Weekly Analysis 12 February

  • 12 Feb 2016 11:24
The G4S Risk Analysis team produces weekly risk analysis pieces on current events pertinent to security and business operations. Please see below for excerpts of our weekly analysis for the week ending 12 February.
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Europe: Pegida protests demonstrate continued support for anti-Islamisation movement

On 6 February, thousands of people took part in anti-Islamisation protests across Europe, under the banner of the far-right movement, Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, known by its German acronym Pegida. To read more, sign up here

Taiwan:  Lessons to be learned from Tainan earthquake

In a country that experiences regular earthquakes, the collapse of the Golden Dragon tower in Tainan has been a stark warning of the continuing dangers from living on a fault-line. Mostly, Taiwan’s excellent building standards protect the population from regular quakes that cause little or no damage as a result of the exceptional standard of regulation. It was a surprise, then, that a fairly ordinary magnitude-6.3 earthquake in Meinong district caused such a high death toll. The vast majority of casualties occurred in one building, the Golden Dragon tower, where 109 people are still listed as missing as the rescue operation enters its fourth day, with 40 confirmed to have died. To read more, sign up here

Ireland: Dublin organised crime shooting linked to dissident republicanism  

On 5 February, three gunmen, dressed in assault-style clothing and carrying automatic rifles, opened fire inside the Regency Hotel, during the weigh-in for a boxing match, killing one person and injuring two others. The shooting occurred in broad daylight with members of the public and media present. The incident, which occurred some 4km from central Dublin, has been described by Ireland’s Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald as “unprecedented”. Aside from the three gunmen, police believe a total of six suspects were involved in the shooting with two others, one of whom was disguised as a woman, being present at the scene. To read more, sign up here

Iraq:  Protests mount as economic and political crises deepen

Members of the Peshmerga security forces joined public sector protests on 8 February over the non-payment of salaries for months. In Sulaymaniyah, the Peshmerga blocked the main road outside their base, as further protests by police, doctors and other public sector employees took place in Erbil, Koya, Halabja and Chemchemal. Protesters are increasingly questioning the legitimacy of the government as Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani’s term ended in August 2015, but political wrangling has allowed him to retain his position. Barzani’s recent calls for a referendum on Kurdistan independence have been interpreted as a populist measure aimed at distracting from the ongoing economic crisis in the autonomous area, as well as a means to extend his mandate. To read more, sign up here

Nepal: Border blockade lifted amid persistent instability 

On 8 February, the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), a group representing the Madhesi ethnic minority group, called an end to protests along the India-Nepal border, allowing freight traffic to enter Nepal from India for the first time in over four months. The blockade was imposed in an attempt to force Kathmandu to revise Nepal’s first republican constitution, which Madhesi group allege does not afford them adequate constitutional protections. The blockade has choked vital Indian imports, including fuel, food and medicine, contributing to countrywide economic stagnation. Persistent violence between demonstrators and police has resulted in the deaths of almost 50 people since protests began. To read more, sign up here

Puerto Rico: Government presents unattractive debt restructuring plan 

After months of tense negotiations, on 1 February the Puerto Rican government presented a plan to its creditors aimed at reducing its USD 70 billion debt. The offer comes as the island has already failed to fulfil debt payments scheduled in August 2015 and January 2016 and follows Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s announcement that the island is unable to pay its debt despite controversial attempts to cut spending and raise taxes and electricity tariffs. Puerto Rico’s proposal has not been welcomed by its creditors under the current terms, signalling that the crisis is likely to worsen as the deadline for the island’s next payments approaches. To read more, sign up here

Niger: President expected to win presidential vote despite popular discontent with the electoral process 

On 21 February, the first round of a presidential election will be held in Niger in a poll that is widely expected to be won by incumbent president Mahamadou Issoufou. Issoufou is seeking a second five-year term in office after winning a 2011 election that restored democratic rule to the country following an army coup in 2010. The opposition has accused the ruling Nigerien Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) of attempting to control the outcome of elections and has described President Issoufou as authoritarian. Several large anti-government protests have been held in recent months and further civil unrest is likely around the election. To read more, sign up here

Somalia: Dalloo Airlines attack points to al-Qaeda involvement 

On 2 February an explosion on board a Dalloo Airlines flight shortly after take-off forced the pilot to return to Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport (MGQ). The subsequent investigation suggests the cause was an IED hidden inside a laptop, which had been brought onto the plane by chief suspect Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh. CCTV footage shows airport employees delivering the device to Borleh, pointing to airport staff involvement in the attack. No group has claimed responsibility, although al-Shabaab, the Somali al-Qaeda affiliate, is likely to have been responsible. The incident points to a re-emergence of the threat posed by al-Qaeda as it seeks to win attention and recruits from its jihadist rival, Islamic State (IS). To read more, sign up here