Further territorial gains near provincial capitals by the Taliban highlight the need to relocate international assignees to the capital Kabul when practical to do so, and with extensive security arrangements. Taliban forces have effectively surrounded the capitals of Ghazni, Kandahar, Kunduz, Helmand and Herat provinces. Overnight on 1 August, at least three rockets were fired towards Kandahar’s Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport (KDH, Kandahar province), forcing the temporary cancellation of all scheduled flights. Essential travel to the capital can continue subject to an itinerary-specific risk assessment and with comprehensive, professional security support.
Anticipate and avoid further demonstrations by garment factory workers in Dhaka division in the coming days due to the credible risk of unrest. On 2 August, workers temporarily blocked the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway (N3) in Sreepur area of Gazipur (Dhaka division). They were protesting against the alleged lack of public transport and inflated fares. Related gatherings can occur at short notice. Flashpoints are factories and manufacturing hubs in the industrial areas on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka, including Ashulia, Narayanganj and Savar (all Dhaka).
Anticipate and avoid countrywide anti-government demonstrations on 6 August, due to the risk of localised unrest. The rallies are linked to the conclusion of an investigation into alleged fraud in the 2019 general election. The National Committee for the Defence of Democracy (CONADE) claims the probe’s termination will pave the way for the return of former president Evo Morales (in office 2006-19). While details of the gatherings are currently unclear, demonstrators are liable to gather in major cities such as La Paz (La Paz department) and Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz department). There is potential for scuffles between rival groups, while protesters may erect roadblocks.
Plan journeys accounting for significant disruption in the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area (Rio de Janeiro state) on 4 August due to protests related to a transport strike. Ride-share taxi, delivery and truck drivers are expected to gather from 07.00 (local time) in various parts of the city, including Avenida Brasil. The strike highlights several demands, including the removal of fuel taxes and improved working conditions. The demonstrations are expected to be well attended and any scuffles between protesters and the police would pose incidental risks to bystanders.
Latest update: Ongoing outbreak, further geographical spread. A measles outbreak is ongoing in several regions. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough and a characteristic rash. Measles can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. Ensure that you are fully immunised against measles.
Persistent rebel activity reflects the need to avoid journeys outside the capital Bangui, where the travel risks continue to be rated as EXTREME. On 31 July, six civilians were killed and several wounded following a rebel attack in Mann village (Ouham prefecture). A similar incident occurred on 21 July whenat least 13 people were killed in Bongboto, near Bossangoa (both Ouham prefecture). While local residents claim the perpetrators were Russian mercenaries, the government said the attack was carried out by the rebel Coalition of Patriots for Change (CPC).
Anticipate and avoid further protests in the capital Djibouti city in the coming days linked to clashes between members of the Issa (Somali) and Afar ethnic communities.At least three people have been killed and 20 injured in the violence, which occurred on1 August in the capital’sBalbalaandArhibaneighbourhoods after Issa homes were reportedly torched. Reports indicate the security forces used forceful measures, including live ammunition, to quell the unrest. Further such demonstrations and associated unrest are possible amid heightened tensions.
Anticipate disruption in the capital Santo Domingo during planned protests in the coming days in front of the National Congress. Religious leaders and parishioners will gather in the area on the following dates and times (all local): 20.00 on 3 August, 19.00 on 4 August and 16.00 on 7 August. The demonstrations have been organised in support of the Penal Code, specifically clauses pertaining to abortion and the LGBT community.
Continue to monitor developments and anticipate further protests in the capital Mbabane, Manzini (Manzini region) and other urban centres, amid heightened political tensions. Thousands of people demonstrated on 29 July in Mbabane demanding democratic reforms and the release of two jailed parliamentarians. The security forces reportedly used heavy-handed measures, including tear gas, to disperse crowds near Mbabane Bus Rank, injuring a number of people. Continue to liaise with local sources regarding the feasibility of essential movement over the coming days.
Continue to monitor developments following recent flare-ups between Armenian and Azerbaijani troops along the countries’ borders. Gunfire on 31 July-1 August was exchanged by both sides from positions in Yeraskh (Ararat province, Armenia) and Sadarak (Sadarak district, Azerbaijan). Armenia claimed that a logistical vehicle was severely damaged while Azerbaijan said there was no damage or casualties on its side. The incident is the latest in a recent series of cross-border clashes, with both governments engaging in heated rhetoric on territorial integrity.
People in southern Europe should anticipate disruption linked to an ongoing heatwave in the coming days and follow official directives. The heatwave is predicted to continue across the region, with temperatures having already reached 45°C (113°F) or higher in some areas. The elevated temperatures have the potential to increase the risk of wildfires in areas already vulnerable to them, particularly southern areas of Greece, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria. Droughts, power outages and other infrastructure-related disruption are also possible.
Protests against COVID-19-related restrictions will persist in the coming weeks across Europe as many countries continue to impose additional internal restrictions. Some governments are considering the need for people to provide proof of a test or vaccination to enter public indoor spaces or to attend large events. Significant and disruptive protests against new restrictions and vaccine policies have occurred in recent weeks, including in France, Greece, Italy and the UK (see related alerts). Transport disruption and localised unrest may occur, including clashes between protesters and the police. Such instances may involve the use of tear gas and water cannon. Exercise caution if in the vicinity of gatherings.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption due to adverse weather conditions in the coming hours. The German Meteorological Service (DWD) has issued a significant weather warning (second lowest on a four-tier scale) for heavy rain. Alerts are in place in Baden-Wurttemberg, Hesse, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and Thuringia states. Anticipate local transport disruption and abide by all official directives.
Exercise caution in the coming days and follow official directives amid multiple ongoing wildfires. Villages in Attica region have been evacuated and 15 people were hospitalised due to burns and breathing problems in recent weeks. An 'orange' warning (second-highest on a five-tier scale) has been announced for Attica, North Aegean, Peloponnese, South Aegean and Western Greece regions. Key roads in those areas have been closed to traffic. An ongoing heatwave is predicted to continue to affect the region in the coming days, with temperatures having already reached 45°C (113°F)in some areas. People travelling to or through affected areas should expect road closures, diversions and short-notice evacuations.
Anticipate disruption and plan journeys in the coming hours avoiding ongoing road blockades throughout Guatemala. Truckers are blocking traffic to protest against insurance-related issues.
The security forces on 1 August discovered three bombs that had been planted nearSurbura along the Padampur-Keraroad in West Singhbhum district (Jharkhand state). According to the authorities, the bombs were planted byextreme-leftist Naxalite (also known as Maoist) rebels to target the security forces. Previously, on 31 July, Naxalites occupied theChaura railway station in Jamui district (Bihar state), disrupting train services from 03.00 to 05.30 (local time) . These incidents occurred amid the rebels’ annual 'Martyrs’ Week', which is ongoing until3 August.
Anticipate significant disruption in Nagaland state during an ongoing 12-hour shutdown strike until 12.00 (local time) on 3 August. The strike has been called by theseparatist militant group Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak Muviah (NSCN-IM) to demand that the central government fulfil the 2015 Naga peace accord. A shutdown strike of the same duration has also been organised inSenapati district(Manipur state).
Continue to abide by official directives after the authorities extended until at least 9 August ongoing COVID-19-related community mobility restrictions (PPKM). These include restrictions on internal travel, limitations on operating hours and customer capacity at markets and food stores. Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor further details on travel restrictions.
Expect heightened security and related disruption in the capital Tehran on 5 August, coinciding with the inauguration of President-elect Ebrahim Raisi. Civilian airports in and around Tehran, including Imam Khomeini International (IKA), will be closed from 16.30 to 19.00 (local time) during the inauguration. Additional security force personnel are likely to be deployed at sensitive locations around the capital, including the parliament building, where the inauguration will take place. There is potential for spontaneous protests and all gatherings should be avoided as a precaution.
Exercise caution and reconfirm status of routes in the coming days amid multiple wildfires across southern Italy. The authorities have issued warnings for Abruzzo, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Puglia, Molise, Sicily and Umbria regions. An ongoing heatwave will worsen the fires in the coming days,with temperatures having already reached 104°F (40°C) or higher in some areas. The government of Sardinia region has declared a state of emergency as hundreds of people in fire-hit areas have been evacuated. Monitor developments and follow official directives, including evacuation orders.
At least three people were killed in two separate attacks on 31 July by suspected militants of the Islamist extremist al-Shabab group in Mandera county. In the first attack, gunmen ambushed a vehicle carrying three people on a road between Fino and Mandera city (both Mandera), killing one of the passengers and injuring the other two. Later in the day, gunmen ambushed another vehicle outside Fino, killing two people. The assailants fled the scenes of both shootings. Investigations into the incidents are under way. The attacks highlight the persistent risk of militancy in counties bordering Somalia, including Mandera.
Continue to abide by official directives after the authorities extended a nationwide COVID-19-related lockdownuntil at least 18 August. Entertainment venues remain closed, and private gatherings are prohibited, as is unauthorised entry to designated ‘red’ zones. Furthermore, the authorities have announced an additional lockdown of the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (Bokeo province) until at least 15 August, with unauthorised entrance and exit forbidden. Additional measures may be implemented at short notice. Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor full details of travel restrictions.
Defer all travel due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care situation in the country. In some areas, intensive care facilities are stretched to or near capacity. The availability of intensive care beds to manage serious medical conditions, both non-COVID-19 and COVID-19, is not assured. The ability to transport patients abroad may be restrained due to current in-country movement restrictions and the international transfer would be subjected to approval of local authorities and receiving destination. Prevent infection by limiting contact with others as much as practically possible, maintaining strict attention to hygiene and wearing a mask when in public.
Continue to closely monitor regional developmentsfollowing an attack on 29 July against a Liberian-flagged vessel north-east of Masirah Island (Oman). Israel, the UK and the US have blamed Iran for the attack, claiming that the tanker was struck by armed drones. Notably, two crew members, nationals of Romania and the UK, were killed in the incident. The incident will heighten the risk of retaliation against Iranian interestsin the coming weeks.
Abide by official directives after the authorities announced the imposition of new COVID-19-related restrictionsfrom 21.00(local time)on 3 August. These will include a nightly curfewfrom 21.00 to 05.00, during which only essential personnel will be permitted movement. All travel from and to Agadir(Souss-Massa region), Casablanca (Casablanca-Settat region) and Marrakech (Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz region) will require a vaccination passport or special authorisation from the appropriate regional authorities. There will also be limitations on attendance at various types of gatherings, on capacity at dining establishments and on public transport. Refer to the COVID-19 information within thePandemic Information Sitefor full details of travel restrictions.
Plan journeys bypassing protests over a controversial bill on media control as a precaution and to minimise travel inconvenience. On 4 August, participants will gather at the Mogilskie roundabout in Krakow (Lesser Poland province) at 18.00 (local time). On 7 August, a related gathering will be held in the capital Warsaw. Participants are denouncing a proposed bill that would limit the ability of media outlets to operate in Poland if they receive large foreign investments, which would allegedly limit free media that receives support from international outlets. Associated demonstrations on 30 July in Poznan (Greater Poland province) and Szczecin (West Pomerania province) passed off peacefully.
Plan journeys bypassing further opposition protests in the capital Apia in the coming days over a recent court verdict in favour of the ruling Faith in the One God of Samoa (FAST) party. More than 1,000 supporters of the opposition Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) participated in a related march on 2 August from the FMFMII Government Building to Malae o Tiafau. This followed a well-attended vehicle convoy demonstration by HRPP supporters on 30 July. Both events passed off peacefully but resulted in traffic disruption along their respective routes. Further short-notice and potentially disruptive demonstrations are possible in the coming days.
An explosive-laden drone launched on 1 August by the Yemen-based Houthi rebel group towards Khamis Mushait (Asir province) was intercepted by the Saudi air defences. No casualties or damages were reported in the attack. The incident underscores the capability of the Saudi security forces to intercept most cross-border projectiles and the need to exercise caution around potential targets.
Plan journeys accounting for disruption in the capital Berne on 6 August during a demonstration by climate activists. Supporters of Rise Up for Change, a group affiliated to the Extinction Rebellion environmental movement, will gather atMunsterplatzfrom 12.30 (local time). Gatherings may also be held in front of theSwiss National Bank. Both groups are known for staging disruptive acts of civil disobedience, including blocking roads, railways and buildings. Traffic disruption and a heightened police presence can be expected around the demonstrations.
People in the capital Bangkok on 3 August should plan journeys bypassing a so-called ‘car mob’ anti-government demonstration as a precaution and to minimise travel delays. Participants led by the Democracy Restoration Group will gather outside the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre from 16.00 (local time) to call for the release of several detained protesters, among other demands. Significant traffic disruption can be expected around the Pathumwan intersection during the rally. The police may forcibly disperse and/or arrest demonstrators. Any ensuing disturbances would pose incidental risks to bystanders.
The security forces on 2 August raided a separatist insurgent hideout in Nong Chik district (Pattani province). A gunfight ensued, during which a suspected militant leader was killed. The incident highlights the continued presence of separatist insurgents and associated risks in southern Thailand. Militant attacks can pose significant risks to bystanders. Continue to avoid non-essential journeys to Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala provinces, as well as the southern districts of Songkhla province, where the travel risks are rated as HIGH.
Anticipate further anti-government demonstrations in urban centres in the coming weeks over the COVID-19 pandemic. In the capital Bangkok, a vehicular rally is planned on7 Augustfrom the Democracy Monument to Government House, with additional gatherings likely to take place on the day. Such weekend protests are typicallywell attended, disrupting traffic in their vicinity. Avoid all demonstrations to minimise disruption and exposure to potential unrest, which would pose incidental risks to bystanders. The police used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse a related gathering in Bangkok on 1 August.
Anticipate localised disruption in the capital Ankara over the coming hours, and plan journeys accordingly. Demonstrators will gather outside the Cankaya Municipality building from 18.30 (local time) to demand justice for two murdered women.
People in the capital Ankara, Istanbul province and other urban centresshould anticipate further power outages and associated disruption in the coming weeks. A series of power outages earlier on 2 August reportedly affected Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul, Izmir, Kirklareli, Manisa, Mersin and Usak provinces. The outages were resolved after around three hours. The authorities have since stated that they were caused by record levels of energy consumption amid unusually hot weather, as well as by power grid maintenance being performed in some areas. Further intermittent power outages can be expected until at least September, when temperatures typically become cooler.
Plan routes bypassing the Belarus embassy in the capital Kyiv due to a demonstration scheduled to take place at 19.00 (local time). The gathering has been organised over the recent death of a Belarusian activist who resided in Kyiv and died in uncertain circumstances. While the protest is expected to pass off peacefully, it is liable to result in localised traffic disruption.
Anticipate localised disruption in the capital London on 5 August during a Kashmir-related demonstration outside the Indian High Commission, and plan journeys accordingly. Participants are due to gather from 13.00 (local time). The rally is likely to be tightly policed and traffic disruption is probable in the Aldwych area.
Planned strikes by London Underground (‘tube’) workers on 3-6 August have been called off following successful talks between the Rail, Maritime and Transport union and the authorities on 2 August. Tube services are thus expected to run as normal on the aforementioned days. However, there is potential for strikes planned for 24-27 August to occur, depending on progress in the ongoing talks. Drivers had earlier planned the 3-6 August strike over proposed restructuring that would threaten more than 200 jobs. Despite the cancellation of the strike, reconfirm Underground rail schedules in the coming days to ensure there are no residual delays and consult official sources for information on scheduled closures of services.
Continue to anticipate disruption linked to the so-called ‘Dixie’ wildfire, which is centred on parts ofButte,Lassen,PlumasandTehamacounties (all California state). The fire has so far burned more than 389 square miles (1,008 square kilometres) and is 35% contained. The California governor has declared a state of emergency in each of the aforementioned counties, among others. The fire has prompted evacuation orders and warnings for areas in Butte, Plumas and Tehama counties. Various local roads have also been closed as a result of the fire, including State Routes (SR) 32, 89, 147, 36, and 70. Exercise caution in affected areas and follow all official directives.
Recent heavy rain caused mudslides in parts of Colorado state, several of which damaged and closed roads. While most thoroughfares have since been cleared, sections of Interstate 70(I-70) in Glenwood Canyon have sustained significant damage and remain blocked. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDT), I-70 will be closed indefinitely at Canyon Creek, Dotsero, Glenwood Springsand West Rifle, where repair work is under way. Reconfirm the status of routes before setting out and plan alternative routes, where necessary. Allow extra time to complete journeys.
People in Nashville (Tennessee state) should avoid the vicinity of Antioch Pike in Antioch neighbourhood in the coming hours as the police investigate a shooting there. Several people have been reportedly injured. Nearby roads have been closed. Details are emerging, more to follow.