All travel to Haiti should be deferred due to ongoing violent and disruptive antigovernment demonstrations. Travelers already in country, particularly in Port-auPrince, Cap-Haitien and other urban centers, should stand fast today following calls for protests in response to yesterday’s televised speech by President Jovenel Moise. Widespread opposition demonstrations demanding Moise’s removal have taken place since Thursday, February 7, resulting in at least eight fatalities. Opposition leader Moise Jean Charles has threatened further rallies until the President steps down.
Today, travelers in and around Manama should avoid all gatherings commemorating the eighth anniversary of the “Arab Spring” uprising. Opposition groups have called for people to congregate near Al-Farooq Junction and in the Jidhafs industrial area at 6:45 PM local time. Although the gatherings are likely to be relatively small, security forces are liable to forcibly disperse them, posing incidental risks to bystanders.
Chikungunya activity has been reported in some regions of Congo. Chikungunya can cause a severe illness, particularly in newborn babies, older adults, and people with underlying health issues. There is no specific treatment and no vaccine. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Today and Monday, February 18, travelers in Butembo and Goma should avoid planned rallies by the opposition Lamuka coalition. The Goma gathering will take place on Monday, February 18 at Afya Stadium, while the event in Butembo will be held at ITAV Stadium in the Kimeni district today. The rallies follow demands by Martin Fayulu, Lamuka’s defeated Presidential candidate, for a re-run of the recent Presidential Election. Fayulu will lead both events, which should attract significant turnouts, and a heightened security force presence can be expected in both cities.
An outbreak of chikungunya has been declared in the provinces of Kinshasa and Kongo Central. Chikungunya can cause a severe illness, particularly in newborn babies, older adults, and people with underlying health issues. There is no specific treatment and no vaccine. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Today, an explosion was reported outside al-Istiqama Mosque on Giza Square in Giza at 2:00 PM local time. At least three people are reported to have been injured. Travelers should avoid the area and follow all directives.
Today, travelers in Cape Town should avoid the vicinity of a protest by African National Congress (ANC) activists at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament building. The protests coincide with Western Cape Premier Helen Zille’s annual State of the Province address. Heightened security should be expected in the streets around the Parliament building, particularly Wale Street. Travelers should plan routes bypassing the area to minimize disruption and inconvenience.
Travelers in Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga provinces should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption due to adverse weather conditions. Yesterday, the South African Weather Service warned of heavy rainfall and associated local flooding. As of today, a Severe Weather Watch is in place for most of Eastern Cape, while Severe Weather Warnings are in effect for northeastern Mpumalanga and eastern Limpopo.
Today, passengers transiting Dubai International Airport (DXB) should expect residual disruption after operations were temporarily suspended due to suspected drone sightings earlier in the day. Services at the airport are now operating normally; however, travelers are advised to reconfirm flights as a precaution.
An outbreak of leptospirosis has been declared in Central Division. The bacterial disease is mainly spread through contaminated water entering the body through the skin or mucous membranes. Symptoms are often mild and flu-like, but the infection can be severe. Untreated, it can cause organ failure which can be fatal. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding contact with contaminated waters.
Today, travelers in Jammu should exercise caution due to violent protests during a bandh (shutdown strike) in protest of yesterday’s militant attack in Awantipora. Authorities have imposed a curfew in the city after violent clashes in the Jewel Chowk, Purani Mandi, Rehari, Shaktinagar, Pacca Danga, Janipur, Gandhinagar, Nawabad, Peer Mitha, Pacca Danga, Channi Himmat, Domana, Malik Market, Bagh-e-Bahu and Bakshinagar areas. Travelers should avoid these areas and follow all official directives.
Yesterday, at least 40 Central Reserve Police Force personnel were killed, and five others injured in a suicide vehicle bombing targeting their convoy along National Highway 44 in Awantipora. The attack was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-eMohammed (JeM) terrorist group. Local groups have called for a bandh (shutdown strike) against the attack in the adjacent Jammu region today. The incident underlines the persistent risk of militant attacks in the Kashmir Valley and the need for travelers to minimize time spent around security force personnel and convoys.
Tomorrow and Sunday, February 17, travelers in Islamabad and Rawalpindi should expect heightened security and associated disruption during a visit by Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Muhammad bin Salman. Authorities have imposed Section 144 Prohibitory Orders banning the assembly of five or more people beginning today and lasting through February 21 as a precaution. Responsibility for security arrangements during the visit has been assumed by the Army. Accommodation shortages are likely on tomorrow and Sunday, February 17, as at least eight hotels in Islamabad have been reserved for the visit
Today, authorities said that two self-radicalized Singaporeans had been arrested in January for alleged terrorism-related activities. One of the suspects was detained in Malaysia. According to Malaysian authorities, the detainees had been instructed by a Syria-based Malaysian member of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group to attack a building associated with Freemasonry in Johor Bahru. The development indicates the limited potential for self-radicalization among the local population.
Travelers in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan should continue to anticipate sporadic disruption due to anonymous bomb threats. All such threats have so far been hoaxes. The threats have targeted universities, government buildings, airports and other transportation hubs, theaters, business centers, shopping malls, and schools. Yesterday and today, over 5,000 people were evacuated from seven locations in Moscow; locations affected included shopping malls, media offices, railway stations, and government buildings.
Travelers in the UK and European Union (EU) should monitor developments and abide by all government guidelines related to the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” While a withdrawal agreement has not yet been agreed, UK government entities have published a series of guidance documents, including on potential new entry and exit requirements in a “nodeal” scenario. Travelers are advised to only act upon confirmed, verified information and avoid all related rallies as a standard precaution.
Travelers in main urban centers should avoid further climate marches to minimize inconvenience. Organizers of a related event, dubbed “Global Strike for Future,” are calling on students to observe a strike on March 15, with an accompanying rally at 9:00 AM local time in Brussels. The event is expected to be well attended. Yesterday, at least 11,000 people took part in a march organized by the “Youth for Climate” student group in Brussels. Protesters are calling on the EU and Belgian government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Local road disruption is likely along all march routes.
Travelers in urban centers should continue to avoid weekly protests by supporters of the “Yellow Vests” movement due to the risk of unrest. The protests are usually held on Saturdays on Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris. Additional gatherings are possible elsewhere in Paris and other urban centers. On Sunday, February 17, a rally is planned at the Place de la Republique at 2:00 PM local time. A march will also take place on Sunday, February 17, starting at 1:00 PM local time from the Arc de Triomphe to the Champ de Mars via the Avenue des Champs Elysees, Pont des Invalides, the National Assembly, and Rue de Grenelle.
Today, passengers transiting Italian airports should expect normal flight operations after airport workers indefinitely suspended a 24-hour strike. The industrial action had been called over layoffs and new training requirements. It was postponed following a preliminary agreement between the union and the Transportation Ministry.
Tomorrow, travelers in urban centers should plan journeys bypassing anti-gender violence rallies under the umbrella of the “One Billion Rising” movement. In Rome, a rally is due to be held at 4:00 PM local time at Piazza San Silvestro. Demonstrations are also expected in Bologna, Genoa, Palermo, and Trieste. Although the gatherings are likely to pass off peacefully, they may be well attended, causing local disruption.