The Taliban on 10 May announced a three-day ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr festival. The latter marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and will start in Afghanistan on either 12 or 13 May. Despite the truce, there remains a credible risk of militant attacks during the holiday period, including by the extremist Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) group. Continue to minimise time spent around potential militant targets, both static and in transit.
Anticipate disruption and respect cultural sensitivities during the Eid al-Fitr festival in Muslim-majority areas of Africa. Eid al-Fitr (also known as ‘Korite' in Senegal and Mali and ‘Eid el-Kebir' or ‘Sallah' in Nigeria) marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The holiday will be observed around 12-15 May (exact dates may vary according to location). In Muslim-minority countries, business operations will be largely unaffected. The security forces are likely to disperse any unauthorised crowds in areas under COVID-19-related restrictions. Islamist extremist groups may attempt attacks around these dates.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption in Cuanza Norte province in the coming days due to flooding following heavy rains on 8 May. Banga, Cambambe, Ngonguembo and Samba Caju municipalities (all Cuanza Norte) are reported to be particularly affected. Two bridges spanning the Cuanza river in Cambambe have been damaged and are currently impassable, meaning that overland travel is not possible on the EN120 motorway, which connects the capital Luanda with several other provinces. The weather has also reportedly disrupted power networks and internet connectivity in the province.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption in parts of New South Wales and Victoria states in the coming days due to adverse weather conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued severe weather warnings for forecast heavy rainfall and potential flash flooding and thunderstorms in Eden, Bega, Bombala and Merimbula (all New South Wales), as well as in western, central and eastern Gippsland region and along the Otway coast (both Victoria). These conditions are expected to last from the morning of 11 May until at least overnight on 11-12 May.
Plan journeys accounting for localised disruption on11 May during a protest organised by the Palestine Action Group outside the ABC Sydney headquarters in the Ultimo suburb of Sydney (New South Wales state). Participants will gather at 08.30 (local time) at The Goods Line near Sydney Central Station. The event is expected to be attended by a few hundred participants and pass off peacefully, but may potentially disrupt traffic in the vicinity.
The arrest of four suspected members of the Ansar-al-Islam (AAI) militant group on 8 May underlines persistent risks from militancy and the need for stringent precautions. The suspected militants were arrested during a raid in the Bosila area of the capital Dhaka. The authorities believe they were planning an attack on local police. On 30 April, two suspected AAI members were arrested in separate raids in the Manikganj area of Dhaka. People should remain vigilant to their surroundings and report any suspicious behaviour or items to the authorities.
Anticipate and avoid further demonstrations in urban centres by garment workers in the coming weeks over unpaid wages. Labour unions representing garment workers had earlier demanded that the wages be furnishedby 10 May. Associated protests are expected to be well attended and can turn violent quickly, particularly if security force personnel forcibly disperse demonstrations citing ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Such incidents would pose significant incidental risks to bystanders. At least 20 workers were injured in Tongi(Gazipur district, Dhaka division) on 10 May in clashes with the police during a demonstration.
Continue to plan journeys in Manaus (Amazonas state) accounting for disruption in the coming days amid heavy rain and flooding. Further rainfall is forecast for the city until at least 24 May. Local officials declared a 90-day state of emergency on 6 May in response to the ongoing flooding of the Negro river, which has affected surrounding residential and urban areas. Several roads in Manaus have been closed as a result.
Exercise caution in the coming dayson the RN1/RN2 roads between the capital Gitega and Bujumbura (Bujumbura Mairie province), following a fatal ambush along the routeon 9 May. At least eight people were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked their vehicles at around 19.30 (local time) nearMuramvya(Muramvya province). Several others were injured and robbed during the incident.
Continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption in Parkland county (Alberta province), located west of the provincial capital Edmonton, due to an ongoing wildfire. The fire since 6 May has spread to an area of around 8.5 sq m (22 sq km) near the hamlet ofTomahawk(Parkland)due to strong winds. Fire crews are working to completely put out the blaze, which is currently 50% contained. A mandatory evacuation order previously issued for Parkland has been lifted. However, the area between Township Road 510 and 524, and between Highway 22 and Range Road, remains local-access only.
Monitor developments as the security situation in Chad, particularly in main urban centres, continues to stabilise. Non-essential workforce can return to the country from 10 May, subject to a profile- and location-specific risk assessment. This follows confirmation from the Chadian military that operations against a rebel incursion in Kanem region have concluded, as well as the successful appointment of a transitional government in early May. Low-level protests, particularly by the ‘Wakit Tama’ coalition, are likely in the coming weeks, though turnout at recent demonstrations has significantly decreased. Returning workforce should be fully aware and comfortable with the ongoing risks in the current security environment.
Anticipate disruption in the capital Ndjamena on 12 May and avoid a demonstration led by the coalition ‘New Vision’. Participants will march from the Rond Point Hamama to the Palais du 15 Janvier to express their support for the Transitional Military Council (CMT) (see separate alert). While the demonstration has been approved by the authorities, expect localised travel disruption.
Continue to defer travel to Cali (Valle del Cauca department) until at least 14 May due to persistent unrest and shortages of food, medicine and fuel. On 9 May, a violent confrontation occurred in the south of the city, involving residents, indigenous protesters and the police. Reports indicate that shortages of fuel, medicine and some foods continue in the city amid persistent roadblocks. An overnight curfew from 20.00 to 05.00 (local time) remains in effect until 14 May. Further demonstrations with potential for violent incident including looting, arson or clashes between protesters and the police are likely in the coming days.
Continue to avoid demonstrations due to the risk of unrest and minimise movement in impacted areas over the coming days. Protests continue in Colombia’s urban centres, including the capital Bogota, as well as the cities of Medellin (Antioquia department) and Cali (Valle del Cauca department). International SOS recommends deferring all travel to Cali until at least 14 May due to persistent unrest as well as shortages of fuel (see our related report). The National Strike Committee has agreed to hold dialogues with President Ivan Duque. However, further demonstrations with the potential for violent incident remain likely over the coming days.
Reconfirm itineraries following a tightening of entry restrictions from 10 May. Arrivals from Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are now required to present a negative result from a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 36 hours before departure and quarantine for ten days. Monitor developments, as additional countries may be added to the list in the coming weeks. Refer to the COVID-19 information within the Pandemic Information Site for full details of travel restrictions.
People flying with Air Tahiti in the coming daysshould anticipate disruption and reconfirm itineraries due to a potential strike by the airline's ground staff. The indefinite strike is expected to start at00.01 (local time)on 12 Mayunless an agreement is reached. Employees are demanding that the airline honour previous agreements on rest periods and reduced work hours. The industrial action may result inflight cancellations and delays, including at Faa'a International Airport (PPT),located on Tahiti island approximately three miles (5km) south-west of the capital Papeete.
Anticipate disruption in the capital Tbilisi during a court hearing for Nika Melia, the leader of the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party. The proceedings will begin at 16.00 (local time), probably at the Tbilisi City Court. A heightened police presence can be expected around the location and other potential flashpoint venues. These include the parliament building and public squares. There is potential for localised unrest during related gatherings by UNM supporters. Liaise with local contacts to plan journeys and avoid affected areas as a precaution.
Continue to defer all travel to India amid ongoing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those in India should comply with associated internal restrictions, such as state-specific nightly curfews, weekend lockdowns and limits on gatherings.On 10 May, the authorities in Goa and Uttarakhand states announced new restrictions. Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor complete details on restrictions across the country.
A grenade attack on 7 May in Srinagar (Kashmir division, Jammu and Kashmir union territory) underlines persistent militancy risks and the need for business travellers to implement stringent security precautions. Three security force personnel and a civilian were injured in the incident, which occurred in the Nawabazar neighbourhood of the Old City area. Earlier, on 6 May, three militants were killed in a shoot-out with the security forces in the Kanigamarea of Shopian district (Kashmir).The incidents underscore the HIGH risks associated with travel to Kashmir.
Continue to monitor developments and anticipate potential flight disruption in North Sumatra provinceover the coming weeks, due to ongoing volcanic activity atMount Sinabung(North Sumatra). The volcano most recently erupted on 10 May, spewing columns of ash and smoke up to 8,200 feet (2,500 metres) into the air. Sinabung has remained at Level 3 ('stand by', second-highest on a four-tier scale) since May 2019, with a three-mile (5km) exclusion zone around it.
Avoid further protests in the capital Baghdad and southern governorates in the coming days linked to the assassination on 9 May of prominent local activist Ehab al-Wazni. Well-attended demonstrations occurred overnight on 9-10 May in Basra (Basra governorate), Diwaniyah (Qadisiyah governorate), Karbala (Karbala governorate), Najaf (Najaf governorate) and Nasiriyah (Dhi Qar governorate). Protesters in Karbala reportedly set parts of the perimeter of the Iran consulate alight. Liaise with your dedicated security provider to remain apprised of local developments and to plan essential movements.
Anticipate disruption over the coming hours during a planned rally near theKalouti mosque in the capital Amman, and plan journeys accordingly.Participants at 16.00 (local time) will gather in solidarity with Palestinians, in response to ongoing unrest in Jerusalem (see related alert). The protest location is around a mile (1.6km) south-west of the Israeli embassy. If travelling in the vicinity of the gathering, expect a heightened security force presence and follow all official directives.
Lebanese authorities have warned of a gradual power blackout starting from mid-May due to pending approval for emergency loans for fuel imports. Some power plants in the north have already planned to stop operations and many more would follow in the coming months. Long queues have been reported outside some petrol stations. Some gas stations have reportedly closed due to lack of supplies. Protests are likely in the coming weeks as fuel and electricity shortages worsen. Traffic disruption can also be expected due to low fuel supplies. Business travellers should avoid all related gatherings as a precaution and ensure access to sufficient fuel before undertaking road journeys.
Anticipate disruption over the coming hours during a pro-Palestinian demonstration at Martyrs’ Square in the capital Beirut, and plan journeys accordingly. Participants from 17.00 (local time) are due to gather in response to ongoing unrest in Jerusalem (see related alert). A heightened security force presence can be expected in the vicinity.
Continue to defer all travel to Malaysia and follow official directives amid stringent COVID-19-related restrictions. The Movement Control Order (MCO) will be expanded nationwide from 12 May until 7 June. All forms of social gatherings are prohibited during this period. The ongoing ban on interstate and inter-district travelwill remain until 6 June. Details regarding standard operating procedures can be found on the National Security Council'swebsite(in Malay). Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor further information.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption during nationwide demonstrations in the coming hours. Groups of mothers of missing people will take part in gatherings to demand the return of their children. Today's events mark ten years since the first such gatherings. Anticipate a heightened security presence in the vicinity of protest sites, which should be avoided as a precaution and to minimise inconvenience.
Defer all visits to the Old City and current flashpoint areas for unrest in Jerusalem until at least 17 May. This advice follows several days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces and far-right activists, which have resulted in hundreds of injuries and the reported use of rubber bullets to disperse crowds. Tensions will remain elevated in the neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah, Wad al-Joz, At-Tur and Issawiya in east Jerusalem. In a related development, at least a dozen rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip (Palestinian Territories) towards Ashkelon, Sderot (both Southern district) and Jerusalem.Defer non-essential travel to locations within 25 miles (40km) of the border with Gaza.
The scale of anti-military demonstrations has decreased in recent weeks, and curfew hours have been reduced in the commercial capital Yangon (Yangon region). However, bombings and other hardline tactics by anti-military elements have increased, along with routine use of live ammunition by the security forces to disperse protesters. Additionally, unrest continues to escalate on weekends and key flashpoint dates. Regular occurrences of minor explosions, along with the use of gunfire by the security forces, have heightened incidental risks to those in-country. Essential movement should be carried out after confirming the status of routes with local contacts.
Latest update: Additional cases reported. An increase in cases of hepatitis A has been reported, much higher than the usual seasonal range. Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, spreads through the "faecal-oral" route, via direct person-to-person contact or contaminated food and water. Symptoms can take a month to appear and include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dark urine and jaundice (yellow colour of the skin and eyes). Prevention is through vaccination, attention to hygiene and selection of safe food.
Latest update: More cases reported. An increase in leptospirosis cases has been reported. The bacterial disease is mainly spread through contaminated water entering the body through the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Symptoms are often mild and flu-like, but the infection can be severe. Untreated, it can cause organ failure which can be fatal. Prevent infection by avoiding contact with contaminated waters.
Follow official directives amid tighter internal COVID-19-related restrictions introduced on 11 May, including a nationwide curfew from 00.01 to 04.00 (local time). Measures also include the closure of gyms and indoor recreational facilities until at least 11 June. Refer to the COVID-19 information within the Pandemic Information Site for further details on travel restrictions.
An activist group in Karachi (Sindh province) will hold an anti-Israel protest at the Karachi Press Clubat15.00 (local time) on 11 May.The protest has been organised to condemn recent violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinian demonstrators in Jerusalem. Anticipate heightened security and associated disruptionalongService StationandSir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatallahroads during the protest.
Brief clashes between the security forces and members of the militant separatist Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) group on 8 May occurred around theDatu Paglas Public Marketin Datu Paglas municipality (Maguindanao province, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). The development follows a series of BIFF attacks in Maguindanao province in recent weeks. This highlights the persistent risks posed by militancy in HIGH travel risk areas of south-western Mindanao. Those on essential journeys in these areas should observe stringent security precautions.
Avoid a planned demonstration on 11 Mayin the capital Bangkok due to the risk of localised unrest. Participants will gather at 11.00 (local time)at theRatchada Courtin support of detained protest leaders (see separate report). Heightened security can be expected in area. Earlier, protesters on 2 May threw paint and various projectiles at the building during a related demonstration. Based on precedent, the police may use tough measures to disperse the gathering. Any related disturbances would pose incidental risks to bystanders.
Continue to defer all travel to Tonga amid ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions. The authorities have extended a state of emergencyuntil at least 20.00 (local time) on 7 June. A nationwide nightly curfew remains in place from00.01 to 05.00.Social distancing measures also remain in place, while gatherings remain limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors, except for religious ceremonies and events organised by educational institutions. Refer to thePandemic Information Sitefor further details of COVID-19 restrictions.
Anticipate and avoid further protests in urban centres in the coming days linked to recent clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli security forces in Jerusalem (Israel), despite a full nationwide lockdown being place. Pro-Palestinian protests have taken place across Turkey since 9 May to denounce the ongoing violence. The main gatherings have occurred in the capital Ankara and Istanbul province near the Israel embassy and consulate, respectively, blocking nearby roads. Demonstrations have also taken place at the US consulate inAdana (Adana province), and in the cities of Afyonkarahisar (Afyonkarahisar province), Bayburt (Bayburt province), Burdur (Burdur province),Nigde (Nigde province) and Ordu (Ordu province).
People in the capital Kampala on 12 May should anticipate disruption during the scheduled 2021 presidential inauguration. President Yoweri Museveni will be sworn in for his sixth term at Independence Park. The ceremony will be attended by heads of states from across the African continent, and is expected to last from 08.00 to 14.30 (local time). There is the potential for opposition gatherings to take place during the inauguration. Anticipate a heightened security force presence on the day and plan routes bypassing the vicinity of the ceremony to minimise inconvenience.
Anticipate localised disruption during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in the capital London on11 May, and plan journeys accordingly. Participants from 13.00(local time) will gather on Kingsway in the Holborn area. The event is likely to pass off peacefully, but a heightened police presence can be expected in its vicinity.
People in Orlando (Florida state) in the coming hours should avoid the vicinity of the USCIS building due to reports of an ongoing security operation in response to a potential shooting. Shelter in place if nearby.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption due to an ongoing brush fire near Highway 166 east of Santa Maria (Santa Barbara county, California state). The brush fire has prompted the closure of Highway 166 in both directions near Tepusquet Rd. Firefighters are attempting to contain the blaze. Officials have advised motorists travelling to or from the Central Valley to use Highway 58 as an alternative route.