Ares Risk Management is here to help and support the travelling business community, keep you and your personnel safe while travelling – especially if your business takes you to some of the worlds at risk, crisis or conflict zones.
Before our Travel Trends & Risk Report, we’d like to remind you that when travelling abroad, even to countries which are considered “safe”, we live in a dangerous world. While conflict or terror attacks might not be prevalent in the country or city you are visiting, all countries and cities suffer from crime, be aware of the types of crime you might encounter. We would also like to remind you that weather may cause disruption to your travel plans. We also advise that you consider health issues and ensure that you are immunised if need be prior to travelling. It is also worth noting that some over the counter and prescription medications which a legal and freely accessible in the UK and Europe might be considered contraband in other countries so please be sure that you are aware of the issues you may face when travelling abroad!
TRACKING WORLDWIDE CONFLICT – July 2018
GEOPOLITICAL IMPACTS ON TRAVEL – JULY 2018
In Yemen, forces backed by the United Arab Emirates stepped up their offensive to take the port city of Hodeida from Huthi rebels, pushing up to the city’s southern suburbs. UN Mediators are working to seek a resolution; however this is an unpredictable situation which could lead to a humanitarian crisis in the city of Hodeida if the fighting continues.
In Syria, pro-government forces – backed by Russian air power – ramped up their campaign to retake territory toward the Jordanian border, raising the risk of further escalation in July.
Fighting again rocked Libya’s oil industry. Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar’s east-based Libyan National Army was forced to cede and then retook oil export terminals at Sidra and Ras Lanuf. Its announcement that oil sales from areas under its control would go through the east-based National Oil Corporation, unrecognised internationally, further aggravated political tensions and risks deepening the country’s economic woes.
A feud between Tunisia’s prime minister, Youssef Chahed, and President Essebsi intensified, with Chahed firing the interior minister, Essebsi’s ally. Ahead of the 2019 presidential election, the rivalry is polarising the political field and could hamper much needed legislative reform.
SOMALIA & SOMALILAND
Fighting between Somaliland and Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region over contested territory spread from Tukaraq – where both sides continued to beef up their positions – to Las Anod, capital of the disputed Sool area. Incendiary rhetoric from both sides bodes ill.
In Mozambique’s neglected and predominantly Muslim far north, Islamist militants, active since October, stepped up the rate of attacks, raiding some seven villages and killing at least 39 people. Ahead of Zimbabwe’s elections in July, an explosion at a rally for President Mnangagwa killed two and raised concerns for security around the vote.
In Nigeria, attacks linked to the conflict between herding and farming communities took a yet more horrifying toll; over 200 are thought to have been killed in attacks and reprisals over five days in Plateau state.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Violence erupted in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands province as protesters, angry about a failed court challenge to the 2017 provincial election result, set fire to an aeroplane and official buildings in the provincial capital, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency and deploy troops.
A historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump on 12 June produced a vague statement including a reaffirmation by Pyongyang of its commitment to work toward “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula.
Macedonia and Greece signed a historic agreement resolving their decades-long dispute over Macedonia’s official name, now to be the Republic of North Macedonia. The deal, which still needs to be ratified in the face of opposition in both countries, unblocks Greek opposition to Macedonia joining the European Union and NATO.
ETHIOPIA & ERITREA
Relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea, hostile since the 1998-2000 border war, began to thaw. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy’s pledge to cede contested territory and initial talks opened the door to greater neighbourliness and regional stability.
In another boon for the region, South Sudan’s warring leaders, President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, signed an initial framework agreement to enact a ceasefire, work toward a new transitional government and, with Sudan, secure the oil fields.
If you are travelling in July and would like a more detailed country and regional risk assessment, or if you need International Executive Close Protection Services please do not hesitate to contact us at: Ares Risk Management.