Perpetual Traveller - Travel Warnings 2017 - Week 21

In the light of the Manchester Terrorism incident and the attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt, things are particularly sensitive around the world right now, which has generally raised the bar of security threat levels. The chances of more incidents around the world have been further raised since Ramadan started on Saturday.

As always, the most dangerous place in the world is where you are right now, so stay informed and dodge the bullets!

Let's get started...

Remain vigilant at all times and follow the advice of local security officials, including in and around religious sites and during religious festivals (including the holy month of Ramadan) when terrorist groups sometimes call for attacks.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Somalia, including kidnapping. Terrorist groups have made threats against westerners and those working for western organisations. There is a constant threat of terrorist attack in Mogadishu and terrorists continue to plan attacks against westerners in the rest of Somalia including Somaliland.

Several police officers were recently ambushed and killed in an attack in the Pwani coastal region, about 100km south of Dar es Salaam; there’s a heightened security presence in the area; anyone visiting the area should exercise caution and monitor local media.

Secessionists calling for an independent state in the south-east have called on supporters to stay at home on 30 May 2017; previous similar protests have seen widespread closure of businesses; there may also be public demonstrations and protests on the days around 30 May 2017; there were outbreaks of violence the cities of Aba in Abia State and Onitsha in Anambra State during previous protests by secessionists; warning against travel Abia State, Anambra State, Ebonyi State, Enugu State, Imo State, and the cities of Asaba in Delta State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Niger, including kidnapping; there are recent reports that terrorist groups may be targeting international humanitarian workers in Diffa province for kidnapping.

Local elections for provinces 1,2,5 and 7, which includes the Terai region and the regions that border India, are planned to take place on 14 June 2017. During the first round of elections on 14 May there was a 24 hour vehicle ban and border closures in the provinces voting, similar measures should be expected. Rallies and protests may take place in the lead up to, during and after elections. If visiting Nepal take care in public places where people gather, and exercise a heightened level of vigilance.

Saudi Arabia
We suggest to be extra vigilant during periods of religious significance (including the holy month of Ramadan) and public holidays; terrorist groups sometimes call for attacks at these times; note that terrorists carried out several attacks in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan in 2016.

North Korea
Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula; there's a continuing threat of further missile or nuclear tests, which could lead to greater instability in the region; there have been recent cases of foreign nationals being prevented from leaving the country and/or being detained; risks could increase if international tensions rise or the security situation deteriorates; please follow the political and security situation very closely if attempting to visit North Korea o the Korean peninsula.

Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Algeria, including kidnappings. Terrorist attacks have focussed on the Algerian state, but attacks could be indiscriminate and include foreigners. There’s also a risk that lone actors could target foreigners. You should be vigilant at all times and take additional security precautions, especially in: towns and cities; the southern, Libyan and Tunisian border areas; rural and mountainous areas in the north; and the Sahara.

In February 2017, a political demonstration in Dominica’s capital, Roseau, was broken up by police; further, smaller demonstrations have taken place since then; on 23 May 2017, there were reports that gunshots had been fired outside the parliament building; you should check to see if any demonstrations are planned during your visit and take extra care to avoid areas where protests may be held.

Global - Ramadan
Increased risk of terrorist attacks, disruption during Ramadan, There is a heightened threat of terrorist activity during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which will end on 24 June. In a 26 May video posted on social media, the Islamic State (IS) group called for its supporters to step up attacks on the West during the period. In 2016, IS claimed major attacks in Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia that left more than 400 dead and 700 wounded. Notable attacks include the 28 June attack on the Istanbul airport and the 3 July Baghdad truck bombing that killed more than 200 people. In addition to the potential for violence, there is typically a slowdown in business activity during the period, which could affect commercial operations and government services.