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HOT SPOTS FOR TRAVELLERS

Hot Spots Report

AMERICAS

Chile (Security threat level - 2): Students and teachers from various groups, including the Confederation of Students of Chile (Confech) and the College of Teachers, are planning to stage a national march in Santiago on 21 August 2014 to demand better education. The participants will march from the Plaza Italia to the Paseo Los Heroes starting at approximately 1030 local time. Previous student marches have often involved tens of thousands of participants and resulted in traffic disruptions. Most past marches have remained peaceful, but clashes between security forces and a number of the participants have occurred on occasion.

ASIA

Indonesia (Security threat level - 4): Approximately 2,000 supporters of defeated presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto clashed with police officers outside the Constitutional Court in Jakarta on 21 August 2014. The supporters had gathered in advance of a ruling on Subianto’s petition to overturn the result of the 9 July presidential election, due do what he alleges was massive fraud carried out by the winning candidate, Joko Widodo. Police officers erected barbed-wire barriers and fired tear gas in the direction of protesters, who at one point attempted to break through a line of riot police and enter the court complex. Following the break-up of the protests, the court issued its ruling, finding that there was no evidence of Subianto’s claims, which effectively upholds the result of the 9 July election. There is no room for Subianto to appeal, and it remains to be seen if he or his supporters will try to stage further protests against Widodo.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Central African Republic (Security threat level - 5): On 20 August 2014, European peacekeepers and members of a local militia clashed in PK-5, a predominately Muslim neighborhood of the capital city of Bangui. The unrest was sparked by an incident on 19 August in which a European Union force (EUFOR) patrol opened fire on a hostile crowd in the area. Locals alleged that a resident was killed in the shooting, although EUFOR was unable to confirm whether there had been any casualties. The unrest on 20 August included heavy gunfire and shelling. A French helicopter reportedly circled overhead, and one local alleged that the helicopter opened fire, but French officials denied this. At least 31 people were injured, 10 critically, and one local Red Cross worker was killed in the violence.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Burkina Faso (Security threat level - 3): On 20 August 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou issued a Security Message, which reads in part as follows: "The U.S. Embassy informs U.S. citizens that political opposition parties plan to hold a rally at 8:00 am on Saturday, August 23, 2014 in downtown Ouagadougou. The rally will initially include a march, beginning at Terrain de la SONATUR. The route will include Patte d’Oie Circle, Place Naaba Wobgo, Terrain SONATUR – Boulevard France/Afrique – Avenue de la Coopération Islamique (Universalis University Road) – Avenue de la Dignité – Boulevard Tansoba Pollé (former Circulaire) - Patte d’Oie Circle, Place Naaba Wobgo, and Terrain SONATUR. The march should culminate around noon at Terrain de la SONATUR, where the opposition leader is expected to give a speech. Although the exact size of the gathering is unknown, police sources estimate that up to 100,000 individuals may gather. Heavy traffic and road closings in the vicinity can be expected.

"The rally is expected to be peaceful as many similar events in the past have been non-violent, but the U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. Remember, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Be alert and remain aware of your surroundings. Stay informed and abreast of local media reports."

Gabon (Security threat level - 3): On 21 August 2014, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice, which reads in part as follows: “Gabon has cancelled all incoming flights from or via countries affected by Ebola, including Nigeria, as a preventative measure against the spread of Ebola to Gabon.”

Ghana (Security threat level - 3): On 21 August 2014, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice, which reads in part as follows: “There have been reports of violent clashes in the Bawku Municipality in the Upper East Region of Ghana which has left 2 people dead and one person injured.

“Following sporadic violence, the government has imposed a curfew in some parts of the Northern and Volta regions. The curfew in Nakpanduri is from 7pm to 5am daily and affects the surrounding communities: Kpatritings, Bonbila, Borgni Boatarrigu and Sakagu. The curfew in Bimbilla is from 9pm to 5am daily. The curfew in Alvanyo and Nkonya in the Volta region is from 8pm to 5am daily.

“If you are considering travel to the Northern Region, remain alert to the potential for new outbreaks of fighting. Keep in touch with daily developments through the local media.”

Russia (Security threat level - 3): On 21 August 2014, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow released a Security Message, which reads in part as follows: “U.S. citizens presently in or considering travel to Russia should evaluate their personal security situation in light of current political tensions and the possibility of actions directed against U.S. citizens or interests. Municipal authorities have approved a permit for a demonstration at Triumphal Square in Moscow on Thursday, August 21, 2014, beginning at 1900 hours. Russian trade unions intend to voice support for “Novorossia,” and Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. Organizers anticipate approximately 1500 participants. Triumphal Square is located on Ulitsa Tverskaya, at the junction of Tverskaya and the Garden Ring Road near the Mayakovskaya Metro Station (approximately 1.5 kilometers from the U.S. Embassy). Police will be present to monitor the demonstration. As with any demonstration, all U.S. citizens should avoid this gathering, as anti-American sentiment may be expressed."


SIGNIFICANT DATES

21 August

Morocco: King Mohammed's Birthday/ Youth Day

23 August

United Kingdom: Notting Hill Carnival

24 August

Liberia: National Flag Day
Ukraine: Independence Day (Public holiday; government offices and businesses closed. Official ceremonies and parades planned.)
United Kingdom: Notting Hill Carnival

25 August

Paraguay: Constitution Day
Philippines: National Heroes' Day (Public holiday)
United Kingdom: Summer Bank Holiday
United Kingdom: Notting Hill Carnival
Uruguay: Independence Day

26 August

Namibia: Heroes' Day
Papua New Guinea: Repentance Day

27 August

Moldova: Independence Day

28 August

Georgia: Mariamoba (Day of the Virgin Mary)

29 August

Hinduism: Ganesh Chaturthi/Vinayaka Chaturthi (Ganesh's birthday; Marathi Hindu holiday.
Italy: Venice International Film Festival (Security measures increased. Area near festival venue may be closed to traffic.)
Mauritius: Ganesh Chathurthi
Slovakia: Slovak National Uprising

30 August

Italy: Venice International Film Festival (Security measures increased. Area near festival venue may be closed to traffic.)
Kazakhstan: Constitution Day (Businesses and government offices closed)
Timor-Leste: Popular Constitution Day
Turkey: Victory Day

31 August

Iran: Martyrdom Imam Ali
Italy: Venice International Film Festival (Security measures increased. Area near festival venue may be closed to traffic.)
Kyrgyzstan: Independence Day
Malaysia: Hari Merdeka (Public holiday)
Moldova: National Language Day (Limba Noastra)
Trinidad & Tobago: Independence Day

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