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HOT SPOTS FOR TRAVELLERS

Hot Spots Report

ASIA

Bangladesh (Security threat level - 4): On 28 October 2014, Bangladesh's Home Ministry announced that it will implement strict security procedures in Dhaka on 29 October in anticipation of a verdict in the war crimes trial of Rahman Nizami, who is the leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), the largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh. Nizami faces 16 counts of war crimes stemming from his activities during the Bangladesh war for independence in 1971. The expectations are that Nizami will be found guilty, and following the pattern of previous convictions for war crimes in Bangladesh, the JeI is expected to call for a citywide shutdown in reaction to such a verdict. The trials are taking place at the Old High Court Building in Dhaka’s Shegunbagicha area. That zone and the nearby Supreme Court complex should be avoided on 29 October.
India / Pakistan (Security threat levels - 3 / 5): Tropical Cyclone Nilofar is active in the Arabian Sea and is expected to affect parts of Pakistan and India in the coming days. As of 0600 UTC on 28 October 2014, Nilofar was located approximately 690 mi/1,140 km southwest of Karachi, Pakistan, and was moving north at 2.5 mph/2 kt. The cyclone had sustained wind speeds of 105 mph/90 kt, with gusts of up to 125 mph/110 kt. Nilofar is forecast to strengthen over the next 24 hours, but will again weaken before making landfall. Although landfall is not forecast to occur until 1 November, its effects will be felt earlier. Authorities in Pakistan warned of rough sea conditions along the country’s coast between 29 and 31 October. Officials also expect heavy rain in coastal areas. In India, authorities are deploying National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams to the northwestern state of Gujarat. The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for India and Pakistan in view of the approaching cyclone.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Burkina Faso (Security threat level - 3): Tens of thousands of people staged a march in the capital city of Ouagadougou on 28 October 2014 to protest proposed legislation that would allow President Blaise Compaore to abolish presidential term limits and likely remain in power beyond 2015. Approximately two hours into the march, clashes between some of the participants and anti-riot police officers broke out near the United Nations roundabout as the crowd attempted to march to the National Assembly. Protesters set fire to tires and other objects and threw rocks at police officers, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests. There is a high threat of additional unrest in the coming days; civil society and trade groups have called for mass protests on 29 October, and the opposition has called on its supporters to blockade parliament on 30 October to prevent a review of the legislation.
Nigeria (Security threat level - 5): On 27 October 2014, police officials stated that a German national was shot dead and another kidnapped near the city of Sagamu in southwestern Ogun state, on 24 October. Authorities stated that four gunmen intercepted the victims’ convoy as they were heading to the Ogbere quarry, where they worked as engineers for the Julius Berger Nigeria construction company. The men were traveling in separate vehicles and did not have a security escort. According to local sources, the gunmen opened fire on one of the vehicles after the driver attempted to turn around and flee. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far.
Zambia (Security threat level - 3): Students at Copperbelt University in Kitwe staged a protest on 27 October 2014 over unpaid meal allowances. Reports indicate that the students blockaded Jambo Drive with burning tires, rocks and other objects, significantly disrupting traffic. Anti-riot police officers responded by firing tear gas to disperse the crowd. The unrest lasted for approximately one hour, from 1100 to 1200 local time. Authorities arrested four people. There were no reports of injuries. Student representatives have indicated that they will continue to stage protests and boycott classes until the allowances are paid.
Zimbabwe (Security threat level - 4): Junior government doctors under the aegis of the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association (ZHDA) launched a strike on 27 October 2014. Reports indicate that approximately 300 doctors are observing the labor action to press for a 400 percent pay raise, as well as increased allowances. The doctors are demanding that their monthly salary increase to 1,200 U.S. dollars from the current 283 U.S. dollars. The strike is significantly affecting services at public hospitals throughout the country. For example, at Harare Hospital, medical personnel are only treating emergency cases. The strike is expected to continue indefinitely until the doctors’ demands are adequately addressed.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

India (Security threat level - 3): On 28 October 2014, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for India, which reads in part as follows: "Tropical cyclones are common, particularly off the east coast. You should monitor the progress of approaching storms and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders. Severe Cyclonic Storm Nilofar is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to Gujarat from around 30 October."

Nigeria (Security threat level - 5): On 28 October 2014, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice, which reads in part as follows: “A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. However, some travellers arriving from countries where there is no yellow fever risk have experienced problems on arrival if they have been unable to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate. You may be refused entry if you don’t hold yellow fever vaccination certification, even if you’re arriving from a country which is not a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.”
Pakistan (Security threat level - 5): On 27 October 2014, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Pakistan, which includes the following: "Tropical Cyclone Nilofar is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to southern parts of the country from the evening of 29 October. You should monitor local http://pmd.gov.pk/ and international weather updates and follow the advice of local authorities."

Saudi Arabia (Security threat level - 3): On 27 October 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh issued a security message, which reads in part as follows: "A recent anonymous posting on a Jihadist website encouraged attacks against American and other international schools in the Middle East, including western teachers employed at these schools. That message referenced schools in the localities of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Maadi (Egypt) as examples, and these two cities as locations with high concentrations of potential targets. The Mission is unaware of any specific, credible threat against any American school or individual in Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, the Mission is working with local schools identified with the United States to review their security posture. U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Saudi Arabia should remain vigilant regarding their personal security and alert to local security developments. ..."


SIGNIFICANT DATES

28 October

Cyprus: Okhi Day
Czech Republic: Independence Day
Greece: Okhi Day
Seychelles: Festival Kreol parade and street party in Victoria. Traffic restrictions will likely be in place.

29 October

Liberia: National Youth Day
Seychelles: Festival Kreol parade and street party in Victoria. Traffic restrictions will likely be in place.
Turkey: Turkish Independence Day

30 October

Seychelles: Festival Kreol parade and street party in Victoria. Traffic restrictions will likely be in place.

31 October

Seychelles: Festival Kreol parade and street party in Victoria. Traffic restrictions will likely be in place.

1 November

Algeria: Revolution Day (Most offices/businesses closed.)
Antigua & Barbuda / Lesser Antilles: Independence Day
Bhutan: Coronation of Druk Gyalpo
Bulgaria: Day of Bulgarian Enlighteners (Only observed by educational institutions)
Christianity: All Saints' Day
Liberia: Thanksgiving Day
Mexico: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
U.S. Virgin Islands: D. Hamilton Jackson Day (Liberty Day)

2 November

Christianity: All Souls' Day
Mauritius: Arrival of Indentured Laborers Day
Mexico: Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
Shia Islam: Ashura

3 November

Ecuador: Foundation of Cuenca (Public holiday)
Mongolia: Genghis Khan's Birthday
Panama: Independence Day (Businesses, schools close)
Shia Islam: Ashura

4 November

Australia: Melbourne Cup Day (Public holiday only in Victoria state; sporadically observed elsewhere in Australia. Some businesses and government offices close.)
France: Transportation unions to organize strike
Israel: Anniversary of the assassination of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin (1995)
Panama: Flag Day (Government offices close)
Russia: People's Unity Day (Public holiday; possible demonstrations, including the nationalist Russian March.)

5 November

Panama: Colon Day: National holiday; businesses and schools closed.

6 November

Liberia: National Thanksgiving Day
Morocco: Green March Day
Sikh faith: Guru Nanak's Birthday
Tajikistan: Constitution Day (Public holiday)

7 November

Belarus: October Revolution Day
Kyrgyzstan: Social Revolution Day
Russia: Day of Accord and Reconciliation (Formerly a public holiday; protests may occur)
Ukraine: Revolution Day (Ceased to be a state holiday in 2000; street demonstrations and protests take place.)

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