chambers Street. The driver, believed to be from Uzbekistan, exited the vehicle near Stuyvesant High School and displayed a fake firearm; police shot the individual and took him into custody. No additional suspects were sought after the attack. The incident is being investigated as a terror attack. A heightened police presence will continue in the affected area through November 1 at least. An elevated police presence should be expected at strategic locations across New York.

Advice: Heed all instructions given by authorities. Report suspicious persons or packages to police immediately.

UNITED STATES / CANADA; October 31 to November 4; Winter weather to cause disruptions

Winter weather will complicate travel in parts of the north western US and south western Canada through November 4. Rounds of moderate to heavy snowfall will be possible in south western Alberta, eastern and southern British Columbia, central and western Montana, north western Wyoming, northern Idaho, and the Washington Cascades. Snowfall accumulations will vary based on elevation, with the highest totals of 30-45 cm (12-18 inches) likely above 1,524 metres (5,000 feet). Lower elevation areas could still experience accumulating snowfall, with forecast amounts generally less than 15 cm (6 inches). The US National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter storm warnings and winter storm watches for the higher elevations of western and southern Montana and northern Wyoming; the NWS will likely expand these advisories in the coming days as rounds of snow move through the region. Environment Canada could also issue snowfall warnings for forecast areas in Alberta and Saskatchewan through November 4. Low visibility, slippery conditions, accidents, and snow-clearing operations will likely affect ground transport throughout the affected area through November 4. Expect difficult driving conditions on secondary and rural roadways in the affected areas, as maintenance crews will probably prioritise clearing major highways. Gusty winds could pose a hazard to high-profile vehicles and reduce visibility. Some flight disruptions could occur at regional airports, including those serving Bozeman (BZN), Butte (BTM), Calgary (YYC), Helena (HLN), Jackson Hole (JAC), and Kelowna (YLW).

Advice: Seek updated information on road conditions before driving in areas where heavy snowfall is forecast. Be prepared for winter driving conditions, including in some lower-elevation locations. Plan accordingly for possible delivery delays if routeing freight by truck through the affected area through November 4. Allow extra time to reach destinations. Confirm flights.

Asia and Pacific

AFGHANISTAN (Country risk rating: Extreme); October 31; Bomb attack in Kabul results in casualties

The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing that occurred on 14th Street in Kabul's fortified Wazir Akbar Khan area on the afternoon of October 31. Police said one assailant, who approached the area on foot, caused the blast. Officials have confirmed that at least five people died and at least 20 others were wounded, though the death toll could increase further. Expect localised transport disruptions in the area as authorities continue to investigate the incident.

Advice: Avoid the blast site. Heed all instructions from security personnel. Plan for traffic disruptions on surrounding streets in Wazir Akbar Khan while the investigation is underway.

BANGLADESH (Country risk rating: High); November 1; BNP student wing calls for nationwide protests

The Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) has called for nationwide demonstrations on November 1 to protest an attack on the motorcade of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia. The JCD is the student wing of the main opposition BNP. Demonstrations could occur in major cities and district headquarters throughout the day, with the largest gatherings likely in Dhaka. Specific rally sites have not been announced, but possible locations include BNP offices and local government buildings. Opposition protests often devolve into skirmishes with security personnel; minor arson attacks and vandalism are possible. Assailants firebombed two buses and detonated explosives on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway (N1) in Feni District on October 31, as Zia's motorcade passed by the area. The BNP leader was en route to Dhaka after visiting the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox's Bazar District. Zia's motorcade also came under attack near Feni District town on October 28, while she was en route to Cox's Bazar District. No one was reportedly hurt in either attack. The BNP claims that members of the ruling Awami League (AL) party carried out the attacks, a charge denied by AL, which says it was stage-managed by the opposition party.

Advice: Avoid all protests due to the risk of violence. As demonstration sites may not be announced in advance, check with local contacts for updates on venues and associated disruptions. Use caution near BNP offices, government buildings, university campuses, and other popular rally sites. If a demonstration forms nearby, immediately depart the area or seek shelter in a secure location. Confirm business appointments near any demonstration.

BANGLADESH (Country risk rating: High); November 9 to 11; Elevated security for upcoming event

Security forces will be on heightened alert in Dhaka for the annual International Folk Festival, which will run from November 9 to 11. Expect elevated security and strict traffic controls in the vicinity of the Bangladesh Army Stadium, the venue for the festival, where events are expected to take place from 18:00 to 01:30 each day. Travel disruptions are likely, as large numbers of people are expected to attend the festival; there is also a possibility of an increased demand for public transport during the events. An increase in criminality, particularly petty theft, is possible at the festival. Officials have not publicised any specific threats to the high-profile event, but the threat from Islamist terrorism remains high in Bangladesh, especially Dhaka, which has seen multiple attacks in recent years, some of which have deliberately targeted foreign nationals.

Advice: Prepare for tight security in Dhaka during the event. Plan accordingly for road closures and associated traffic disruptions near the Bangladesh Army Stadium. Heed the instructions of security personnel, and remain nonconfrontational if questioned.

BANGLADESH (Country risk rating: High); November 7; Opposition plans rally in Dhaka

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) plans to hold a large rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in central Dhaka on November 7. The event is intended to observe National Revolution and Solidarity Day. The date marks the civil-military uprising in 1975 that freed then-Army Chief Ziaur Rahman from captivity in Dhaka Cantonment, allowing him to name himself head of state. However, the ruling Awami League (AL) party considers November 7 a day of 'killing of freedom fighters', and it is unclear if authorities will allow the opposition gathering to occur. The potential for violence will increase considerably if BNP proceeds with the protest regardless of whether officials approve the event. If authorities do not issue a permit, police will likely cordon off the site to block BNP supporters from assembling; clashes between the two groups are possible. If the event is permitted, AL leaders may organise a counterdemonstration. Police will almost certainly try to keep the rival groups separate, but skirmishes cannot be ruled out. Participation in the event could reach the tens of thousands. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is scheduled to address the gathering, necessitating tight security. The rally will almost certainly cause localised transport disruptions on surrounding roads, especially as BNP supporters travel to and from Suhrawardy Udyan.

Advice: Avoid Suhrawardy Udyan and the surrounding area as a precaution. Allow considerable extra time for ground travel in central Dhaka, as the event will probably prompt severe traffic congestion.

INDIA (Country risk rating: High); November 1; (Update) Planned doctors' strike called off

Members of the Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) have cancelled plans to launch an indefinite strike at Delhi's 36 public hospitals on November 1. The decision came after the Delhi government agreed to reduce outpatient department (OPD) hours at public hospitals during talks held with FORDA representatives on October 31. FORDA had called the strike to protest the Delhi government's October 9 directive to increase OPD hours at public hospitals from 09:00-13:00 to 08:00-14:00, in an effort to reduce congestion and overcrowding. FORDA members opposed the move, stating that they were already working more than the prescribed number of hours per week. They further claimed that extending OPD hours will not ease overcrowding since there has been no similar increase in the hours of operation for ancillary services, such as laboratory and registration services. FORDA represents approximately 15,000 resident doctors in Delhi.

INDIA (Country risk rating: High); November 2, 2017 to January 28, 2018; BJP political march in Karnataka State

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is organising a 75-day political march across Karnataka State ahead of legislative assembly elections due in 2018. BJP President Amit Shah is slated to send off the Nava Karnataka Nirmana Parivarthan Yatra (NKNPY) from the grounds of the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), located at 10th Mile, Tumkur Road, on November 2. Organisers are expecting at least 150,000 BJP workers to arrive on motorcycles for the launch event in Bengaluru. The march will proceed across all 224 assembly constituencies in the state. The first phase of the NKNPY will cover southern Karnataka districts from November 2 to December 20. The second phase will include northern Karnataka districts and will begin from Hubballi on December 21. The BJP plans to hold daily public meetings along the march route; some events in urban centres will be attended by senior BJP leaders and union ministers and could draw large crowds. The NKNPY programme will culminate with a large rally at a yet-unspecified venue in Bengaluru on January 28, 2018, which will be addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The march will likely cause localised transport disruptions, and security disturbances may occur. Counterdemonstrations by rival political groups are possible, especially the state's ruling Indian National Congress (INC) party. Any politically motivated violence could prompt either the BJP or the INC to call for a local or statewide shutdown strike in Karnataka. Protests by either group are also possible in Delhi and other state capitals, though widespread disruptions or unrest are unlikely during such actions.

Advice: Avoid demonstrations due to the potential for clashes. Stay away from political party offices, political rallies, and protest sites. Use alternative routes to avoid possible march routes and streets near BJP and INC offices.

INDIA (Country risk rating: High); November 7 to 10; Possible flight disruptions at Delhi's airport

Officials plan to close one of the runways at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) from 00:01 on November 7 to 07:00 on November 10 to conduct maintenance. While the facility's two other runways will remain operational, changes to flight schedules, as well as delays and cancellations, are possible. Disruptions are most likely to impact domestic routes.

Advice: Confirm flights before checking out of hotels or departing for the airport.

INDIA (Country risk rating: High); October 31 to November 10; Protests expected across Maharashtra State

Farmer groups and opposition parties intend to stage a series of protest actions across Maharashtra State through at least November 10. Farmer groups plan to hold protests outside power companies' offices on November 1, and outside district government offices on November 10. Farmers will protest on November 8 to mark one year of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's demonetisation exercise; rallies and marches are likely near government offices or at popular public squares and parks. The opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) intends to hold demonstrations in district and sub-district headquarters across the state between November 1 and 8. The Indian National Congress (INC) party launched its statewide campaign from Ahmednagar District on October 31 and will hold six large rallies through November. The INC and NCP will hold joint demonstration on November 8, as part of a broader nationwide joint opposition campaign against the federal government's demonetisation measure. Participation will probably vary widely in the protests, with higher turnout likely in rural districts with a large farmer population, or opposition strongholds. Rallies and marches are likely to cause localised traffic congestion, especially in urban centres. In the past, farmers have blocked roads, highways and rail lines, and engaged in minor arson attacks and vandalism; such actions cannot be ruled during the upcoming protests. Clashes with police are possible, especially if law enforcement forcibly disperses any gathering. Skirmishes are also possible between rival opposition activists.

Advice: Avoid all protests as a precaution. Allow additional time for travel near likely protest sites, including government buildings; use extreme caution near political party offices and BJP leader residences. Confirm the status of highways before driving or routeing shipments through Maharashtra during the action. Do not try to pass through any roadblocks due to the threat of violence by protesters.

INDONESIA (Country risk rating: High); October 29; (Update) Increased security near PTFI Grasberg mine following shootings

Security personnel stationed near the PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI)'s Grasberg mine in Tembagapura in Papua's Mimika Regency are on the highest security alert (Siaga 1) after another targeted shooting took place on October 29. According to reports, unidentified gunmen fired at a Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) station at Mile 66 at about 10:35. No one was injured. Police previously warned of the potential for more shootings near Tembagapura. Security forces have launched operations to apprehend the perpetrators. The military is planning to deploy additional personnel to the site to guard against further attacks. A substantial security presence is likely along the road between Timika and Tembagapura. Police may restrict traffic near the shooting sites. PTFI may also temporarily halt all crew transfers between Timika and Tembagapura in the aftermath of shooting incidents. Minor operational disruptions are possible in the Grasberg mining district if crew transfers cannot be completed safely during protracted security operations. However, according to PTFI officials, previous similar incidents have not impacted activity at the mine. Following the October 29 shooting, officials urged local authorities to evacuate residents from villages in Tembagapura due to the heightened tensions in the area, which have hindered residents from accessing basic supplies. Prior to the latest attack, at least six shootings targeting PTFI and security vehicles were reported between October 21 and 25 in the area. The attacks have killed one security personnel member and injured several others. Police have blamed the shootings on militants affiliated with Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Free Papua Movement, OPM) separatist figure Sabinus Waker.

Advice: Seek updated information on security conditions from local contacts before driving or routeing shipments between Timika and Tembagapura. Use maximum caution if driving to Tembagapura is necessary. Shelter in place in Tembagapura or the Hidden Valley Camp if gunfire occurs.

PAKISTAN (Country risk rating: High); November 10; Authorities increase security nationwide for Chehlum

Authorities will significantly boost security measures across Pakistan ahead of the November 10 observance of Chehlum, the Shi'a commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein. Shi'a will participate in mass processions to and from imambargahs (prayer halls) across the country. Officials will likely deploy hundreds of additional security personnel around sensitive sites in main cities and towns throughout the country. Despite increased security, sectarian violence, including clashes, militant attacks, and bombings, is possible during the holiday. Expect significant transport disruptions, especially where marches and other demonstrations occur. Local authorities may suspend mobile service in areas deemed to be a high risk during the holiday. Officials will probably not announce such restrictions until just before the holiday. Chehlum occurs on the 40th day after Ashura. Sunni extremist groups have a history of bombing Shi'a processions on major religious holidays in Pakistan. The potential for violence has traditionally been greatest in Karachi and the northern parts of Pakistan, though sectarian attacks cannot be ruled out anywhere in the country. At least seven people died and 25 others sustained injuries in multiple bombings in Karachi and Mansehra during the 2013 Chehlum observance.

Advice: Maintain a very low profile, and stay away from Shi'a processions. Limit exposure to places of worship, government and political party offices, security and intelligence installations, and large concentrations of police, soldiers, and paramilitaries throughout the country. Shi'a processions typically follow fixed, approved routes; avoid them if possible. Plan accordingly for street closures and severe traffic congestion in downtown areas of major cities. Monitor local media for updates on security restrictions. Use landline telephones for time-sensitive communications.

PAKISTAN (Country risk rating: High); November 8 to 10; Heightened security likely ahead of anniversary event in Lahore

Authorities will significantly bolster security in Lahore for the observance of the death anniversary of Sufi saint Hazrat Abul Hassan Ali Hajveri, who was more commonly known as Data Ganj Bakhsh. Tens of thousands of devotees from across the world are expected to visit his dargah (shrine) during the annual three-day urs (death anniversary) observance from November 8 to 10. Large numbers of security personnel will likely deploy around the Data Darbar, located in the Old City area, about 2.5 km (1.7 miles) north west of the Punjab Assembly. Increased security measures will likely include CCTV monitoring, metal detectors, bag and body searches, road closures, and special parking arrangements. Terrorism is a concern during the event; Sunni extremist groups consider Sufism heretical and have bombed a number of Sufi shrines in Pakistan in recent years. In July 2010, at least two suicide bombers blew themselves up at the Data Darbar shrine, killing some 50 people and injuring 200 others. Security forces will be on high alert in Lahore and elsewhere in Pakistan amid concerns of possible militant attacks and bombings on Shi'a processions during the Chehlum observance on November 10.

Advice: Maintain a low profile and avoid the area around the Data Darbar from November 8 to 10. Avoid large crowds in the Old City area as a precaution. Allow additional time for travel in north west Lahore due to traffic congestion and possible road closures.

PHILIPPINES (Country risk rating: Medium); November 10 to 14; Disruptions and increased security for ASEAN Summit in Metro Manila and Clark Freeport Zone

The 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and related meetings will take place in Metro Manila and Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga Province from November 10 to 14. Foreign leaders from 21 countries and approximately 3,000 delegates are expected to attend the summit. Most summit meetings will occur at the Philippines International Convention Centre (PICC), located in Metro Manila, while other meetings will take place at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga Province. Authorities will increase security across Metro Manila, Clark Freeport Zone, and surrounding areas for the summit. The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN), an alliance of left-wing activists, plans to hold demonstrations during the summit; however, the group has not announced specific rally sites. Violent clashes between demonstrators and security personnel cannot be ruled out, particularly if security personnel forcibly disperse the crowd. Foreign leaders will arrive and depart at Clark International Airport (CRK). Most state leaders are expected to arrive on November 11 and depart on November 14. At least 50 domestic and international flights at CRK will be affected by the foreign delegates' arrival and departure. No flight disruptions are expected at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL).

Advice: Use caution near summit venues and surrounding areas. Avoid all demonstrations due to the possibility of clashes. Confirm business appointments near affected areas. Confirm flight schedules; allow considerable extra travel time if flying through CRK and MNL due to possible additional security screenings. Plan accordingly for commercial trucking disruptions and delivery delays. Heed the instructions of security personnel, and remain nonconfrontational if questioned. Carry proper identification at all times.

THAILAND (Country risk rating: Medium); October 31 to November 6; Flooding continues to impact much of the country

Persistent flooding continues to affect 17 provinces in the north, north east, and central regions of Thailand following a period of heavy rainfall. As of October 31, floods continue to affect districts in the provinces of Ang Thong, Ayutthaya, Chai Nat, Kalasin, Khon Kaen, Lop Buri, Maha Sarakham, Nakhon Sawan, Nong Bua Lam Phu, Pathum Thani, Pichit, Roi Et, Sing Buri, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Ubon Ratchathani, and Uthai Thani. While floodwaters are slowly subsiding, the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) forecasts light rainfall in the affected regions through at least November 6. On October 31, the TMD advised that a tropical depression in the South China Sea will bring heavy rains and wind to southern Thailand through November 3. Flood warnings are in place for Chumphon, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phatthalung, Phuket, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Songkhla, Songkhla, Surat Thani, and Yala provinces. Heavy rainfall and flooding will likely result in localised road closures and ground transport disruptions, particularly in low-lying areas and near waterways. Flooding could disrupt passenger and freight services on roads and railways. Utility disruptions and telecommunications outages may also occur, especially in more remote communities. Commercial and transport disruptions are likely to continue in the coming days. Poor weather could affect flight operations at regional airports.

Advice: Seek updated information on road conditions before driving or routeing shipments through affected areas. Plan for possible delivery delays. Allow additional travel time. Avoid low-lying areas, areas adjacent to waterways, and other zones at elevated risk for flooding and landslides. Keep battery-powered devices charged in the event of prolonged power outages.

Europe and Russia

ITALY (Country risk rating: Low); November 2; Skirmishes possible at upcoming football match in Rome

Authorities plan to deploy 1,500 police officers and 1,000 security staff to ensure order at the Europa League football match between France's OGC Nice and Rome's S.S. Lazio at Stadio Olimpico (Olympic Stadium) at 16:05 on November 2. Supporters of OGC Nice and members of Lazio's infamous Irriducibili group have clashed in the past. Police plan to keep opposing fans separated, but skirmishes are possible. Lazio ultras have been involved in a number of racist and anti-Semitic incidents in the past, and hooligans could harass bystanders or opposing team fans near the stadium or at other locations in central Rome before and after the match. A fan zone will be established for OGC Nice supporters at Piazza delle Canestre at Villa Borghese on the morning of November 2, and bus transfers to the stadium will be provided. Expect heightened security and localised transport disruptions near Stadio Olimpico on November 2. Police could close roads in the area, causing traffic congestion and public transit disruptions. Taxis could be in high demand.

Advice: Consider staying away from Stadio Olimpico and surrounding areas after 14:00 on November 2. Use alternative mass-transit services to avoid bus and tram lines that provide access to the stadium due to potential overcrowding and the possible presence of unruly fans. Many OGC Nice supporters will likely remain in Rome overnight; avoiding bars in the central part of the city is advisable if any match-related security disturbances occur.

RUSSIA (Country risk rating: High); October 31 to November 1; Storm warnings for Rostov-on-Don area

The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has issued a severe storm warning for the city of Rostov-on-Don in anticipation of high winds, rain, and heavy, wet snow in the region. Winds of up to 100 kph (62 mph) are forecast to produce blizzard conditions in Rostov-on-Don through at least November 1. Strong winds and an increase in water levels are also a concern; flooding of low-lying and coastal areas and associated disruptions are anticipated. Flights to Rostov-on-Don Airport (ROV) may be diverted; the facility could close with little or no warning due to gale-force winds and very low visibility, which could drop to 500 metres (1,640 feet) or less. Heavy wet snow will likely lead to telecommunications, ground transport, and electricity disruptions. Rough seas and very strong winds will likely affect operations in the Bay of Taganrog, in the Sea of Azov's north eastern arm.

Advice: Seek updated information on road conditions before attempting to drive outside Rostov-on-Don; do not drive in rural areas until roads are cleared of snow and stranded vehicles. Carry emergency equipment, food, water, and warm clothing if driving is unavoidable. Confirm flights. Charge battery-powered devices, and stockpile drinking water and nonperishable food in case prolonged power outages occur.

Middle East and North Africa

No new significant incidents reported. Refer to the red24 website for country-specific security risk assessments for this region.

Sub-Saharan Africa

COTE D'IVOIRE (Country risk rating: High); October 20 to November 1; Communal violence reported in Moyen-Cavally region

The threat of communal violence remains a concern in the Moyen-Cavally region, specifically in the Goin-Debe forest and Guiglo areas. Tensions are high between the Guere and Baoule communities; since September, clashes have occurred over the ownership of 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) in Goin-Debe. At least six people have been killed and more than 20 others injured in the violence; another 2,000 have been displaced. The incident follows incidents of assaults and violent unrest in Guiglo and the Goin-Debe forest on October 20. Authorities will likely deploy additional security personnel in areas of Cavally. Further clashes cannot be ruled out, as security forces have been unable to quell the recent violence. Reprisal attacks by community members have frequently occurred, leading to additional casualties. Foreign nationals and organisations have not been targeted in the violence, as the conflict remains ethnic in nature. While this dynamic will likely not change, foreign nationals operating in the region could suffer collateral injury. Commercial and ground transport disruptions are likely in the affected areas. Historical tensions exist between the Guere and Baoule groups in western Cote d'Ivoire. This region is one of the country's cocoa producers, and experiences frequent outbreaks of communal violence driven by disputes over access to land and resources that government- and local official-led mediation efforts have largely failed to curb. Authorities dispatched a Cabinet minister to Cavally on October 29 to initiate talks between communities; it remains to be seen whether these new efforts will be successful.

Advice: Exercise a high degree of caution if operating in Cavally. If violence erupts near you while in the region, leave the area immediately, and seek shelter in a neighbouring district or town. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Country risk rating: High); November 1; General strike expected in South Kivu Province

A coalition of civil society and political organisations has called for a ville morte ('dead city') general strike across South Kivu Province on November 1 to demand President Joseph Kabila resign by the end of 2017. The Fight for the Civil Society Action Group (CASC), Change (Lucha), Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), and Union for the Congolese Nation (UNC) are backing the action. Although the opposition has not announced specific plans for marches, unannounced demonstrations are common during ville morte actions. Strikes and protests could also take place in Goma, North Kivu Province, following unrest during a general strike in the city on October 30. Additional security personnel are likely to deploy in urban centres including Bukavu, Goma, Fizi, and Uvira to prevent demonstrations taking place. Police could set up checkpoints and roadblocks to restrict ground movements. Officers will probably use force, including tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition, to disperse any unauthorised demonstrations. Commercial and transport disruptions are highly likely during protests and strikes.

Advice: Avoid all demonstrations. If a crowd begins to form nearby, or violence breaks out, leave the area immediately or seek shelter in the nearest secure location. Confirm route and destination security conditions before conducting ground movements, including airport transfers. Heed instructions from security personnel. Carry proper identification at all times, and be polite and nonconfrontational if stopped at a security checkpoint.

ERITREA (Country risk rating: Medium); October 31; Violent protests erupt in Asmara

Anti-government unrest flared in Asmara on October 31, resulting in a noteworthy police crackdown against demonstrators. Problems apparently started in the morning in the Akhria neighbourhood in the northern part of the city, where students were protesting the recent arrest of the president of the board of the Al-Diaa Islamic School. By midday, protests spread to areas close to the presidential palace in central Asmara. Shots were fired to disperse demonstrators near the President's Office, but there were no confirmed reports of live ammunition being used or injuries from gunfire. Police also reportedly beat stone-throwing protesters, but details were unavailable. More violence is possible if protests resume. Demonstrations are illegal; the events of October 31 were highly unusual, and security personnel will almost certainly use force to disperse any future unsanctioned gatherings. This may pose a hazard to anyone nearby, and precautions should be observed if unrest flares. Transport and commercial disruptions are likely in any areas where demonstrators confront police. Mass arrests are also possible if sizeable rallies materialise. The October 31 unrest was apparently tied to recent government efforts to take over or shut down the Al-Diaa Islamic School. The arrest of school board president Hajji Muasa Mohamed Nur occurred on October 27, several days after a large crowd of community members gathered at the madrassa to discuss government meddling at the institution. Officials have also reportedly taken a number of teachers and administrators into custody since September.

Advice: Strictly avoid all protests and areas with a heavy security presence; shelter in place if serious unrest or gunfire occurs. Register and maintain contact with your diplomatic mission. Use caution around government buildings and other sensitive sites. Stay away from the Al-Diaa Islamic School.

KENYA (Country risk rating: High); October 31; (Update) Opposition rejects election results and calls for protests

On October 31, National Super Alliance (NASA) opposition coalition leader Raila Odinga rejected the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)'s official election results, which it announced on October 30, and stated that his movement would oppose the new government of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta through protests, boycotts, and strikes. The IEBC declared Kenyatta the winner of the October 26 election rerun with 98 percent of the vote, though polling has yet to take place in the four western counties of Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya; the election was delayed indefinitely in those locations due to widespread violence and significant logistical hurdles. In addition, Odinga did not take part in the vote, which he had called on his supporters to boycott. The political situation is volatile, and security conditions could quickly change during the post-election period. Opposition protests and related unrest are likely in the coming days and weeks. Despite a government ban on demonstrations, protests are also likely in the Baba Dogo, Huruma, Kawangware, Kibera, Mathare, and Ruaraka neighbourhoods in Nairobi. Opposition demonstrations could also occur in Mombasa. Police can be expected to continue to use force, including tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition against protesters. Clashes between rival political activists are also possible. Security forces will likely remain on high alert across Kenya. Expect business and traffic disruptions; protesters could set up roadblocks on major arteries, potentially affecting transport and logistics. Communications networks could be taken offline in some areas to try to stop protesters from organising demonstrations.

Advice: Avoid all protests, rallies, political party offices, large gatherings, and areas with a heavy security presence, especially in Nairobi and the counties of Homa Bay, Kisumu, Migori, and Siaya. Review contingency plans; register and maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.

KENYA (Country risk rating: High); October 30 and 31; Election-related protests turn violent in Kericho

Opposition National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters in Kericho have threatened to hold additional demonstrations following clashes with police on October 31. Officers fired tear gas and warning shots to disperse stone-throwing crowds who blocked the Kericho-Kisumu (B1) highway in the town centre. NASA supporters also threw stones at passing vehicles. NASA activists staged the protests in response to reports that supporters of re-elected President Uhuru Kenyatta from Chemelil barricaded the B1 and attacked vehicles near Awasi late on October 30. Political tensions are high nationwide after NASA boycotted and lost the October 26 election; additional demonstrations will likely rapidly escalate to confrontations between police and protesters. Police are likely to deploy in Kericho until the situation calms. Officers will probably use force, including tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition, to disperse any unauthorised demonstrations. Clashes between rival activists are also possible. Commercial and transport disruptions are highly likely during protests.

Advice: Avoid all demonstrations. If a crowd begins to form, or violence breaks out, leave the area immediately or seek shelter in the nearest secure location. Confirm route and destination security conditions before conducting ground movements. Heed instructions from security personnel. Carry proper identification at all times, and be polite and nonconfrontational if stopped by security personnel.

SOMALIA (Country risk rating: Extreme); October 30; Commercial goods vehicle ban in Mogadishu

Mogadishu authorities imposed an indefinite 07:00 to 20:00 daily ban on commercial goods vehicles, including large trucks and tanker-transporters, in the city, effective from October 30. Officials issued the directive to improve security following recent vehicle bombings. Vehicle operators violating the order will be fined USD 1,000. The ban will likely disrupt commercial transport operations into and out of Mogadishu until the order is rescinded. Furthermore, the restriction will require drivers to conduct ground movements at night, exposing them to increased safety risks. Inadequate road standards, poor lighting, and high levels of criminality and militancy pose are hazards to vehicle traffic, particularly outside Mogadishu, where the security force presence is limited. Authorities could impose additional security measures in the near term. These restrictions may include curfews, further limits on vehicle traffic, and increased security checkpoints on major roads leading into and out of Mogadishu. A series of vehicle-borne bombings in Mogadishu in recent months has increased public pressure on authorities to improve security. On October 14, a truck bombing killed over 350 people, Somalia's most deadly bombing to date. A gun-and-car-bomb attack at the Nasa Hablod Hotel on October 29 left 25 people dead. The October 14 attack has not been claimed; however, Al-Shabaab members are considered the most likely suspects. The group claimed the October 29 attack. Al-Shabaab regularly conducts car bombings against security personnel, government buildings, upscale hotels, and restaurants in Mogadishu, underscoring the city's persistent vulnerability to such attacks.

Advice: Adjust scheduling and transport itineraries to account for the new order. Regularly consult local authorities regarding the intended duration of the restrictions and for further details regarding which vehicles, specifically, are affected. Update security plans to account for increased movement at night.

SOUTH SUDAN (Country risk rating: Extreme); October 31; Intermittent clashes continue across the country

Intermittent clashes between forces aligned with President Salva Kiir and armed groups opposed to his government continue across South Sudan despite a ceasefire declared in October. Most foreign governments advise against travel throughout South Sudan as sporadic violence frequently occurs between armed groups in rural and urban areas. Both Kiir's Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and Riek Machar's Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army-in-Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) splintered in 2017, spawning several other rebel organisations. Armed groups and ethnic militias increasingly coordinate their activities to engage in criminal violence, communal atrocities, and organised clashes. Worst-affected areas include those in the Bahr el Ghazal, Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile, and Juba regions. The security situation in the capital remains highly tenuous. Due to the general insecurity and impacts of economic crisis, the risks of violent unrest, crime (including both petty and violent crime) and kidnapping are elevated. Widespread violence and insecurity in South Sudan in 2017 have been catalysed by increased competition for resources among various armed factions amid the economic crisis. The civil war has evolved from a dispute between two sides into a multi-dimensional conflict of several connected but geographically separated rebellions. The government remains militarily dominant but lacks the troop strength to occupy large areas of territory; opposition armed groups are likely to increase their use of insurgent tactics such as ambushes and raids. Cyclical episodes of punitive operations and atrocities perpetrated by all sides will likely sustain the ethnic tensions that motivate recruitment to armed groups in the medium-term.

Advice: Defer nonessential travel to South Sudan until the situation stabilises. Persons operating in the country should monitor local developments and exercise robust security measures. Review contingency plans and maintain direct and regular contact with organisational security resources and diplomatic missions in Juba.