Travel risk round-up: Wednesday 30 May

Your weekly global risk update from Drum Cussac's Global Operations Centre.
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US Military rocket strike in Helmand Province kills numerous Taliban leaders, Afghanistan

According to a U.S military spokesperson on Wednesday, 30 May, more than 50 senior Taliban commanders were killed in an artillery strike on a meeting in Helmand province. The attack took place on Thursday, 24 May in the district of Musa Qala, one of the heartlands of the Taliban insurgency, and the meeting involved commanders from several different provinces, including neighbouring Farah province. The Taliban have refuted the reports, claiming the attack hit two civilian houses in Musa Qala, killing five civilians and injuring three.

Advice to businesses and travellers:

Due to the high level of militant activity in the region, members should be aware that Helmand remains an extremely high-risk security environment and any non-essential travel to the area should be avoided. Any operationally-critical deployments should only be undertaken with the highest security and risk management protocols in place. Any travel outside of secure compounds should be conducted with a reputable security advisor and in liaison with local authorities and security forces. All security procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain commensurate with the local threat environment.


Further demonstrations expected in Managua on Wednesday 30 May, Nicaragua

On Wednesday, 30 May, thousands of people will join the “Madres de Abril” group in large-scale demonstrations to be held in Managua. The march will start tomorrow at 1800hrs (0001 UTC, 31 May) in the area of Plaza Obelisco. Demonstrators will demand the government’s resignation following the lethal crackdown on demonstrators that has seen dozens killed by the security forces in the last month across the country.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Members are advised to remain clear of the vicinity of all protests in Nicaragua due to the risk of incidental violence and heavy-handed security response. Travellers in major cities throughout Nicaragua are advised to remain vigilant amid the ongoing unrest and heightened tensions. Members should be mindful of the increased security presence and remain aware of their surroundings given the likelihood of further spontaneous protests. Travellers are advised to follow local media outlets for further updates on any future protests concerning this issue.


Weekend clashes between pro-government forces and Houthi rebels in Saada Province leave dozens dead, Yemen

According to media reports on Monday, 28 May, heavy fighting between pro-government forces and Houthi rebels over the past four days has left over 150 dead in Saada province. Government forces have been trying to seize rebel-held areas along the western coast, while an allied Saudi-led coalition has been targeting the rebels with airstrikes. Yemen’s National Army said on Monday that they were just 20 km away from Hodeidah and were close to recapturing the city’s seaports and airport.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Due to the ongoing conflict and extreme risk environment, members should reconsider all non-essential travel to Yemen at this time. Operationally-critical travel should only take place with maximum security provision and movements outside secure compounds should only be conducted after a thorough localised risk assessment.


Multiple fatalities after taxi crashes on N2 Highway near Cape Town International Airport, South Africa

Three people have been killed and 15 others injured after a taxi crashed on the N2 highway near Cape Town International Airport (CPT) on Sunday, 28 May. The incident occurred when the driver lost control of the minibus-taxi at the R300 turnoff. The incident has since been cleared by emergency services

Advice to businesses and travellers

Road accidents are common in South Africa, mainly due to reckless driving, vehicle overcrowding, poorly maintained roads and old, inadequately maintained vehicles. Travellers are advised to exercise a high level of caution if self-driving and to utilise reputable transport providers with a proven safety record.


Two fatalities following shooting in Marseille, France

According to local media sources on Saturday, 26 May, two people were shot dead by an unknown assailant in the north of the city of Marseille. Reports indicate that the gunman used an automatic firearm. Although the nature of the shooting is not yet clear authorities suspect it may be gang related. Police investigations are ongoing in the area.

Advice to businesses and travellers

Those in Marseille should avoid the vicinity of the incident due to the possibility of further violence and ongoing police operations. Members should monitor local media sources for any further information.