Travel risk round-up: 18 July

Your risk round-up for the past week.
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travel risk round-up 18 July

Vietnam: Tropical Storm Henry Brings Heavy Rains and Floods to Northern Areas of Vietnam, 18-20 July

According to international meteorological sources, tropical storm Henry, also known as Son Tinh, has brought inclement weather conditions to northern areas of Vietnam from Wednesday, 18 July until Friday, 20 July, including its capital Hanoi. Precipitation levels are expected to reach up to 250mm (10 inches). The storm system adds to the seasonal rainy weather and will likely produce flash floods across the north of the country, also worsening road conditions and increasing the likelihood of mudslides.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members in northern areas of Vietnam are advised to closely monitor local media sources for weather-related updates and for public warnings and advice. Follow any directives from local authorities, including evacuation orders. When travelling in the area, be aware of hazardous road conditions which may be caused by flooding, landslides and debris.


Saudi Arabia: Fatalities Reported following Shooting at Border Post in Najran Province

At least three people were killed at the Wadia Border Crossing in Najran province on Sunday, 15 July, after an immigration worker opened fire on his colleagues. The gunman reportedly killed a colleague and a police officer before shooting himself. It is indicated that the assailant attacked two of his fellow workers following a heated argument over shifts.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Whilst the incident is not linked to the ongoing hostilities in Yemen, travellers in the Jizan, Asir and Najran regions should exercise an increased level of situational awareness and heed any directives issued by local authorities and security forces due to the risk of conflict spill-over.

Morocco: Thousands Rally in Rabat in Support of Jailed Activists

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Rabat on Sunday, 15 July to demand the release of activists that were jailed during protests in the Rif region in October 2016. The rally was led by Morocco’s largest opposition Islamist movement Adl Wal Ihsan (Justice and Spirituality) and was joined by smaller left-leaning opposition parties. The families of those imprisoned and their lawyers were also present. After the Rif protests 53 activists were imprisoned for up to 20 years and there have already been marches in Casablanca and other urban centres to show support for those incarcerated.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members in Morocco are advised to avoid the vicinity of any protests due to the risk of exposure to incidental violence, opportunistic crime and heavy-handed security response. Monitor local media for information regarding any future protests.


Nicaragua: Pro-Government Forces Launch Attack on UNAN, Managua

According to emerging social media reports on Friday, 13 July, government security forces and pro-government paramilitaries have launched an attack on the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN) in Managua, which has been occupied by anti-government protesters since protests began in April. Videos posted to social media platforms show government forces using live ammunition in the attack. Causalities are highly likely, though no figures are yet available. Further information is awaited.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members are strongly advised to avoid the vicinity of UNAN and all reported clashes and political gatherings in Nicaragua due to the risk of incidental violence and heavy-handed security response. Travellers are advised to remain vigilant amid the ongoing unrest and heightened tensions. Members should be mindful of the increased paramilitary and security presence and remain aware of their surroundings given the likelihood of spontaneous protests.


Azerbaijan:  Multiple People Sentenced to Jail Over Social Media Posts

The Azerbaijani Interior Ministry stated on Monday, 9 July, that 14 men had been sentenced to jail terms due to illegal posts on social media. The posts in question reportedly debated a high-profile shooting in Ganja on Tuesday 3, July and went on to criticise the government over the nationwide power outage the same day. The men received jail terms varying from 10 to 30 days. This event showcases the need to be cautious in regards to posting social media content while travelling.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members in Azerbaijan should be aware that criticism of the government and political system may lead to arrest by security forces. Although foreign travellers are less likely to be pursued, foreign nationals have been detained for infringement of the country’s laws. Travellers should be aware of cultural and political sensitivities avoid discussing politically sensitive topics in public.