Weekly Analysis 8th May

  • 06 May 2016 10:01
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 8th May.

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Iraq: Protests likely to continue following Green Zone violation

On 30 April, anti-corruption protesters stormed Baghdad’s Green Zone, entering parliament and forcing MPs to flee. Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi ordered the protesters’ arrest on 1 May, but they left later that day following a call by leaders of the Sadrist movement, who also delivered an ultimatum to the government. Moqtada al-Sadr, an influential Shi’a cleric who has drawn thousands to protests in Baghdad, has been threatening to storm the Green Zone since 26 February as he pressures the government and parliament to enact reform and push ahead with a cabinet reshuffle triggered by widespread protests against corruption and public service delivery in the summer of 2015. With a scheduled meeting to discuss the re-shuffle failing to reach quorum, frustrated protesters stormed the Green Zone, considered the most secure area of Baghdad. To read more, sign up here

Turkey:  Gaziantep suicide bombing highlights increased levels of border violence

On 1 May, a suspected vehicle suicide bomber detonated a device outside a police headquarters in Gaziantep. Two police officers were killed in the blast and more than 20 people injured, mostly civilians. No group has claimed responsibility, although the home of a known Islamic State (IS) member was raided shortly after the attack. The suicide bombing is characteristic of the increased levels of violence around the southern Turkish border region, especially around Gaziantep and Kilis. The blast emphasises the continued instability of the area but also the importance of Gaziantep to Islamic State (IS). Clashes around the border city have increased in recent months, and arrest levels suggest the city is becoming indispensable to the militant group. To read more, sign up here

Argentina:  Macri faces first major protest by labour unions

The victory of centre-right politician Mauricio Macri in the November 2015 presidential election brought about a wave of optimism regarding Argentina’s economic future after more than a decade of socialist policies. However, after five months in office, Macri is now facing a series of challenges that indicate that achieving fiscal and monetary stability require the implementation of unpopular measures that lead to protests. The recent unrest has highlighted the difficulty in balancing social approval with necessary, sustainable economic policies. To read more, sign up here

France: Escalation in anti-Islamic hate crime poses counterterrorism challenges 
 
A report released by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) on 2 May suggests hate crimes directed at Muslims in France have increased by more than 220 percent from 2014 to 2015. The annual report stated that attacks increased from 133 in 2014 to 429 in 2015. The spike in incidents comes as France has recorded a steady upward trend in anti-Islamic hate crime over the past four years, with incidents increasing by 30 percent in 2011, 28 percent in 2012 and 11.3 percent in 2013. The increase underpins wider concerns that the negative cycle of anti-Islamic hate crime, extremism, terrorism and then escalating hate crime contributes to France’s overall terrorism threat and undermines counterterrorism initiatives. To read more, sign up here

Philippines: Duterte heads opinions polls ahead of general election

On 9 May, voters will participate in the general election, with President Benigno Aquino III’s six-year term in office set to end. PDP-Laban candidate Rodrigo Duterte has emerged as the frontrunner for the presidency, leading opinion polls ahead of four other candidates. While the Philippines is in a strong economic position, recently posting one of the fastest global growth rates, the new president faces a raft of challenges. The economy requires sustenance in order to reach full-year targets, graft remains widespread and violence in the South has yet to abate, with groups claiming allegiance to Islamic State (IS) threatening to undermine national security. To read more, sign up here

Zimbabwe: Land Code protests underline the increasing civil discontent

Since 24 April, demonstrations against the proposed privatisation of local farmland have spread across the country, with protests reported in several towns and cities, including Astana and Almaty. The new government regulations, which were approved in November 2015 and will come into effect on 1 July, will allow unused state-owned land to be bought, speeding up the privatisation of farmland which is now mostly leased rather than owned by farmers. To read more, sign up here 

Zimbabwe: Account deficit driving cash shortage

On 5 May, Central Bank governor John Mangudya announced Zimbabwe would print its own version of the US dollar in an attempt to ease the cash shortage across the country. Known as bond notes, the cash will be available in two, five, 10 and 20 dollar denominations and pegged to the US dollar. Backed by USD 200 million from the Africa Export-Import Bank, the move follows the introduction of one, five, 10 and 25 cents bond coins in 2014, also tied to the US dollar. The new cash will operate alongside the US dollar, the Euro, Chinese Yuan and South African Rand. To read more, sign up here