Travel Safety Global Summary – May 2019

Welcome to May

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!

If you are travelling at any time this year and would like a more detailed country and regional risk assessment before deciding whether you need the services of an International Executive Close Protection Team or not, please do not hesitate to contact us at: Ares Risk Management.


~ SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE MAY OUTLOOK ~

  • War broke out in Lybia
  • A failed opposition uprising in Venezuela increased fears of violent escalation,
  • Over 250 people were killed in terror attacks in Sri Lanka.
  • In Sudan, the end of President Bashir’s almost 30-year rule gave way to a tense standoff between military chiefs and protest leaders.
  • In Algeria, the long-time ruler has resigned, and the country runs the risk of violent confrontations between protesters and the military.
  • In Egyptian President Sisi consolidated his authoritarian rule.
  • Political tensions rose in Mali and Benin amid opposition protests.
  • Fighting escalated in Yemen on multiple front lines, with risks of more clashes around Hodeida and in the south, and conflict could resume in South Sudan if President Kiir unilaterally forms a new government.
  • In Somalia, security forces clashed with protesters and Al-Shabaab could step up attacks in Ramadan starting early May.
  • In Cameroon, Boko Haram intensified attacks in the north, while violence between state forces and Anglophone separatists could spike around National Day on 20 May.

Weather Hazards

Eastern New Guinea
Earthquake
On the 6th May, an earthquake occurred in Eastern New Guinea potentially affecting 580000 people within 100km. The earthquake had Magnitude 7.2M, Depth: 126.92km. While there are no immediate reports of damage due to the challenges faced by aid agencies in gaining access to the area. At this time no tsunami warnings have been issued in the area.
The Democratic People Republic of Korea

Drought

DPR Korea is currently experiencing a challenging food insecurity situation. Unusually little precipitation during the winter and spring so far is posing a serious threat to the spring harvest. 2019 has seen the DPR Korea continue to experience unusually erratic weather conditions with little precipitation, limiting the soil moisture for growth of winter and planting of spring crops as well as replenishment of water reservoirs for irrigation.
USA

Flooding

Severe Thunder Storms / Tornado’s / Dust Storms

The federal government’s spring weather outlook issued Thursday shows flooding risk will remain high through May for 25 states, Mid-western states are likely The forecast comes as communities in the Midwest cope with historic flooding caused by rapidly melting snow and storms that has led to at least three fatalities. The hardest-hit states include Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Minnesota.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit parts of Texas, Kansas and Nebraska yesterday, May 5th. Texas, Nebraska and Iowa continue to be at risk of continuing storms

PHILIPPIANS

Earthquake

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the central Philippines, 37 miles northwest of Manila. Some buildings were evacuated, but so far there have been no reports of deaths or major damage. The Philippines is on the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a horse-shoe shaped band of volcanoes and fault lines circling the edges of the Pacific Ocean.
TAIWAN
Earthquake
An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck Taiwan’s coastal city of Hualien on Thursday, the weather bureau said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
INDONESIA
Tsunami
FloodingLandslides
Indonesia lifted a tsunami warning but urged people to remain vigilant and evacuate to higher ground after an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 struck off the coast of its island of Sulawesi.

Floods sparked by torrential rains have killed nearly 40 in Indonesia with a dozen more still missing.

Flooding in and around parts of the capital Jakarta last week killed at least two people, forced more than 2,000 to evacuate their homes and set 14 pet pythons on the loose.

In Sumatra, some 12,000 residents have been evacuated from water-logged Bengkulu with hundreds of buildings, bridges and roads damaged.

MOZAMBIQUE

Cyclone

Flooding

The death toll from Cyclone Kenneth, the second tropical storm to hit Mozambique within weeks, has jumped to 38 as flooding continues. Rains from the storm pounded the north-eastern city of Pemba and surrounding areas on Monday, and more torrential rain was forecast for the coming days. Cyclone Idai, which hit central Mozambique in mid-March, killed at least 600 people.
SOUTH AFRICA

Flooding

Seventy people have died in floods that ravaged parts of the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa's southeast. The flooding began on Monday 25 April, after heavy rain caused mudslides in several towns in Durban, the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal. Weather reports for South Africa indicate that there is more heavy ran expecting in the early part of May.
INDIA

Cyclone

Heavy Rain

High Winds

Flooding

Extremely severe tropical cyclone Fani is now equivalent to Category 4 strength as it heads for landfall in eastern India and Bangladesh. Cyclone Fani, made land fall on 2nd May. As of today (May 8, 2019) 62 people are known to have been killed by Fani in Eastern India and Bangladesh. With authorities moving millions of people to higher ground in the days prior to the cyclone making landfall in an effort to reduce the death toll.
SPAIN
Forest Fires
Warnings have been issued for very high or extreme danger from forest fires in parts of central-northern Spain
TURKEY
Forest Fires
Warnings have been issued for very high or extreme danger from forest fires in western-central Turkey.
EUROPE

Flood Warnings

Romania: warning level 2/3 for Bistrita, Mures, Covasna, Harghita, Brasov and Sibiu regions.

Finland: Flood warning level 2/3 exceeded for Pielinen Ahveninen, Koitajoki Möhkönkoski and Viiksinselkä stations in the North Karelia region.

Georgia: flows above the threshold level "dangerous" in Tskhenisckali - Ludji.

Ukraine: threshold level 2/3 on Vorona river.

Disease Alert

UKRAINE
Measles Outbreak 
Measles outbreak continues to spread in Ukraine, with new cases being reported in all regions. In 2018, Ukraine reported more measles cases than all of the European Union. In spite of Large-scale outbreak control measures having been put on place to curb the spread of the disease, it continues to spread. Since the beginning of 2019, more than 21,000 cases (7 deaths) have been registered which is an absolute record for the country and 300 per cent increase from 2018.

 

CHAD

Measles Outbreak

The Measles epidemic in Chad is ongoing. Since the beginning of 2019, a total of 981 suspected measles cases including 6 deaths were reported from 56 out of 117 (48%) districts in the country. The number of reported cases has been increasing gradually since week 1 in 2019. Currently 24 districts are epidemic.
NIGERIA
Lassa Fever
On 21 January 2019, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) declared an outbreak of Lassa fever following an increase in the number of cases. From 01 to 27 January 2019, a total of 213 confirmed cases including 41 deaths were reported from sixteen states (Edo, Ondo, Ebonyi, Bauchi, Plateau, Taraba, Gombe, Anambra, Kaduna, Kwara, FCT, Benue, Rivers, Nassarawa and Kogi States) across 40 Local Government Areas
CAMEROON
Cholera Outbreak
While the Cholera started in mid 2018, the crisis continues... with some improvement and a decrease in the number of new cases reported. The outbreak has affected four out of 10 regions in Cameroon, these include North, Far North, Central and Littoral region.
MOZAMBIQUE
Cholera OutbreakMaleria
In the aftermath of two cyclones and heavy flooding, wells have been contaminated creating challenges to secure fresh drinking water and raising the risk for expanding outbreaks of cholera across the country. Areas particularly affected have been in Central Mozambique.
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
Ebola Virus Epidemic
As of 24 March 2019, a total of 1016 EVD cases, including 951 confirmed and 65 probable cases, were reported. This includes 634 deaths (overall case fatality ratio 62%), including 569 deaths among confirmed cases...Security remains a major challenge for ongoing outbreak response efforts. Though successes have been reported from the field, notably in the 10-day lull prior to this past weekend, the overall situation remains fragile.

 

SOUTH SUDAN

Measles Outbreak

As of 10th February 2019 Measles outbreaks had been confirmed in seven counties namely; Rumbek East, Abyei, Juba, Pibor, Gogriel West, Bor South, and Mayom. A large scale immunisation campaign commenced on 6th March 2019, with a follow up vaccination campaign planned for November 2019. Reports suggest that The outbreaks in Mayom and Abyei have been controlled.
ZIMBABWE

Cholera Outbreak

The cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe has continued to improve since its onset September 2018. The declining trend observed since the peak of the outbreak continues to be maintained despite an upsurge in December 2018 caused by the emergence of new cases in Mount Darwin District in Mashonaland Central province where the outbreak is ongoing.
MADAGASCAR
Measles Outbreak
While the situation is improving, the risk of the outbreak spreading to the few remaining unaffected regions of the country remains. Although the first phase of the reactive vaccination campaign progressed well, there is still a shortage of vaccines and funds for response in those districts at risk, and funding gaps need to be filled for phases two and three of the campaign, planned for February through April 2019. In February 2019 (weeks 7 to 8), an overall 774 new cases were recorded in 3 newly affected districts. Despite stabilizing in some areas, the above-mentioned spikes show that the epidemic is progressing, and the epidemic is now posing a significant risk to remote and hard to reach communities. Recorded new cases 7,288 in March 2019.
SOMALIA
Polio Outbreak
The Polio outbreak in Somalia started in 2018, and in spite of a vaccination campaign, there is an ongoing health risk to unvaccinated individuals.
YEMEN
Diphtheria Outbreak
Diphtheria is making an alarming comeback in the war-torn country, with 189 clinically diagnosed cases and 20 deaths – mostly children and young adults – in the last three months. Most diphtheria cases and deaths have been reported in Ibb governorate but the outbreak is spreading fast, already affecting 13 governorates. The closest points of entry to Ibb are in Sana’a and Hodeida, making it crucial that Sana’a airport and the port of Hodeida remain open.
BANGLADESH
Diphtheria Outbreak
Diphtheria is rapidly spreading among Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Over 5000 people have been affected, and there have been 45 deaths so far this year, with the last death being reported on 19th January 2019.
EL SALVADOR

Typhoid & Hepatitis Outbreaks

More recently there has also been an increase in typhoid and hepatitis A. You should avoid bathing in or drinking from any rivers.

The May 2019 Traveller’s Risk Summary

2019 Travellers Risk Legend

AFRICA

Africa - Mapping Crisis, Conflict & Risk

As you can see from the map of Africa, many nations within the continent are experiencing challenges which could pose risks to a range of Western travellers visiting the continent.  

ADVICE:
The security environment in many African countries is at best precarious and in some fast deteriorating. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.

Moderately High Risk ALGERIA

In Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down, but weekly protests continued, calling for an end to military control of the transition.

High Risk Area ANGOLA

Separatist militants in Angola’s Cabinda exclave announced they would resume their armed struggle. This situation is ongoing and remains unchanged.

Moderately High to High Risk BENIN

In Benin, security forces cracked down on opposition protests before and after parliamentary elections on 28 April, prompting fears that unrest could escalate in coming weeks.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High BURKINA FASO

Jihadist violence rose in Burkina Faso where radical militants upped attacks on both security forces and civilians, especially in the east and north.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High CAMEROON

In Cameroon, Boko Haram stepped up attacks in the Far North and Anglophone separatists continued to clash with security forces in the west. Violence could escalate there around 20 May, Cameroon’s National Day.

CHAD

The situation in Chad continues to deteriorate. In south-west Chad, the Boko Haram faction known as Islamic State West Africa Province launched a bold attack on a military position killing over 20 soldiers, an unusually high toll. Due to insurgency fears, the government has closed the border with Libya.

Moderately High to High Risk EGYPT

President Sisi entrenched his authoritarian rule – a referendum endorsed his changes to the constitution that could see him stay in power until 2030 – and the authorities intensified a crackdown on civil society and opposition voices.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High MALI
Mali’s government resigned in the wake of mass protests denouncing its failure to stop ethnic violence in the centre. Attacks could intensify there in May as tensions between ethnic Fulani and Dogon communities continue to fester.
Moderately High Risk MOZAMBIQUE
Suspected Islamist militants continued attacks in Cabo Delgado province in the far north. With attacks across the country, over 120 homes have been burnt to the ground, and in total over 700 people killed.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High NIGERIA

Elections-related tensions continued while ethnic and herder-farmer violence flared in the north centre, banditry continued in the north-west and Boko Haram (BH) continued attacks in the northeast. In total over the past month over 300 people have been killed in insurgent violence, and suicide bombings.

High Risk Area SOMALIA

In Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, a police killing sparked clashes between protesters and security forces that left another five civilians dead, as Al-Shabaab attacks continued. It is expected that the insurgency could escalate in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that starts on 5 May.

High Risk Area SUDAN

After the ousting of Sudan’s President Bashir after almost 30 years in power triggered celebrations, but also friction between the military council that stepped in and the protest movement demanding civilian rule.

 

Moderately High to High Risk SOUTH SUDAN

South Sudan’s fragile peace agreement could come under severe strain this month, risking collapse. President Kiir has said he will form a transitional government on 12 May as scheduled, while rebel leader Riek Machar – who should be part of the new government according to the agreement – has called for a six-month delay. If Kiir goes ahead and forms a government absent a new deal, the peace plan could derail and fighting resume.

Moderately High to High Risk UGANDA

Tensions between Uganda and Rwanda continued to rise after Rwanda restricted trade across the shared border.

Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East & Far East

Mapping Risk, Crisis and conflict across Europe and the Middle East

High Risk Area UKRAINE
Hostilities continue in the 6-year war between Ukraine and Russia, and it would seem that there continues to be little hope of a peaceful resolution at this time. The situation continues to be tense
ARMENIA
With his party’s victory in the snap parliamentary elections and a new calm on the frontlines with Azerbaijan, Armenia’s leader Nikol Pashinyan and his team will have more space to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Advice to visitors against travelling within 5km of the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the Tavush and Gegharkunik regions, and along the M16/H26 road between the towns of Ijevan and Noyemberyan, continue to be in place.Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh continue. Although there has been no recent history of terror attacks these cannot be ruled out, be aware that protests and demonstrations in the cities are common and you should take care, monitor the media and avoid large crowds and demonstrations.
High Risk Area AZERBAIJAN
Tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh continue. There have been several ceasefire violations along the Line of Contact separating the opposing forces and elsewhere. There is also a heightened risk of random terrorist activity.
LEBANON
The security situation in Lebanon remains unchanged. The region is highly volatile with a high likelihood of terror attacks throughout the country. In addition, there are criminal gangs operating in parts of the Bekka, especially northern Bekka, involved in drug cultivation and smuggling. Recent protests against the UN have turned violent, and there are unexploded ordnance and landmines in many areas. Some area’s significantly more dangerous, such as Palestinian Refugee camps and the border regions with Syria and Hermel Area, including the towns of Arsal, Ras Baalbek, Qaa, Laboué and Nahlé.The security situation can deteriorate very quickly and conflict with Israel can spark very quickly. Be aware that there has been a heightened risk of terrorism against aviation.
LYBIA

In Libya, war broke out when forces loyal to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar advanced on the capital Tripoli in early April, intent on taking the city from the UN-backed Government of National Accord. the fighting, which has already caused the deaths of at least 300, could escalate further. Both sides consider the fight an “existential war” that leaves no opportunity for a cessation of hostilities. Regional powers could also add fuel to the fire seeking to protect their own allies and interests.

SYRIA
The situation remains extremely volatile and dangerous. High levels of violence persist throughout Syria, including full-scale military operations involving the use of small arms, tanks, artillery and aircraft. A number of chemical weapons attacks have taken place across Syria. Estimates suggest that over 470,000 people have been killed in the Syria conflict, including over 55,000 children.The Syrian regime does not exercise control of significant parts of Syria, notably in the north, south and east of the country. A small area of eastern Syria remains under the effective control of Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), which is fiercely hostile to the United Kingdom.

Terrorists are highly likely to continue. Past attacks have been across Syria and have left large numbers of people dead or wounded. There is also a high threat of kidnapping of UK and Western nationals. There is NO UK Embassy presence in Syria.

High Risk Area IRAN
There is a risk that British nationals, and a higher risk that British/Iranian dual nationals, could be arbitrarily detained in Iran. All British nationals should consider carefully the risks of travelling to Iran. The Iranian authorities don’t recognise dual nationality for Iranian citizens. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iran. Attacks could happen anywhere, including in places visited by foreigners.Iran is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is strictly enforced. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High IRAQ
There is a risk of terrorist attacks and kidnap across the country. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Iraq. There’s also a high kidnap threat. While attacks can take place at any time, there’s a heightened threat during religious or public holidays.Areas liberated from Daesh are likely to contain remnants of war and improvised explosive devices.

The security situation throughout Iraq remains uncertain and could deteriorate quickly, often with very little warning.

High Risk Area ISRAEL / PALESTINE

Palestinian militants in Gaza fired several rounds of rockets into Israel, injuring Israeli civilians and provoking retaliatory strikes on over 100 targets in Gaza. Israeli forces pushed back Palestinian protesters at the border, killing four. The escalation comes at a sensitive time as Israel prepares for elections in April.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High YEMEN
In Yemen, fighting continued to escalate on multiple front lines. With negotiations over military redeployments in Hodeida stalled, rival forces could resume their battle for the strategic port and city, while tensions between nominally allied pro-government forces could spark conflict in the south.
AFGANISTAN
Amidst an intensifying Taliban insurgency and emerging Islamic State threat, Afghanistan's path to peace and stability looks ever more perilous. Taliban militants now control more territory than at any time since its ouster by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001.   The security situation in Afghanistan is highly dangerous and volatile. If you must travel to Afghanistan, travel by road throughout the country, but particularly outside the capital Kabul, is extremely dangerous. Seek professional security advice for all travel and consider using armoured vehicles.Hotels and guesthouses used by foreign nationals and the government of Afghanistan are subject to regular threats. Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. Specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication and focused on targeting foreign nationals.

There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country. Recent kidnappings have ended in the murder of those individuals that were kidnapped.

High Risk Area PAKISTAN
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Pakistan. There’s a high threat of terrorism, kidnap and sectarian violence throughout the country, including the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi. You should be vigilant, avoid all crowds, public events, political gatherings, religious processions and sporting events.Foreigners, in particular, Westerners, may be directly targeted. Densely populated unsecured areas, such as markets, shopping malls, restaurants and places where westerners and the Pakistani elite are known to congregate, are potential focal points for attacks.
High Risk Area INDIA
In February terrorists carried out car bombings in Kashmir which resulted in 40 deaths, and it is likely that terrorists’ will try to carry out further attacks in India. Recent attacks have targeted public places including those visited by foreigners. There have been recent media reports suggesting Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) may have an interest in attacking targets in India. There may be an increased threat to places visited by British nationals such as religious sites, markets, festival venues and beaches.Visitors to India should avoid protests and large gatherings. Stampedes have occurred during some events with large crowds, including at political rallies and religious gatherings, resulting in deaths and injuries.
BANGLADESH
Bangladesh has been in a state of turmoil since the run-up to the national elections in December 2018, added to which there has been the ongoing refugee crisis of Rohingya refugees entering the country from Burma.Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh. The threat extends across the country.
High Risk Area MYANMAR

In Myanmar, the Arakan Army, an ethnic Rakhine insurgency group, stepped up attacks against security forces across broad areas of Rakhine State and southern Chin State, despite vows by the military and government to crush the insurgency. It is feared that that serious escalation on the security and political front will greatly complicate efforts to bring peace and stability in the region and further undermines the prospects for repatriation of one million Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.

UZBEKISTAN
From 1 February 2019, if you have a British Citizen passport you will be able to enter Uzbekistan as a visitor for stays of up to 30 days without a visa.Air quality in the Karakalpakstan and Khorezm regions has deteriorated as a result of storms over the Aral Sea bringing salt, dust and pollutants into the air.

You can be detained on arrival for the possession of certain medicines, including codeine. You should always carry a doctor’s prescription with you.

Terrorist attacks in Uzbekistan can’t be ruled out and border regions Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan are potential flashpoints. Be aware that borders can be closed with no notice.

KYRGYZSTAN
Terrorist attacks in Kyrgyzstan can’t be ruled out. You should be vigilant in public places and follow security advice from the local authorities.The Kyrgyz/Uzbek and Kyrgyz/Tajik borders are subject to closure without notice. There have been a number of security incidents in the Kyrgyz/Uzbek border region in recent months.

There is a high risk of earthquakes.

TAJIKISTAN
Terrorists are likely to try and carry out attacks in Tajikistan. Tourists have been known to have been targeted for deliberate attack, particularly on hiking and cycling tracks around the countryside, 4 were killed in deliberate targeted attacks in 2018.There are regular clashes between the Taliban and Afghan government forces in north-east Afghanistan close to the border with Tajikistan. This border is also used by drug smugglers who often engage in armed clashes with Tajik security forces.

Tourism, health and transport infrastructure is poor and travel requires careful planning. Avoid off-road areas immediately adjoining the Afghan, Uzbek and Kyrgyz borders, which may be mined.

Escalating Risk from High to Very High NORTH KOREA
The level of tension on the Korean Peninsula is volatile, and tensions escalate during South Koreans-US military exercises; notably, these are conducted in the Spring and Autumn annually. While daily life in the capital city Pyongyang may appear calm, the security situation in North Korea can change with little notice and with no advance warning of possible actions by the North Korean authorities. This poses significant risks to British visitors and residents.
High Risk Area PHILLIPEANS
Following the 21 January plebiscite endorsing the new Bangsamoro Autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a cathedral bombing in Sulu province that killed at least 22 soldiers and civilians. There are multiple actors have the capacity for such an attack and the bombing serves as a reminder that spoilers have haunted every major stride in the 40-year peace process.
Moderately High Risk SRI LANKA

In Sri Lanka, over 250 people were killed in coordinated suicide bomb attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday, which the government blamed on a little-known Islamist militant local group acting with foreign support; Islamic State also claimed responsibility. The attacks represent a departure from previous conflict dynamics and threaten to open up new tensions between the overwhelmingly peaceful Muslim community and other ethnic and religious groups.

High Risk Area TIMOR-LESTE
Since the 2018 elections, the government is now largely stable, however further violence is possible. You should avoid rallies, demonstrations and protests as the security situation could deteriorate without warning.Crime continues to be a problem in East Timor (Timor-Leste), including gang-related violence, robbery (in some cases armed), assault and attacks on vehicles.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Timor-Leste, attacks can’t be ruled out.

The tropical cyclone season in Timor-Leste normally runs from November to April.

High Risk Area PAPUA NEW GUINEA There has been significantly increased levels of tribal fighting in the Hela and Southern Highlands provinces, leading to a declaration of states of emergency by the Papua New Guinea government. There has also been heavier than usual tribal fighting in Enga and Western Highlands provinces. If you’re planning to travel to these provinces, you should take greater care than usual and consider enhanced security precautions.

Outbreaks of tribal violence may occur with little warning and may escalate very quickly. You should avoid large crowds and public gatherings as they may turn violent.

Monsoon season in Papua New Guinea runs from November to May. The 2019 forecast is for heavy rain and strong winds, with a heightened potential for flooding and landslides.

There is a high level of serious and violent crime. Law and order is poor or very poor in many parts of the country. Pay close attention to your personal security, particularly after dark, and monitor the media for possible new security risks.

Carjacking is an ever-present threat, particularly in Port Moresby and Lae. Lock car doors and keep windows up at all times. If possible travel in convoy or with a security escort after dark.

The America’s

Escalating Risk from High to Very High VENEZUELA
A failed uprising by Venezuela’s opposition leader and “interim President” Juan Guaidó on 30 April led to clashes between troops and defecting soldiers and protesters, leaving scores injured. Further polarising the country’s dangerous political standoff, these latest developments raise the risk of violent escalation by domestic and even international actors.
Escalating Risk from High to Very High COLUMBIA
The Colombian government ended peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group, prompting fears of a return to open conflict and more violence along the border with Venezuela and the Pacific Coast.
High Risk Area GUATEMALA
In Guatemala, the government stepped up its attacks on judicial institutions fighting corruption; however political tensions continue.
High Risk Area MEXICO
March saw record levels of violence in spite of the government’s efforts to fight crime. There are currently large numbers of migrants moving en masse from Honduras through Guatemala to Mexico and beyond. This is having an impact on border crossings.There have been a number of reported shooting incidents and other incidents of violence in the main tourist destinations, including in locations popular with tourists. There is currently an increased police presence in the Cancun area, including in the hotel zone. While tourists have not been the target of such incidents, anyone in the vicinity of an incident could be affected.

The security situation can pose a risk for foreigners. Be alert to the existence of street crime as well as more serious violent crime like robbery, assault and vehicle hijacking. In certain parts of Mexico, you should take particular care to avoid being caught up in drug-related violence between criminal groups.

EL SALVADOR
Most visits to El Salvador are trouble-free. However, El Salvador has one of the highest crime rates in Latin America so you should take extra care. Take particular care in downtown San Salvador and on roads outside major towns and cities, especially at night. Avoid wearing expensive jewellery or displaying valuable items. Safeguard your passport, mobile phone and cash against pickpockets.
High Risk Area HAITI

The situation in Haiti remains unchanged. Violent anti-government protests continue to sweep through Haiti, fuelled by anger over deteriorating economic conditions and a scandal involving embezzlement of public funds.

High Risk Area HONDURAS
There’s no British Embassy in Honduras. Consular support may be limited in Honduras, with the exception of Tegucigalpa and the Bay Islands, and severely limited in more remote areas.There are currently large numbers of migrants moving en masse from Honduras through Guatemala to Mexico and beyond. This is having an impact on border crossings.

Demonstrations can occur throughout Honduras, often with little or no notice. If you’re travelling in Honduras, you should remain vigilant and avoid all demonstrations. In the event of unrest, have a contingency plan to make changes to your travel plans at short notice, and be aware that airlines sometimes modify their schedules at short notice.

High Risk Area NICARAGUA
You are advised against all but essential travel to Nicaragua, as There has been a prolonged period of political unrest and street violence in many areas in Nicaragua since mid-April 2018. In the early months of the crisis, this involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, resulting in many serious injuries and 300 deaths.Violence and disorder can flare up with no-notice and at any time. It is also against Nicaraguan immigration law for foreigners to involve themselves in local politics, and you may put yourself at risk of arrest if taking part in protests or breaches of the peace. Crime has also risen quite significantly since the protests began.
High Risk Area EQUADOR
The security situation in the province of Esmeraldas can change very quickly. If you’re undertaking essential travel in areas of the province beyond the 20km exclusion zone, you should pay close attention to warnings issued by the Ecuadorean authorities.Although Ecuador doesn’t have a history of terrorism, in 2018 there have been a number of bomb explosions and kidnappings in the northern province of Esmeraldas.

Ecuador is situated in an area of intense seismic activity. There is a high risk of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. You should make sure you are aware of the risks and are familiar with the relevant safety and evacuation procedures.

Cases of armed robbery are increasing and petty crime is common.

High Risk Area PERU
The rainy season in Peru runs from November to April. It can rain and snow heavily in the Andes and there have been occasions of torrential rains in some parts of the country; causing flooding, landslides and mudslides.Demonstrations are common in Peru and can turn violent quickly. There may be a higher risk to your safety in areas where there is organised crime and terrorism linked to the production of drugs.

There’s a risk of robbery by bogus taxi drivers, especially to and from the airports and at bus terminals.

Driving standards are poor. Crashes resulting in death and injury occur frequently.

Moderately High Risk FRENCH GUIANA

The rainy season in French Guiana, during which tropical storms may occur, takes place between December and July.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in French Guiana, attacks can’t be ruled out. Crime levels are low, but serious crime does occur.

If you are travelling at any time this year and would like a more detailed country and regional risk assessment before deciding whether you need the services of an International Executive Close Protection Team or not, please do not hesitate to contact us at: Ares Risk Management.

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