Weekly Analysis - 29 April

  • 29 Apr 2016 10:19
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 29 April.

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Macedonia: Political elite under increasing pressure from “Colour Revolution” protests
On 26 April, thousands of people demonstrated for a thirteenth consecutive evening in central Skopje, outside the public media office of President Gjorge Ivanov and the Justice Ministry. Protesters, dressed in vibrant clothing, threw paint at the ministry building as part of the “Colourful Revolution” campaign, which continues to gather momentum. Protests have escalated since Ivanov controversially issued a pardon on 12 April, effectively ending any prosecution of politicians, mainly from Nikola] Gruevski’s ruling VMRO DPMNE party, over links to corruption and the 2015 wire-tapping case that implicated politicians, including Gruevski, in a number of scandals associated with vote-rigging, judicial interference and criminal cover-ups. To read more, sign up here

Venezuela:  Political and economic crisis set to worsen
Venezuela’s economy remains in a severe crisis. On 12 April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that inflation is expected to increase by 481 percent in 2016 and by some 1,642 percent in 2017. However, experts have conceded that, in reality, inflation may reach 2,200 percent in 2017, resulting in the total collapse of the economy in 12 to 18 months. The IMF also estimates that unemployment rates will hit 17 percent this year and 21 percent in 2017, comparable to the 25 percent witnessed in the US during the Great Depression of the 1930s. To read more, sign up here

Afghanistan:  Kabul attack highlights increasing urban insecurity
On 19 April, the Taliban launched its largest attack in Kabul in 15 years. Shortly before 0900hrs local time, insurgents detonated a truck bomb in close proximity to the boundary wall of a former National Directorate of Security (D10) compound in the busy Pul-e-Mahmud Khan district, now used to barrack an elite security force that protects Afghan VIPs and government officials. The blast, which instantly killed some 22 security personnel inside the compound, breached the outer wall allowing three Taliban gunmen to enter the premises. The assailants proceeded to shoot dead a number of staff before being killed by security personnel. The attack killed 68 people and wounded more than 350 others, the majority of whom were civilians struck by shrapnel from the initial blast. To read more, sign up here

Burundi: General’s killing indicative of army and ethnic discord 
On 25 April, gunmen opened fire on the vehicle of Brigadier General Athanase Kararuza with rocket-propelled grenades, as he dropped his daughter at school in the Bujumbura neighbourhood of Gihosha. Though there has been no claim of attack, it comes as violence against military elements increases with evidence of ethnic targeting of Tutsis by the majority Hutus. The assassination also came hours after the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced it would open an investigation in to the political violence that has destabilised the country over the past year, following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s declaration that he would run for a third term in office, in violation of the constitution. To read more, sign up here
 
Haiti: New delay in presidential election triggers unrest
After much speculation, the Haitian Electoral Council decided to indefinitely postpone the runoff presidential election, originally scheduled to take place on 24 April. The announcement has caused widespread discontent, triggering large-scale protests in Port-au-Prince as concerns over Haiti’s political instability continue to increase. With no specific date for the vote in sight, the likelihood of violent protests will escalate, along with worsening prospects for the already deficient economy. To read more, sign up here

Morocco/Western Sahara: Tensions rise over UN comments on Western Sahara
Polisario Front (PF) leader Mohammad Abdulaziz has warned the UN the national liberation movement will return to armed conflict if Morocco is not pressured to fully restore a UN mission in Western Sahara. Another high-ranking member of the PF has warned that a war is possible in the territory if the UN Security Council fails to set a self-determination referendum timetable. Morocco expelled UN workers from the territory in March in reaction to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s comments about the territory, calling it an “occupation”. The UN has been present in the disputed territory since 1975, but has struggled to move towards a referendum on the status of the territory as Morocco continues to push-back on efforts to reach a negotiated political solution. To read more, sign up here