Weekly Analysis 29th January

  • 29 Jan 2016 09:27

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 January.

Senegal: Hotels instructed to prepare security for jihadist attack 
Unusually for Senegal, a bastion for stability and good governance in West Africa, the past week has seen rumours of a planned terrorist attack. Virage Beach outside Dakar has emptied amid false reports of a terrorist warning, while additional police have been deployed in areas favoured by European tourists. We continue to assess Senegal’s terrorism threat level to be low, but after recent hotel attacks in the capitals of Mali and Burkina Faso, we concur with the Senegalese government’s advice to tighten security in tourist-friendly areas. Support is limited for the region’s most active jihadist militant groups, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Mourabitoun, but the wealth obtained through lucrative smuggling networks across ungoverned spaces in the Sahara will provide terrorist groups in neighbouring Mali with the seed capital to arrange mass-casualty attacks in Senegal and other regional capitals, particularly Ouagadougou, Abidjan, Accra and Niamey. To read more, sign up here

Pakistan:  Bacha Khan University attack highlights vulnerabilities in counterterrorism strategy
On the morning of 20 January, four gunmen attacked Bacha Khan University in the Charsadda District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), killing more than 20 people and wounding 20 others. Following a three-hour gun battle, security personnel brought the situation under control, killing all four attackers. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction leader Omar Mansoor has since claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was carried out in retaliation for the execution of four men convicted of assisting the 2014 Peshawar school attackers. The attack calls into question claims by the Pakistani military that efforts to dismantle militant sanctuaries across the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are producing results. Indeed, as the frequency of recent attacks in the region indicates, militant groups evidently retain their capacity to strike with impunity from the safety of these tribal areas. To read more, sign up here

Americas: Zika virus likely to spread across the Americas​ 
Over the past several days, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that the mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread to 22 countries and territories in the Americas since May, when the current outbreak was first detected in Brazil. The countries currently affected in the Americas include Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname and Venezuela. However, WHO anticipates that the virus will continue to spread and will likely reach nearly all countries and territories in the region in the coming months. To read more, sign up here

Haiti: Controversial presidential election cancelled amid unrest 
On 22 January, Haitian electoral authorities cancelled the runoff presidential election that was due to take place two days later. The decision followed a series of violent protests in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and other major cities. This is the third time that the polls are delayed amid fraud allegations and general mistrust in the electoral system. As protests against President Michel Martelly continue to intensify, Haiti’s political and security environment is expected to further deteriorate over the coming weeks.To read more, sign up here

Moldova: Political credibility hits new low amid anti-government protests 
On 23 January, some 40,000 anti-government protesters took to the streets of the capital, Chisinau, to demand that the government of Prime Minister Pavel Filip step down and for early parliamentary elections. Amid a political crisis that has been rolling since April 2015, Filip says his administration is facing a “last chance” to win back public trust while calling for calm. The government has only been sworn in for several days, with the current malaise reflective of the wider disillusionment among ordinary Moldovans of the political elite who repeatedly find themselves involved in corruption scandals and controlled by the country’s oligarchs. There is also the gulf, albeit simplified, between pro-EU and pro-Russian elements that has emerged as the economy worsens and confidence in politicians reaches an all-time low. To read more, sign up here

Libya: Haftar corruption accusations underline military and political divisions 
Spokesman for General Khalifa Haftar’s Dignity Operation Mohammed al-Hijazi has defected via a public statement on the pro-Haftar television channel Karama TV. In his defection, Hijazi accused Haftar of corruption and encouraging unnecessary bloodshed and suffering in Benghazi, branding him a tyrant. Among the corruption allegations are that Haftar has transferred military funds into his son’s bank accounts in Jordan, Tunisia and Egypt. The defection comes at a critical juncture in Libya’s political transition as Haftar and many others have rejected the UN-brokered national unity government and reports have emerged of foreign troops entering the country, amid assumptions that they will help various armed forces tackle Islamic State (IS) militants who have taken control of Sirte and mounted multiple attacks on the country’s hydrocarbon infrastructure. To read more, sign up here