01 July 2016


News summary

 
ARGENTINA - Demonstration anticipated in Buenos Aires
CANADA - LGBT parade in Toronto
PERU - LGBT parade scheduled to take place in Lima
VENEZUELA - Civil unrest in Tucupita
 
AFGHANISTAN - Casualties in bomb attack outside Kabul
INDIA - Elevated security for upcoming Hindu event
MALAYSIA - US Embassy warns of protest in Kuala Lumpur
 
FRANCE - Pride parade expected in Paris
GERMANY - Quds Day demonstrations expected in Berlin
PORTUGAL - Union-led strike to cause countrywide flight disruptions
TURKEY - Counterterrorism operations in Istanbul and Izmir following Ataturk attack
UNITED KINGDOM / FRANCE - Battle of the Somme events anticipated
UNITED KINGDOM - Rival demonstrations to be held in Southampton
UNITED KINGDOM - Rival Quds Day protests to be held in London
UNITED KINGDOM - Strike to cause disruptions to ScotRail services
 
BAHRAIN - Low-level bomb blast in Al Eker
IRAN / ISRAEL / PALESTINE - Anti-Israel rallies on Quds Day
ISRAEL - Stabbing attack in Netanya
LEBANON - Authorities foil terrorist plots
 
BURKINA FASO - Protests by self-defence militia in ongoing incident
CAMEROON - Weather-related disruptions to persist in Douala
CAMEROON - Ten killed in suicide bombing in Far North town of Limani
COTE D'IVOIRE - Youth gang attacks in Abidjan
NIGERIA - Anti-violence protest expected in Enugu city
NIGERIA - Two foreign nationals kidnapped in Gboko, Benue state
REPUBLIC OF CONGO - Opposition forces call for countrywide agitations
SOUTH AFRICA - Demonstrations expected in Cape Town and Johannesburg
 






 

Americas

ARGENTINA (Country risk rating: High); 2 July; Demonstration anticipated in Buenos Aires

A mass demonstration is anticipated in Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, on 2 July. The demonstration has been organised against the decision by Argentinean footballer, Lionel Messi, to resign from international football. Participants are expected to gather at the Obelisk monument at 18:00 local time. At least 45,000 supporters are expected to attend the gathering. In light of the large number of people expected to attend the event, localised disruptions should be expected in the vicinity of the Obelisk. While the risk of violence at the upcoming demonstration is assessed to be low, the possibility of low-level confrontations cannot be discounted.

Advice: Clients in Buenos Aires on 2 July are advised to avoid all street protests as a standard precaution. Allowances should be made to accommodate the anticipated travel disruptions.


CANADA (Country risk rating: Low); 1 to 3 July; LGBT parade in Toronto

Supporters of the LGBT community are set to hold the annual Pride Parade in Canada's capital, Toronto, on 3 July, with associated events to be held on 1 and 2 July. A number of streets are to be affected on the above-mentioned dates, including Church, Bloor, Yong, and Carlton streets. The Pride Parade on 3 July is set to start at 14:00 local time at the intersection of Church and Bloor streets and will conclude at Alan Gardens park. Although the risk of any security incidents impacting the event is low, police are reviewing security measures, following online threats against the LGBT community in Toronto. Events associated with Pride Month in Canada have generally proceeded without major incident. Although upcoming events are expected to proceed peacefully, concerns have been raised by unsubstantiated threats made to the LGBT community, linked to the recent mass shooting at a nightclub popular with the LGBT community in Orlando, in the US, on 12 June. As such, a heightened level of security is anticipated in the vicinity of the events in Toronto. Furthermore, road closures and associated travel disruptions may be anticipated in the vicinity of events.

Advice: Persons in Toronto on the aforementioned dates are advised to monitor local media for information on the upcoming pride parade. Clients are advised to exercise a heightened level of caution during large LGBT gatherings. Clients are further advised to maintain flexible itineraries to accommodate possible travel delays in the vicinity of any events or related demonstrations.


PERU (Country risk rating: Medium); 2 July; LGBT parade scheduled to take place in Lima

An LGBT parade is set to take place in Peru's capital, Lima, on 2 July. Participants in the parade are expected to gather at the Historic Centre of Lima, located on the border of the city's Rimac and Cercado de Lima districts. As in previous years, the parade is expected to end at the San Martin Plaza; however, municipal officials have not given permission for the use of the area. Event organisers are intending to end the parade at the plaza despite the decision by the municipality. Although the event is focused on the capital, similar gatherings may occur in other urban cities across the country. The parade is expected to conclude peacefully; however, the possibility of counter-demonstrations and isolated hate crimes marring the upcoming gathering cannot be dismissed. As such, an increased security presence is likely in the vicinity of the parade. Skirmishes between authorities and demonstrators may also occur if members are blocked from accessing San Martin Plaza during the event. Road closures and associated disruptions in the vicinity of the parade route should be anticipated on the day.

Advice: Persons in Peru, particularly Lima, on 2 July are advised to monitor local media for information on the upcoming pride parade and possible counter-demonstrations; these should all be avoided as a standard precaution. Clients should expect an increased security force presence in the city centre and plan for possible road travel disruptions.


VENEZUELA (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Civil unrest in Tucupita

Violent and disruptive protests were reported in the town of Tucupita, located in Venezuela's northern Delta Amacuro state, on 30 June. Local residents launched the protests in response to shortages in food and other basic commodities. During the agitation, streets were blocked and businesses were looted. Clashes were also reported between the police and protesters. The unrest in Tucupita has been replicated in towns across Venezuela in recent months, as unrest related to shortages of basic commodities has increased in frequency. The shortages and associated protests are expected to persist. Linked events will continue to be characterised by low-level acts of violence, attacks on businesses and road travel disruptions.

Advice: Clients are advised against all non-essential travel to Venezuela due to ongoing political instability and related insecurity. Clients in the country should consider a security escort, residing in secure accommodation and avoiding all travel at night. Crisis management plans should be regularly reviewed and updated.


Asia and Pacific

AFGHANISTAN (Country risk rating: Extreme); 30 June; Casualties in bomb attack outside Kabul

At least 30 people were killed and 58 more wounded in a double suicide bomb attack outside Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, on 30 June. The incident occurred on the Kandahar-Kabul highway, in the Paghman district, approximately 20km west of the capital. Two bombs on busses carrying police recruits were detonated. The Sunni extremist Taleban has claimed responsibility for the attack. The incident underscores the extreme conflict and associated terrorism risks in Afghanistan. The threat stems from a number of extremist Islamist organisations, of which the Taleban is the most prevalent. Despite the efforts of the Afghan security forces against the group, the Taleban continues to have an extensive operational presence in the country, including in Kabul. Given the general insecurity in the country, further conflict- and security-related incidents are expected to persist.

Advice: Due to a number of security concerns, all travel to Afghanistan is advised against. Persons currently in Kabul are advised to exercise maximum security measures and to avoid the affected area at this time.


INDIA (Country risk rating: High); 2 July; Elevated security for upcoming Hindu event

The Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage), an important period on the Hindu calendar, is scheduled to begin in India on 2 July and end on 18 August. During the pilgrimage, thousands of worshippers make their way in groups to the Amarnath cave in Anantnag district, in Jammu and Kashmir state, to pay their respects to the god Shiva. Additional security forces will be deployed along the pilgrimage route for the duration of the event. Security has been heightened in the past amid concerns that Islamist extremists or Kashmiri separatist groups may seek to target pilgrims. Indeed, such concerns prompted authorities to ban the event from 1991 until 1995. Further underscoring these concerns, approximately 30 pilgrims were killed in an armed attack in 2000, which has subsequently been attributed to the Lashkar-e-Toiba militant group. However, it should be noted that since that attack, there have been no further significant incidents; the primary role of security forces is now seen as ensuring the safety of the pilgrims from the point of view that the pilgrimage takes place in arduous conditions. Highlighting this, there are several fatalities among the elderly or infirm each year.

Advice: Due to a number of ongoing security concerns, all non-essential travel to Jammu and Kashmir state (except the eastern Ladakh region) is advised against. Persons already in the region are advised to avoid all large gatherings of pilgrims and concentrations of security personnel; heightened security measures and subsequent travel disruptions should also be expected for the duration of the pilgrimage.


MALAYSIA (Country risk rating: Medium); 1 July; US Embassy warns of protest in Kuala Lumpur

The US Embassy in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, warned of a protest in the city, which is expected to be underway on 1 July. The protest was scheduled to begin at the Menara Tabung Haji at 14:00 local time, with protesters expected to march to the vicinity of the US Embassy. No major incidents have been reported as yet; nonetheless, the possibility of isolated skirmishes cannot be discounted. Further details regarding the protest have not been provided.

Advice: Clients in Kuala Lumpur on 1 July should avoid all street protests as a standard precaution. Allowances should be made to accommodate localised disruptions.


Europe and Russia

FRANCE (Country risk rating: Medium); 2 July; Pride parade expected in Paris

LGBT activists and civic groups are set to hold a pride parade in France's capital, Paris, on 2 July. The parade, dubbed 'Marche des Fiertes', is scheduled to begin at The Louvre from 14:00 local time and proceed to the Place de la Bastille, where a concert will be held from 16:00 to 21:00. The parade is expected to be accompanied by an increased police presence. Although the parade is expected to conclude peacefully, the possibility of counter-demonstrations and isolated hate crimes marring the upcoming gathering cannot be dismissed. The event is expected to be well attended; as such, localised traffic disruptions are likely in the vicinity and along the parade route, as well as at related gathering sites.

Advice: Persons in Paris on 2 July are advised to expect increased security in the city centre, and avoid the vicinity of the parade route and associated gatherings, as a standard precaution. Clients are further advised to make allowances for extended travelling time.


GERMANY (Country risk rating: Low); 2 July; Quds Day demonstrations expected in Berlin

Rival rallies and demonstrations marking International Quds Day are expected in Germany's capital, Berlin, on 2 July. Rallies and associated protest gatherings are scheduled to take place along Kurfurstendamm and Joachimstaler streets, with participants set to gather from 12:30 local time and proceed through the streets from 14:30. An associated protest is also expected in the vicinity of the Adenauerplatz station at 14:30. International Quds Day is an annual event and is typically held on the last Friday of the Ramadan period (6 June to 7 July). While the events are expected to conclude peacefully and will take place amid an increased police presence, it should be noted that events related to religious or ethnic issues in Germany carry an elevated threat of violent unrest. As such, the possibility of the upcoming events being marred by isolated skirmishes cannot be discounted. The rallies and associated demonstrations are expected to be well attended; localised travel disruptions are anticipated in the vicinity of the event locations.

Advice: Persons in Berlin on 2 July are advised to avoid all large street gatherings and concentration of security forces. Clients are further advised to make allowances for extended travelling time in the vicinity of event sites.


PORTUGAL (Country risk rating: Low); 1 to 3 July; Union-led strike to cause countrywide flight disruptions

Countrywide disruptions to flight services are expected in Portugal due to a strike by unionised ground-handling staff. Staff affiliated with aviation union, the Union of Workers of Aviation and Airports (SITAVA), are set to observe a three-day strike action from 1 July, in protest against current working conditions and wages. The strike action is set to affect airports countrywide, with the Lisbon Portela Airport in the capital, Lisbon, and Francisco de Sa Carneiro Airport, in the coastal city of Porto, set to be worst affected. As negotiations between the union and aviation transport authorities are reportedly still possible, the possibility of the strike being cancelled or postponed cannot be dismissed. The affected airports are expected to implement contingency plans to limit disruptions; however, disruptions to flight services, including delays and cancellations, are anticipated, should the strike action proceed.

Advice: Persons in Portugal during the aforementioned strike period should anticipate disruptions to flight services. Clients are also advised to monitor local media regarding the strike action and contact their airline or travel provider to enquire about the status of flight services.


TURKEY (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Counterterrorism operations in Istanbul and Izmir following Ataturk attack

The security forces in Turkey initiated several counterterrorism operations in the country on 30 June. These focused on the Pendik, Basaksehir and Sultanbeyli areas in Istanbul and in the Konak, Buca, Karabaglar and Bornova districts of Izmir. At least 22 suspects were detained. The raids were in response to the recent acts of terrorism at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, which the authorities have blamed on the Islamic State (IS). Additional detail regarding the attack has since come to light. The authorities believe that the attackers were of Russian, Uzbek and Kyrgyz descent and that they had resided in Istanbul prior to the attack. Further investigations and counterterrorism operations are anticipated over the near-term.

Advice: Clients in the country should monitor local media closely. Caution is advised in areas impacted by security operations. Travellers should also exercise heightened caution while travelling in Turkey's major urban centres due to the risk of terrorism. Suspicious persons and packages should be reported to the authorities.


UNITED KINGDOM / FRANCE; 1 July; Battle of the Somme events anticipated

Commemorative events and parades will be held in France and the UK on 1 July, to mark the centenary anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, which began on the same day in 1916. In France, the main commemorative event will be held in Thiepval, at the Thiepval Memorial from 12:00 local time. In the UK, main events and parades will be held in Manchester, first with a military parade through the city, then a memorial service at the Manchester Cathedral from 15:00, followed by a concert at Heaton Park from 19:30. Associated events are also expected in other locales in the countries; further details are unavailable. Numerous dignitaries, including members of the British monarchy, are expected to attend the commemorative events in both countries. Accordingly, the events are set to be accompanied by an increased police presence; as such, heightened security measures are expected to be significantly disruptive in the affected areas. Although the events are expected to conclude without major incident, the possibility of isolated skirmishes cannot be discounted. Localised road travel disruptions should be anticipated in the vicinity of the commemorative venues, events, parades and related gatherings.

Advice: Persons in the United Kingdom and France are advised to monitor local media for updates on commemorative events and associated security measures. In addition, clients are advised to avoid any large street gatherings and concentrations of security forces as a precaution.


UNITED KINGDOM (Country risk rating: Low); 2 July; Rival demonstrations to be held in Southampton

Far-right and anti-fascist groups are set to hold rival demonstrations in Southampton, in the UK, on 2 July. The demonstrations have been called in solidarity with and in protest against the EU referendum vote results, as well as to express renewed rival sentiments regarding asylum seekers and expatriates in the country. Both demonstrations are expected in the vicinity of the Bargate from 11:00 local time. The protests come amid elevated tensions regarding the outcome of the European Union referendum vote and reports of alleged increase of attacks on asylum seekers and foreign nationals following the announcement of the withdraw results on 24 June. While the demonstrations are expected to conclude peacefully, the possibility of violent unrest cannot be discounted. Due to the current emotive and divisive nature of the results and the ongoing European migrant crisis, further associated protests are anticipated for the short- to medium-term, at least. Localised travel disruptions are anticipated in the vicinity of the affected sites.

Advice: Persons in Southampton on 2 July are advised to avoid all large street gatherings as a precaution. Itineraries should be kept flexible in order to make allowances for localised travel disruptions in the vicinity of any protest gatherings.


UNITED KINGDOM (Country risk rating: Low); 3 July; Rival Quds Day protests to be held in London

Rival demonstrations marking International Quds Day are expected in the UK's capital, London, on 3 July. A march will take place through the city, with participants expected to gather in Duchess Street at 15:00 local time and proceed to Grosvenor Square. Zionist and pro-Israel groups are set to stage rival demonstrations in the vicinity of Grosvenor Square; further details regarding this demonstration are currently unavailable. International Quds Day is an annual event and is typically held on the last Friday of the Ramadan period (6 June to 7 July). In London, pro-Palestine organisations have held the Quds Day march annually for the past 10 years. Previous marches have been well attended and resulted in moderate to severe disruptions to road travel in the vicinity of the march route. The upcoming actions are also expected to be well attended and conclude without major incident. However, the possibility of the events being marred by isolated skirmishes cannot be discounted.

Advice: Persons in London on 3 July are advised to avoid all large street gatherings and concentrations of security forces. Localised travel disruptions are anticipated in the vicinity of the march route and related demonstration-affected sites.


UNITED KINGDOM (Country risk rating: Low); 3 July; Strike to cause disruptions to ScotRail services

Unionised rail workers employed by rail operator, ScotRail, are set observe a 48-hour strike action, in the UK, from 3 July. The strike has been called with regard to a number of labour-related concerns, including the decision to reduce the role of conductors on-board trains and wages. The action is set to affect all inner city and regional ScotRail services throughout Scotland. The industrial action is the latest to be called amid long-running negotiations with the rail operator and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) union. Recent related strike actions by the union have resulted in significant disruptions. The impact and extent to which the upcoming strike action will be supported is currently unclear; nonetheless, should it go ahead, significant disruptions to ScotRail services are anticipated. Furthermore, an increased demand for alternative forms of transport should be expected.

Advice: Persons planning to utilise ScotRail services are advised to contact the rail operator directly, or their travel provider, to confirm the status of services. Clients are also advised to monitor local media for developments and information on the upcoming strike.


Middle East and North Africa

BAHRAIN (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Low-level bomb blast in Al Eker

A bomb exploded in Al Eker, central Bahrain, on 30 June. The blast killed one civilian and wounded three others. The victims were all travelling in a vehicle. The motive for the attack is unclear. Low-level acts of violence, including bombings, are periodically reported in Bahrain. The majority of these attacks are linked to militants linked to the Shiite community and persons within this community who are agitating against the Sunni-dominated regime.

Advice: Heightened caution is advised outside of the capital, Manama, and the Bahrain International Airport, particularly in outlying Shiite villages, due to the elevated risk of civil unrest. Suspicious persons and packages should be reported to the authorities.


IRAN / ISRAEL / PALESTINE; 1 July; Anti-Israel rallies on Quds Day

Anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests are expected in parts of the Middle East on 1 July, including in Iran, Israel and Palestine, to commemorate International Quds Day. Quds Day is typically held on the last Friday of the Ramadan period (6 June to 7 July). In Iran, rallies are expected to be well attended and are likely to occur in major cities, including in the capital, Tehran. In Israel, related gatherings are expected in predominantly Arab/Palestinian areas and in Jerusalem. Demonstrations in the Palestine territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are also anticipated. The rallies in Iran are likely to pass without major incident; however, road travel disruptions are possible near potential rally sites (public squares, city centres, government buildings and mosques). In Israel and Palestine, the risk of violence is elevated and increases further should protesters march towards Israeli security force positions or Jewish settlements.

Advice: Clients in Iran, Israel and Palestine on 1 July are advised to monitor local developments closely in their area of travel and should liaise with their local contact or security provider about potential rallies. All related gatherings should be avoided as a standard precaution. In addition, please note that due to various security concerns, clients are advised against all travel to the Gaza Strip and against all non-essential travel to the West Bank. Furthermore, all non-essential travel to East Jerusalem, including the Old City, is advised against. Heightened caution is advised in western Jerusalem.


ISRAEL (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Stabbing attack in Netanya

Two Israeli nationals were stabbed and wounded in Netanya, located in Israel's Central district, on 30 June. The assailant, said to be a Palestinian resident of the West Bank city of Tulkarm, was subsequently shot and killed by a passing civilian. Local media reports indicate that the attack took place near the city's central market. The incident is the latest in a spate of low-level knife, gun, and vehicular attacks since early October 2015. The majority of incidents have been perpetrated by suspected Palestinian persons; indeed, this latest attack follows the fatal stabbing of an Israeli national by a Palestinian in Kiryat Arba, in the West Bank, earlier on 30 June. The attacks are thought to be motivated by and coincide with ongoing anti-Israel agitation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and associated Israeli security force clampdowns on protesters. Following low-level attacks, travellers should anticipate increased security in affected areas; additional security measures could include patrols and checkpoints.

Advice: Persons operating in Israel, including Netanya, are advised to exercise vigilance and a heightened level of personal security awareness while travelling. Heightened caution is advised near Israeli security force checkpoints. Clients are further advised against all non-essential travel to the West Bank due to the risks of civil unrest and terrorism.


LEBANON (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Authorities foil terrorist plots

The security forces in Lebanon issued a statement on 30 June indicating that they had recently foiled an Islamic State (IS) plot to attack a tourist sight and a densely populated area in the country. The plot was foiled after five IS members were arrested. Unconfirmed reports indicate the potential targets included the Casino du Liban, located 25km north of the capital, Beirut; an unnamed shopping centre; southern Beirut; the Hamra or Ashrafieh areas of northern Beirut; and the City Center mall in Hazmieh. The incident underlines the elevated risk of terrorism in Lebanon. The country has been regularly affected by acts of terrorist violence in the past and there are ongoing concerns of further attacks, particularly during Ramadan. IS had previously threatened to escalate attacks during the Muslim fasting month. Further heightening concern, eight suspected IS suicide bombers attacked the Lebanese border village of Al-Qaa on 27 June. The attack left five people dead. The Lebanese police and military remain on alert throughout the country; however, their ability to identify and prevent attacks remains limited. Potential terrorist targets include tourist sites, areas popular with or associated with Westerners, diplomatic facilities, Hezbollah positions in southern Beirut or southern Lebanon, the security forces, Shiite or Christian religious sites and communities, and crowded areas, including transport hubs.

Advice: Clients are advised against all non-essential travel to most of Lebanon, including Beirut. Persons in the country should consider travelling with a local contact or a security escort. Local security conditions should be closely monitored in conjunction with your security provider. Crisis management plans should also be regularly reviewed and updated.


Sub-Saharan Africa

BURKINA FASO (Country risk rating: High); 28 June; Protests by self-defence militia in ongoing incident

Disruptive protests by members of local 'Koglweogo' (self-defence militia) took place on the N1 highway, in the Zongo neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, on 28 June. Traffic along the highway was blocked by protesters, who were eventually dispersed by security forces using teargas. The unrest was prompted by the arrest of several Koglweogo members on 25 June. Further related protests are possible in the near-term as the self-defence militia members demand the release of their companions. Future unrest will likely centre on the N1 highway, due to the arrest of militia operating from this area, although this may spread without warning to other areas in the capital, should the group escalate their protest activity. Popular protest locations in Ouagadougou include the presidential palace, the Place de la Revolution, the National Assembly, and outside major government and military facilities in the city. The Koglweogo self-defence militia gained notoriety after the November 2015 elections, as the groups worked towards restoring order in rural areas amid the instability that followed the ouster of President Blaise Compaore in October 2014. Authorities have accused the Koglweogo militia of acting with impunity, pursuing vigilante justice without adequate legal procedure, and extracting money from those accused of criminal behaviour, including demanding 'forced donations' from people in their areas of operation. The militia outnumber police and army units in many areas, are often heavily armed, and appear willing to use their power for financial ends, leading to concerns that extremist militants from Niger or Mali may seek to infiltrate sympathetic groups, using cash bribes to employ the groups as proxy forces. While no attacks on vehicles or foreign nationals travelling in rural areas between major urban areas in Burkina Faso have been attributed to the Koglweogo, the risk of said militia turning towards overt criminal activities remains a possibility, given the increasing levels of banditry on secondary roads throughout the country.

Advice: Clients in Burkina Faso are advised to consult with trusted local contacts regarding the security situation along major roads prior to travel. Clients are further advised to conduct cross-country travel only during the day and, if possible, in convoy and with a local guide. Clients are also advised against all non-essential travel within 100km of Burkina Faso's borders with Mali, in the Boucle du Mouhoun, Nord and Sahel regions, due to the elevated risks of kidnapping, terrorism and general insecurity.


CAMEROON (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Weather-related disruptions to persist in Douala

Evacuations and road closures continue to be reported in Douala, located in western Cameroon, due to severe rainfall and flooding, as of 30 June. Further disruptions are expected as intermittent heavy rains are expected to persist until at least 6 July. Some of the worst-affected areas include the low-income settlements of Makepe Missoke and New Town Airport, in the vicinity of Douala International Airport. Low-lying areas adjacent to the Wouri river, in the east and south of Douala, are assessed to be at a greater risk of flood-related disruptions in the coming days. These areas include other low-income settlements such as Mambanda, Bois des Singes, Missoke, Ngangue, and Petit Paris in Bonapriso. Rainfall occurs throughout the year in Cameroon; however, elevated levels of precipitation generally occur between the months of April and November. Flooding occasionally occurs during this period, with significant disruptions reported in June 2015 due to widespread flooding that resulted in severe travel disruptions and a number of fatalities. In addition, the flooding is expected to exacerbate the threat of malaria in the coming weeks and months.

Advice: Persons operating in Douala in the near-term are advised to monitor local media for flooding updates and associated advisories from the authorities. Caution is advised in low-lying areas and elevated regions due to the respective risks of flooding and landslides. Travellers should also take precautions against becoming affected by flood-related diseases.


CAMEROON (Country risk rating: High); 30 June; Ten killed in suicide bombing in Far North town of Limani

According to reports on 30 June, at least ten people were killed and an unconfirmed number have been wounded as a result of a suicide bombing in the locality of Djakana near the town of Limani, located in Cameroon's Far North (Extreme-Nord) region, on 29 June. The incident has allegedly been claimed by the Boko Haram Islamist extremist sect. Cameroon's Far North region is frequently affected by acts of terrorism. The majority of incidents are blamed on, or are claimed by, the Nigeria-based Boko Haram sect. Boko Haram has increasingly targeted countries bordering its north eastern Nigeria strongholds in recent months, in response to Cameroonian counterinsurgency operations in these areas, which are linked to ongoing retaliatory attacks by the terrorist organisation.

Advice: Clients are advised against all travel to the Far North region. Persons operating in the area should implement robust travel, personal and residential security measures. Areas recently affected by violence should be avoided.


COTE D'IVOIRE (Country risk rating: High); 28 June; Youth gang attacks in Abidjan

Youth gangs, known locally as microbes, launched several attacks and robberies against bystanders in the Port Bouet 2 area of Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, on 28 June. The knife-wielding assailants attacked and wounded numerous people in the early morning. Media reports indicate that microbes-linked assaults have also been reported in Marcory, Yopougoun and Abobo since May. The threat of crime in Abidjan is rated as high and includes both petty and violent crime. Travel at night and in lower-income areas increases the risk of being affected. The police are likely to increase patrols during the late night and early morning to reduce the risk posed by youth gangs; however, the threat is likely to take some time to contain and further incidents are likely.

Advice: Travellers in Abidjan should seek to limit travel during the evening and early morning. Clients should reside in secure accommodation and travel with a local escort, if possible. Persons travelling to Abidjan should seek itinerary-specific advice from their security provider prior to departure.


NIGERIA (Country risk rating: High); 2 July; Anti-violence protest expected in Enugu city

A protest led by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu is expected in Enugu city, located in Nigeria's southern Enugu state, on 2 July. The protest, titled 'Diocesan Peaceful Prayerful Protest March', has been called to denounce ongoing communal violence in the state. The street march will begin in the morning of 2 July at the Holy Ghost Cathedral and proceed towards Government House. Should the protest proceed, a large turnout is possible, as is the deployment of police. There is a risk of low-level confrontations at all public gatherings/protests in Nigeria. There are, however, no immediate indications that the planned event will be overly disruptive or result in violence.

Advice: Heightened caution is advised in Enugu state. Persons in Enugu city on 2 July should avoid the protest as a standard precaution.


NIGERIA (Country risk rating: High); 29 June; Two foreign nationals kidnapped in Gboko, Benue state

Two Indian nationals were reportedly kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Gboko, located in Nigeria's central Benue state, early on 29 June. The victims, who were said to be employees of Nigerian cement manufacturer, Dangote Cement PLC, where travelling to a local Dangote Cement plant when a group of men attacked their convoy at a traffic intersection. Their vehicle was then hijacked by the assailants while they were still inside. Further details regarding the incident, including the identities and motive of those behind it, are unclear. There is high risk of kidnapping in Nigeria, including Benue state, and the country is one of the world's pre-eminent kidnapping hotspots. The countrywide threat stems from a myriad of criminal and ideologically motivated entities (both political and Islamist extremist). Although the majority of kidnap victims in Nigeria are locals; the threat extends to foreign nationals with regular kidnappings of foreign aid workers and construction, engineering, oil and gas personnel reported. Given the ongoing insecurity in Benue state, the threat of further abductions cannot be discounted.

Advice: Clients are advised against all non-essential travel to a number of states, including Benue, due to elevated conflict, terrorism, kidnapping, civil unrest and crime risks. Persons in the state should consider travelling with a security escort and reside in secure accommodation. In addition, visitors are advised to maintain a low public profile and regularly vary travel routes.


REPUBLIC OF CONGO (Country risk rating: Medium); 1 July; Opposition forces call for countrywide agitations

The Republican Front for the Respect of Constitutional Order and Democratic Change (FROCAD) and Congo Democracy Initiative (IDC) opposition groups have called on their members and supporters to observe a month of civil disobedience in the Republic of Congo, starting on 1 July. Opposition activists have accused incumbent president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, and his administration of corruption and political intimidation; the aforementioned protest campaign has been organised to demand his resignation. Although further details regarding the agitation have not been disclosed, it may take the form of demonstrations and/or general strikes. It is currently unclear how well the call for civil disobedience will be supported; however, it should be noted that emotive and anti-government undertone of the protest campaign may see related events being forcefully dispersed by security forces. Moreover, there is a credible risk of violence at all politically motivated gatherings in the country. Precedent suggests that the capital, Brazzaville, and other major urban centres, such as Pointe-Noire, are likely to serve as focal points for any opposition unrest.

Advice: Persons operating in the Republic of Congo in the coming month are advised to monitor local media for updates on the FROCAD-IDC protest campaign, as well as associated advisories from the authorities. All demonstrations and strike-related activities should be avoided as a standard precaution. Finally, clients are reminded that heightened caution is advised in the Likouala and the Pool departments, due to general insecurity in these regions.


SOUTH AFRICA (Country risk rating: High); 1 July; Demonstrations expected in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Various activists and civil society members are set to stage demonstrations outside the offices of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in Cape Town (Western Cape province) and Johannesburg (Gauteng province), in South Africa, from 08:00 local time on 1 July. The protest action has been called in response to the recent suspension of three senior SABC journalists, who are said to have questioned controversial directives by the chief operations officer of the state broadcaster, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Although the upcoming demonstrations are expected to conclude peacefully, there is a credible risk of skirmishes between protesters and police at protest gatherings. Such unrest may pose an indiscriminate risk to bystanders. Moreover, the demonstrations are likely to impact on local travel and business services in the affected areas.

Advice: Persons in Cape Town and Johannesburg on 1 July are advised to avoid the upcoming demonstrations as a standard precaution. Local media should be monitored for updates on the protest actions, as well as related advisories from the authorities. Clients are further advised to make allowances for localised travel disruptions in the vicinity of the demonstrations.