Travel Safe Summary – November 2018

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 the 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!

If you are travelling in 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.


New for this month we have added a stop-light colour coding system to our country risk summaries so that you can see the risks more clearly.Risk Colour Code Legend

 It’s important to note that “Low Risk” does not mean “No Risk”!


TRACKING WORLDWIDE CONFLICT – NOVEMBER 2018            

World Crisis Map - November 2018

LOOKING BACK AT OCTOBER 2018 AND SETTING THE SCENE FOR NOVEMBER’S OUTLOOK

In October, a resurgent Taliban heavily disrupted Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections. In the meantime, a constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka could trigger violence.

A new initiative to start peace talks among Yemen’s warring parties offers hope for November. One of the protagonists, Saudi Arabia, drew fire after the tragic murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Political tension mounted in Guinea, Zimbabwe and Cameroon, where presidential elections deepened societal fractures. Deadly violence rose in neighbouring Chad, where the fight against Boko Haram intensified.

Deadly violence also flared in eastern DR Congo, northeast Angola, the Comoros Islands, in a territory disputed between Somaliland and Somalia, and at the Gaza-Israel border.

In East Asia, criticism grew over China’s detention of mostly Uighur Muslims in mass internment camps, and strategic competition between the U.S. and China stepped up – while relations between Japan and China improved.

Honduras faced more political instability.

Hostilities worsened in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, and tensions grew in the Western Balkans and Russia’s North Caucasus.

On a positive note, Armenia and Azerbaijan’s new communication channel to manage incidents on their border and in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone started operating.


November 2018 Trends and Outlook

As we approach the winter months there seems that in some places around the world there is no end in sight for the daily violence which continues to claim lives and cause misery.

RISK  
High Risk Area SIR LANKA
Sir Lanka has been plunged into a constitutional crisis following President Sirisena’s unexpected decision on 26 October to form a new government with controversial former President Rajapaksa without following established legal procedures,  provoking unrest and concerns over the progress of reforms and ethnic reconciliation.
High Risk Area AFGHANISTAN
The Taliban’s killing of powerful Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq two days before parliamentary elections on 20 October showed rising Taliban strength, prompting concerns for security in the southern region and casting a shadow on the idea of peace talks.
Low Risk China & Japan          
China and Japan continued measures to improve their relations with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “historic” visit to China in late October. Amid growing global censure of reports that China has forcibly detained hundreds of thousands of mostly Uighur Muslims in mass internment camps, new details emerged about the scale and conditions of these camps, along with news that the Xinjiang regional legislature has revised its anti-extremism regulations, retroactively authorizing their existence.
CAMEROON
Hazardous presidential elections took place largely peacefully on 7 October, the legitimacy of the vote was called into question as most Anglophones boycotted it. The official turnout in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest regions was 5.36% and 15.94% respectively, and the opposition rejected President Biya’s win, claiming fraud. The shrinking political space nationwide and heavy security response to the Anglophone crisis deepened societal divisions.

 

Escalating Risk from High to Very High CHAD
In Chad, the fight against Boko Haram intensified.

 

Escalating Risk from High to Very High DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC of CONGO Militia attacks increased in and around Beni in eastern DR Congo, triggering riots in the city, in turn throwing up more obstacles for those trying to contain the Ebola outbreak.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High EAST ANGOLA
In the name of cracking down on irregular diamond mining, security forces and locals in north east Angola assaulted and looted Congolese, killing at least six and forcing some 330,000 to flee into Congo.
Moderately High to High Risk ZIMBABWE
The political and economic crisis is deepening.
Possible escalation from a Moderate risk to Moderately High Risk ANJOUAN ~ COMOROS ISLANDS
The military clashed with armed protesters, who rejected the results of the July referendum that ended rotation of the presidency around the three main islands.
Possible escalation from a Moderate risk to Moderately High Risk GUINEA
The opposition in Guinea organised a series of protest marches in the capital Conakry, which degenerated into battles with security forces and left three protesters dead.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High  SOMALILAND & SOMALIA
In Sool region, a territory claimed by both Somaliland and Somalia’s Puntland, fighting between rival clan militias left close to 100 dead.
YEMEN
In the Middle East, United Arab Emirates-backed forces in Yemen pursued a campaign to strangle the Huthi-held port city of Hodeida, risking awful humanitarian consequences. Fighting around the city and on other frontlines could escalate in coming weeks, but November also offers an opportunity to stem the country’s ruin, as the UN envoy prepared a new initiative aimed at setting up a framework for talks, and the U.S. put pressure on warring parties to announce a ceasefire.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High GAZA / ISRAEL
Deadly clashes escalated between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces at the Gaza-Israel border, leaving at least seventeen Palestinians dead, while rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli bombing raids there intensified.
High Risk Area HONDURAS
Honduras experienced its worst crisis since the disputed November 2017 general elections after thousands of Hondurans started a “migrant caravan” toward the U.S., which threatened to cut off all bilateral aid.
Moderately High to High Risk UKRAINE
Hostilities worsened in the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, while tensions between Kyiv and Moscow continued to rise over the Azov Sea and the proposed establishment of a self-governing Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Moderately High Risk KOSOVO
 As Kosovo moves to transform its security force into a national army this has caused a rise in tensions with Serbia
Moderately High Risk BOSNIA
The flawed electoral process, which led to the victory of a hard-line nationalist who has called for the break-up of the country, is a cause for concern.
Moderately High Risk NORTH CAUCASUS
In Russia’s North Caucasus, a controversial border demarcation deal with Chechnya triggered a political crisis in Ingushetia.
Moderate risk falling to Low RiskM ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN
Finally, on a positive note, the communication channel between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which they agreed in late September to help prevent incidents on their state border and in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, started operating.

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