Our Global Risk partners, Drum Cussac, provide in-depth analysis of global risks via in-house experts, cutting edge technology and through a comprehensive global source network. Here is your summary of the incidents you need to know about from the last 30 days.
Multiple Local Workers Kidnapped in Jebel Marra Area of Darfur
At least eight workers at a local factory have been kidnapped on Monday, 21 January, by unidentified gunmen, in Katur in the Jebel Marra area of Darfur. The gunmen, according to unconfirmed sources, are members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary force operated by the Sudanese government. Those kidnapped have been brought to an unknown location. The motive behind the abduction is still unknown. This incident highlights the high risk of kidnapping still present within the area.
IS Militant Cell Dismantled during Security Operation in Kasserine Governorate
The National Unit for Investigating Terrorist Crimes have announced that they successfully dismantled a terrorist cell active in Kasserine governorate on 18 January, linked to the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Seven militant members were reportedly detained during the operation. Reports indicate the cell was planning to carry out several attacks and kidnappings, and some of the members were involved in the attack on security forces in Kasserine on 29 November that wounded one civilian.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Top Militia Chief Killed in North-Eastern Ituri Province
A top militia chief, along with six of his men, has been killed during a military operation in the north-eastern Ituri province of DRC. An army spokesman confirmed that they attacked a Mai-Mai Simba position overnight in the town of Pembele, located in Mambasa territory. The militant leader Manu, whose real name is unknown, took leadership of the group in 2014. Dozens of armed groups compete for control of eastern DR Congo’s vast deposits of minerals, including diamonds, copper and coltan.
Police Arrest Union Leader on Charges of Subverting the Government
Police have arrested the secretary general of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), Japhet Moyo in a mounting crackdown by authorities. Reportedly he has been arrested on charges of subverting the government and inciting violence, apparently after backing the recent national strike on social media. The main opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), have said that five of its lawmakers have also been arrested. So far at least 12 people have been killed and 78 others treated for gunshot injuries over the last week in the continuing protests over the recent hike in fuel prices. Further demonstrations are likely in the near term.
Death Toll from Unrest Rises to 16 as Nationwide Demonstrations Continue
The number of people killed in clashes during nationwide protests in Venezuela has increased to 16. According to reports, the deaths occurred in the Venezuelan states of Portuguesa, Barinas, Tachira, Amazonas, and Bolivar, and also in the capital, Caracas. Several social media sources reported explosions in the eastern part of Caracas as well. A further 228 people have also been reportedly injured during the clashes. Due to ongoing instability throughout the country, demonstrations are likely to continue for the near future.
Members of TSA National Deployment Force Sent to New York and Atlanta Airports to Cover Screener Shortages
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has enacted its National Deployment Force in response to higher than average unscheduled absences due to the ongoing government shutdown. The force has sent officers to New York’s LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark Liberty International (EWR) airports in an effort to expedite security screening. Last week, security queues at ATL topped an hour at times due to the shortage of screeners. These officers are usually sent to help cover at airports in the event of natural disasters.
Anti-Migrant Riots in Ibarra, Imbabura Province After Woman Murdered
A demonstration march in Ibarra, capital of Imbabura province, to condemn the murder of a pregnant lady by her Venezuelan partner turned violent on Sunday, 20 January. The murder on Saturday night, 19 January, has led to wider anti-immigrant feelings being demonstrated, with locals reportedly attacking properties owned by Venezuelans and having to be restrained by police from entering a migrant shelter. Many migrants had to rely on police protection to protect them from the violence. Over a million Venezuelans have reportedly sought refuge in Ecuador from their economically and politically blighted homeland.
Middle East and North Africa
Dozens of Islamic State Militants Killed Following Cross Border Shelling in Al-Baghouz, Deir Ez-Zor Province
43 militants belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) have been killed after their hideout in al-Baghouz in Deir ez-Zor province was shelled by Iraqi forces from across the border. Several vehicles utilised by the militants have also been destroyed in the artillery strike. The strike was carried out after Iraqi forces received intelligence of an impending attack by IS militants. Further reports state that members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have moved in to capture the town of al-Baghouz following the shelling.
Tribal Forces Prevent Oil Workers From Leaving Site in Shabwah Governorate
Oil workers operating at the Oqla oil field are being prevented from leaving the facility by armed tribal militias. An international energy company which has previously operated at the oil field has decided to cease operations following an attack on its assets last week. Several fuel tankers were burnt down by attacking tribal militias who wrested control of the facility from government forces. The Oqla oil field is located approximately 90 km (56 miles) from the city of Ataq in the Shabwah Governorate.
Security Forces Kill 14 Islamic Militants, Seize Explosives in Operation in North Sinai
Egyptian security forces report that 14 Islamic militants were killed and a ton of explosives was seized in an operation in the northern part of the Sinai Peninsula. The offensive involved clashes in desert areas outside the city of el-Arish where extremists had planned to plant roadside bombs in areas between there and the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid. Other weapons caches, including explosives, were found in the more central Sinai Jabal al-Halal mountainous areas.
Residents Demonstrate Demonstrate in Voivodinovo, Plovdiv
At least 200 people have organised a demonstration in the proximity of a Roma camp in Voivodinovo municipality, located in the northeastern outskirts of Plovdiv. Reportedly, the protest was staged to demand the removal of illegal buildings belonging to the Roma community. Local authorities had promised the relocation of the Roma people but, allegedly, they have not upheld the deadline for the operation. While attempting to approach the neighbourhood, the crowd was halted by local police, which prevented them from proceeding further. No clashes or arrests have been reported. Residents have threatened to stage demonstrations on a daily basis until the authorities will disclose details about the ongoing operation.
Petrol Bomb Attack Against Politician’s House Reported in Giannitsa, Pella Municipality, Central Macedonia Region
A petrol bomb has been launched at the house of the politician Theodora Tzakri, in Giannitsa, Pella municipality in the region of Central Macedonia, on Thursday, 24 January. The motive behind the attack is not clear and is currently under investigation. No casualties have been reported and operations to identify and apprehend the culprit are underway in the area. Theodora Tzakri is a lawyer, politician, parliamentarian and former minister of Industry, and member of the Coalition of the Radical Left party, also known as Syriza.
Clashes Break Out Across France as Yellow Vest Protests Continue
An estimated 84,000 ‘yellow vest’ protesters participated in demonstrations across France on during a tenth consecutive weekend of anti-government protests. The demonstrations in Paris, where around 7,000 people turned up, were reportedly relatively peaceful, apart from some brief scuffles between police and demonstrators in the Invalides district. However, there were further clashes in other parts of the country, including Toulouse, Bordeaux, Rennes, Lyon, Marseilles and Angers. The most violent scenes were reportedly in Toulouse, where the largest demonstration of the day occurred, with around 10,000 people in attendance. The demonstration turned violent as evening fell, with protesters reportedly vandalising a bank and other shops. Eight people were injured and 23 arrested in the southern city. In Angers, northwest of Paris, a local government building was reportedly attacked. Around 80,000 police had reportedly been deployed across the country to maintain order during the protests.
Asia and the Pacific
Fatalities Reported after IED Targets South Seas Shopping Mall in Cotabato City, Maguindanao Province
At least two people have been killed and 27 others have been injured after an improvised explosive device (IED) targeted the South Seas Shopping Mall in Cotabato City, Maguindanao province. The area has been subjected to a lockdown as police and military units conduct a search of the area. At least one other IED has been recovered from the site of the attack. The city’s mayor has described the attack as a terrorist incident, however, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack at this time.
Over a Dozen Canadian Citizens Arrested Since Detention of Huawei Executive; Parliamentary Delegation Calls for their Release
A Canadian parliamentary delegation visiting China demanded the immediate release of two Canadian citizens currently detained by the Chinese Government. Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor are just two out of a total of thirteen Canadians that have been detained in China since the arrest of Huawei executive, Meng Wanzhou, in Vancouver on 1 December 2018. At least eight of the thirteen have since been released. While the federal government have not formally linked any of the arrests to the detention of Ms Meng, it is believed that the arrests may be part of a series of reprisals.
Authorities Issue Tropical Cyclone Warning for Cape York Peninsula, Queensland
The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning in early January for western areas of the Cape York Peninsula between Kowanyama and the Torres Islands straits. The tropical low could develop into a cyclone as it crosses the Peninsula during the night of Monday, 31 December, and may intensify into a Category 2. The BoM has warned that the tropical low is sustaining winds of 55km/h (34mph) and gusts of up to 85km/h (53mph) which could reach up to 90km/h (56mph) on Tuesday, 1 January. The BoM has also warned that heavy rainfall will accompany the cyclone and a flood watch is in place for areas north of Cardwell.
Global Risk Roundup – January 2019
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