Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Worlwide Risk Report

Seven policemen were wounded when an improvised explosive device (IED) was detonated at a protest in the village of Eker, near the capital Manama on 10 April. Levels of violence have gradually escalated over recent months, and are likely to raise questions over the efficacy of continuing with the Bahrain Grand Prix, due to take place in April.

A bomb exploded outside a Banco de Estado branch on Jose Pedro Alessandri avenue in Santiago’s Macul district on 9 April. The device was rudimentary and caused only superficial damage; this means of attack coupled with the anarchist pamphlets found nearby suggest a small, anarchist group was responsible. The incident follows a spate of attacks against bank branches in February.

The head of the FARC denied that the group is weakening, and launched several attacks on military targets over the weekend to reinforce the point. A bomb attack in Putumayo and an ambush in the Choco killed up to nine troops. Attacks on the military are likely to intensify as the FARC concentrates its efforts on government targets and regional groups articulate their dissatisfaction with central committee policies.

A bomb detonated in the northern town of Mitrovica killed an ethnic Albanian man and injured his family members on 8 April. Mitrovica is a flashpoint for inter-ethnic violence between Albanians and Serbs, and tensions are likely to increase in the run-up to local and general elections in Serbia on 6 May.

Following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika on 5 April, former Vice-President Joyce Banda was sworn in as President of Malawi on 7 April. One of Mutharika’s fiercest critics, she publicly appealed for calm. However, Banda has already sacked controversial police chief Peter Mukhito, an ally of the late president, suggesting her rule will mark a welcome change for the country and end its international isolation.

Ousted President Toure formally resigned as part of an ECOWAS-sponsored deal to restore civilian order announced on 6 April. Under the deal, Diouncounda Traore, who is the president of the National Assembly, will be appointed as the interim president of Mali with a mission to organise elections within 40 days. Sanctions were lifted immediately, but instability is likely in the immediate run-up to the elections.

An Easter Sunday car bombing in Kaduna killed 38 people and injured many others. The vehicle exploded on a busy street in the centre of the town, and reports suggest that it was heading towards a church. In Jos, a bomb exploded the same day, injuring several people. No one has taken responsibility for the attacks yet, but Boko Haram warned of attacks over Easter.
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea's parliament voted on 5 April to delay mid-year national elections by six months, prolonging a political crisis in the resource-rich South Pacific nation and prompting Australia to ask for the decision to be reviewed. Parliament was told electoral rolls were not up-to-date and police not ready to provide enough security for the polls, which are held every five years and scheduled for June.

At least 57 people were killed during clashes on 10 April, that were sparked when suspected Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)-linked Ansar al-Sharia militants attacked a military base near the southern city of Loder, in Abyan province. The group has been highly active in Abyan province since the beginning of the uprising in 2011, and have intensified operations since the election of Saleh's former deputy as interim leader.


Iraq Weekly Roundup

Levels of violence rose in Iraq last week. Security measures were gradually relaxed following the conclusion of the Arab League Summit which appeared to grant militants slightly more opportunity to conduct attacks.
Geographical Distribution
At least 29 people were killed and 19 injured in nationwide incidents, with Mosul suffering the majority of the country’s violence. Kirkuk was the next most badly affected area, whilst Baghdad saw only three attacks. Even the normally stable city of Arbil in Kurdistan saw a rare sticky bomb attack. The south of the country remained relatively quiet.
A total of 20 bomb attacks left 10 people dead and 12 injured countrywide. This is a rise from the previous week but the majority of the devices were small and low-yielding in terms of casualties. There were no suicide bombings recorded. A rise in the number of small arms fire attacks left 16 people dead and five injured. This is a relatively high figure, with most incidents taking place in Mosul. An additional indirect fire attack, also in Mosul, left two people dead and two injured.
Kidnap for Ransom
Two civilians were abducted in Kirkuk, which remains the abduction capital of the country. Indeed AKE’s latest K&R report shows it to be one of the worst cities in the world for kidnap and ransom activity.
Energy Sector Violence
The oil sector was targeted in two attacks last week, with the authorities making safe an explosive device on a field in Diyala province. Three devices also detonated on the Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline in Salah ad-Din province, disrupting supply through the facility for 24 hours. An officer from the oil police was also shot dead in an attack in Kirkuk. The sector remains an attractive target and organisations are advised to review safety and contingency plans surrounding their operations.

Source: AKE

Iraq Violence January-March

AKE has analysed violence taking place in Iraq over the first quarter of 2012 (January – March). At least 724 people were killed over the period, although the true figure is likely to be higher, given that AKE figures are collated on a ‘spot’ basis, i.e. they are taken within 24 hours of a violent incident and do not take into account those who have died later from their injuries. The average week saw 56 fatalities (ranging from 18 to over 100 in any seven-day period) as well as dozens of injuries. The average week also saw over 40 attacks, spread throughout the country, albeit concentrated in urban centres in the northern and central provinces. The following map shows the frequency of violence by province of the course of Q1.

Sourse: AKE