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HOT SPOTS FOR TRAVELLERS

Hot Spots Report

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level - 4): On 3 August 2015, an Airbus A320 operated by Citilink skidded off the runway upon landing at Minangkabau International Airport (WIPT/PDG), which is located in the city of Padang, in West Sumatra province. Three people on board the aircraft were injured, and the incident forced airport officials to close the facility; the closure appears to still be in place. The aircraft was blocking access to the runway. The flight, which had 174 people on board, had departed from Jakarta earlier in the day. No information is available on the cause of the mishap.

EUROPE

United Kingdom (Security threat level - 2): An Embraer Phenom 300 aircraft crashed into a vehicle auction lot near Blackbushe Airport (EGLK/BBS) at approximately 1510 local time (1410 UTC) on 31 July 2015. Reports indicate that the aircraft was attempting to land when it struck several vehicles at the British Car Auction (BAC) facility -- which is located adjacent to the airport's runway -- and burst into flames. All on board the aircraft -- including one crew member and three passengers -- were killed; there were no casualties on the ground. The accident forced the closure of Blackbushe; the facility reopened at 0800 local time (0700 UTC) on 3 August. The incident also temporarily disrupted vehicle traffic in the area.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Burundi (Security threat level - 4): On 2 August 2015, Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana, a senior military officer, was assassinated in Bujumbura. Reports indicate that Nshimirimana’s vehicle was struck by explosives and subsequently targeted by gunfire in the city’s Kamenge district.

Analyst Comment: Nshimirimana was in charge of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s personal security and was a close aide to the president. A former intelligence chief, Nshimirimana was considered instrumental in controlling the protests over Nkurunziza’s candidacy that preceded Burundi’s 21 July presidential election; he also reportedly played a large role in suppressing an attempted coup d’etat in May 2015. The perpetrators of the attempted coup were rogue military personnel, and in July they launched an armed movement in northern Burundi against Nkurunziza. No group has claimed responsibility for Nshimirimana’s assassination, but reports indicate that the attackers were dressed in military uniforms, suggesting that the assailants may be connected to the coup plotters and the new armed movement. However, reports indicate that there are many other possibilities, including that the assassins came from within the military.

Although the security environment in Burundi has remained relatively calm since Nkurunziza’s victory in the 21 July presidential election, Nshimirimana’s assassination is evidence that the situation remains extremely fragile. Nkurunziza has appealed for calm, as has the international community, amid concerns that the incident could spark revenge killings. Representatives from the United States, African Union and European Union have all called on Burundi’s officials to work together and use dialogue to resolve the crisis.
Central African Republic (Security threat level - 5): United Nations peacekeepers clashed with militants in northern Bangui on 2 August 2015. Reports indicate that the militants attacked the peacekeepers with machine guns and grenades as the soldiers were attempting to carry out an arrest warrant in the predominately Muslim PK5 neighborhood. One peacekeeper was killed and eight others were injured in the attack; it is unclear if the assailants suffered any casualties.

Analyst Comment: The U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) took over security duties from an African Union (AU) mission in the country in September 2014. Although security conditions have improved somewhat since that time, the overall environment remains extremely precarious amid continuing sectarian violence. These conditions, along with long-standing infrastructure shortcomings, cast doubt on the country’s ability to hold free and fair elections at the end of this year; a presidential election is currently scheduled for 18 October, and a parliamentary poll will take place on 22 November.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Burundi (Security threat level - 4): On 2 August 2015, the U.S. Embassy in Burundi issued a Security Message following the assassination of General Nshimirimana in Bujumbura earlier in the day. This message reads in part as follows: "The U.S. Embassy in Burundi is closely following ongoing political developments in the country. As a security precaution, the Embassy has advised its mission personnel to minimize movement in the capital of Bujumbura. U.S. citizens in Bujumbura are advised to do the same until further notice. The Embassy also alerts U.S. citizens that RN1 is closed in the neighborhood of Kamenge and recommends avoiding travel in that area.

"U.S. citizens who have decided to stay in Burundi should review the Burundi Travel Warning issued on May 14 as well as their personal security situation and seriously consider departing, taking advantage of commercial flights."

SIGNIFICANT DATES

3 August

Bahamas: Emancipation Day
Barbados: Kadooment Day
Canada: August Civic or Provincial Holiday
El Salvador: Fiesta de San Salvador
Equatorial Guinea: Armed Forces Day
Guinea-Bissau: Anniversary of the Killing of Pidjiguoiti
Iceland: Commerce Day
Niger: Independence Day
United Kingdom: Summer Bank Holiday (Scotland only)
Zambia: Farmers' Day

4 August

Burkina Faso: Revolution Day

5 August

Burkina Faso: Independence Day
Colombia: Bogota Carnival
Croatia: Homeland Thanksgiving Day

6 August

Bolivia: Independence Day
Colombia: Bogota Carnival
El Salvador: Fiestas Patronales
Jamaica: Independence Day (Public holiday)
Lesser Antilles / St. Kitts & Nevis / Turks & Caicos Islands: Emancipation Day Holiday
United Arab Emirates: Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan's Accession Day

7 August

Colombia: Battle of Boyaca

8 August

Anguilla / Lesser Antilles: Constitution Day
Iraq: Ceasefire Day
Tanzania: Farmer's Day

9 August

Sierra Leone: National Day
Singapore: National Day (Public holiday)
South Africa: National Women's Day

10 August

Ecuador: National Independence Day (Public holiday)
United States: PGA Championship - Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin, USA.
Zimbabwe: Heroes' Day

11 August

United States: PGA Championship - Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin, USA.
Zimbabwe: Defense Forces Day

12 August

Thailand: Queen's Birthday
United States: PGA Championship - Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin, USA.

13 August

Central African Republic: Independence Day
Tunisia: Women's Day
United States: PGA Championship - Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin, USA.

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