Travel Safety Summary - September 2018

Travel Safety Summary – September 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 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 August 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.

 


LOOKING BACK AT AUGUST 2018 ~ SETTING THE SCENE FOR THIS MONTHS OUTLOOK

In August, the Syrian regime and its allies upped attacks in the North West, pointing to an imminent offensive on rebel-held Idlib province, home to nearly three million people.

Fierce militia fighting erupted in Libya’s capital and could escalate in the coming weeks.

The UN’s consultations with Yemen’s belligerents in September could re-energise peace talks; but failure could trigger more violence.

In DR Congo, the government’s determination to bar the main opposition contenders from December’s presidential poll could provoke more protests.

Zimbabwe’s elections left the country even more divided.

Uganda’s detention of a popular challenger sparked protests, which the authorities put down with force.

Mob violence rose in eastern Ethiopia.

Chad responded with force to a rebel attack.

In Chechnya, boys reportedly carried out attacks on police after pledging allegiance to Islamic State.

The exodus of Venezuelans to neighbouring countries presented a growing regional threat, with the government’s new economic reform package making things worse.

A forthcoming referendum in Macedonia could bring the country another step closer to resolution of its longstanding name dispute with Greece.


The Outlook for September 2018

We'd also like to take this moment to remind you that:

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

Escalating Risk from High to Very HighSYRIA

In Syria, the regime and its allies seemed to be preparing for an all-out offensive in the north-western province of Idlib, the armed rebellion’s last stronghold. A day after dropping fliers urging civilians to surrender, a wave of airstrikes in Idlib and neighbouring Hama and Aleppo provinces killed at least 29 people. The regime says it must root out jihadists, but the region is also home to almost three million people, mostly civilians. To avoid a massive death toll,  Turkey and European countries to tell Russia that an assault on Idlib could work against its main goal: the Assad regime’s full rehabilitation. Turkey, Russia and Iran should resume talks to find a less dangerous way to neutralise the most hardline jihadists.

Escalating Risk from High to Very HighLYBIA

Intense fighting erupted in Libya’s capital Tripoli between militias linked to the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), and the violence could escalate further in September.

High Risk AreaYEMEN

UN consultations with Yemen’s warring parties in early September could increase their commitment to restart peace talks, but if discussions collapse in acrimony, fighting could escalate. Meanwhile, infighting between Yemeni forces in the Saudi-led coalition intensified and coalition strikes killed more civilians, including at least 50 children.

Moderately High to High RiskDEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO  

While president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, revealed that he would not stand in December’s presidential poll, thus abiding by the constitution, the regime continues to keep electoral preparations skewed in its favour, notably by barring the main opposition contenders. Publication of a final candidates list is due on 19 September and if that lacks opposition champions, it could trigger another bout of violence.

Moderately High to High RiskZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe’s contested elections and the military’s crackdown on opposition supporters, killing six, have undermined the government’s legitimacy and deepened political divisions.

High Risk AreaSOMALIA

Mob violence rose, especially in the eastern Somali region, where youth and the region’s police targeted ethnic minorities.

Low Risk

ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia continues its drive toward more liberal domestic policies and more friendly regional relations.

High Risk AreaCHAD
After one of the strongest Chadian rebel groups based in southern Libya attacked a military post in northern Chad, the government answered the rebels’ proposed prisoner swap with airstrikes.

Moderately High to High RiskUGANDA

The Ugandan government may have shot itself in the foot by arresting a singer-turned-opposition politician known as Bobi Wine. Hugely popular among young people, his arrest and alleged beating in detention brought supporters out on the streets in protest. Security forces responded with scattered with force, killing at least one demonstrator.

Moderately High RiskCHECHNIA

In the North Caucasus, Chechen authorities reported that the perpetrators of a series of attacks targeting police on 20 August ranged in age from eleven to sixteen. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks and released a video purportedly showing the young attackers pledging allegiance.

Moderate risk falling to Low RiskM MACEDONIA

Preparations are underway in Macedonia for a referendum on 30 September on whether to accept the new country name that the government agreed with Greece in June, ending a long-standing dispute. A “yes” vote would pave the way for implementing the deal, which unblocks Greece’s veto on Macedonia, starting the accession process for the EU and NATO.

Moderately High to High RiskSOUTH AMERICA  

 In Venezuela, President Maduro – the target of an apparent assassination attempt early in the month – introduced an economic reform package, including a new currency and a 35-fold increase in the minimum wage. Observers predicted it will worsen the country’s spiralling economic and humanitarian crisis, and intensify the exodus of Venezuelans to neighbouring countries, prompting a growing backlash. Peru and Ecuador announced entry restrictions in August and Venezuelans came under attack in Brazil; the UN warned the region may be heading for a “crisis moment”.

September 2018 ~ Travel Threat Summary

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