Africa Regional Summary

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1 Africa Regional Summary September 2015

2 Executive Summary In Nigeria, President Buhari continued his slate of structural reform efforts, focusing primarily on the state's energy and defense sector, while Boko Haram militancy persisted in the northeast. Additional attacks by the militant sect were witnessed throughout the Lake Chad Basin, including in Chad, Cameroon, and Niger. All four countries intensified their counterinsurgency efforts, including high profile arrests and troop deployments, yet regional cooperation remains lacking. In the east, al-shabaab militancy persisted in Somalia, where focal points for clashes where registered in the Hiran, Galgadud, Lower Shabelle, Bakool, Lower Juba, Gedo and Bay Regions. Despite a relative decrease, al-shabaab incursions continued into Kenya, whose outlying regions additionally suffered from a spat of intercommunal clashes. In neighboring Ethiopia, an ONLF ambush killed as many as five Chinese nationals in the Ogaden Region. Additionally, armed groups continued attacks in eastern Kivu provinces of the DRC, despite operations by the UN and FARDC. An indefinite postponement of gubernatorial elections risks delays to the 2016 presidential elections, and HIGH may RISK trigger a renewal of politically related violence in the restive country. In the CAR, localized sectarian violence was renewed in Bambari, while the MINUSCA chief resigned amid sexual abuse allegations against peacekeepers. South Africa has witnessed a significant increase in number of police officers killed during criminal incidents. In contrast, positive political developments were recorded in South Sudan, where President Kiir and rebel leader Machar signed an IGAD-mediated peace agreement, although accusing each other of breaching it immediately after. The fragile agreement between the rebels and the government in Mali endures, yet its implementation is strained by mistrust. At the same time, jihadist militants launched attacks across an expanded geographical scope in northern and central Mali. Potential spillover of this trend was experienced in Burkina Faso, where a 2 police P astation g e was attacked near the Malian, Nigerien and Burkinabe tri-border area. The Constitutional Council in the country defied an ECOWAS ruling by banning Compaore affiliates from the upcoming elections. In Burundi the newly formed Nkurunziza government includes five former opposition members alongside security hardliners, while localized, targeted violence persist. In Uganda, increasing signs of government crackdown on opposition accompanied Mbabazi's emergence as a prominent electoral challenger. Similarly, Lowassa's campaign as UKAWA candidate in Tanzania faces perceived restrictions. In Guinea, the government and opposition agreed to conduct peaceful elections, yet former junta leader and presidential candidate Camara was not able to return to the country. Protracted unrest continued in Mozambique, where Renamo leader reiterated their threat of a forcible seizure of provinces, as fighters ambush security forces in Tete Province. Finally, during the past month nine cases of Ebola were confirmed in Guinea and three in Sierra Leone. During that time period, no new cases were confirmed in Liberia. 2Page

3 The following list contains countries in the region with notable developments from the past month. Please choose your country of interest by clicking on its name below. Africa Ebola Virus Outbreak... 4 CAR... 5 Somalia... 6 South Sudan... 7 DRC... 8 Mali... 9 Nigeria Sudan Angola Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Chad Ethiopia Guinea Ivory Coast Kenya Mauritania Mozambique Niger Senegal South Africa Uganda Ghana Sierra Leone Tanzania Zambia Zimbabwe for September Page

4 EXTREME RISK Africa Ebola Virus Outbreak No new Ebola cases reported in Liberia during August, after six were confirmed in July. Nine cases of Ebola confirmed in Guinea, while three new cases confirmed in Sierra Leone during August, according to World Health Organization (WHO) latest report, released on August 26. Sierra Leone lifts curfew in Tonkolili District, terminates year-long ban on large public gatherings. Those operating or residing in West Africa, particularly in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, where suspected cases have been reported, are strongly advised to practice heightened health precautions and proper hygiene due to the Ebola outbreak. Between June 29 and July 12 six cases of Ebola were reported in Liberia. That said, no new cases were confirmed since then, which indicates that the outbreak might have been controlled. Nevertheless, and given both Ebola's high contagion rate and the remaining cases in neighboring Guinea, additional infections remain possible over the coming months. Meanwhile, nine new cases were confirmed in Guinea between July 27 and August 23. According to WHO s report, all cases were reported in the Conakry and Forecariah prefectures. Unlike during the month of July, no new cases were reported in the Coyah and Fria prefectures. These nine new cases represent a significant reduction, considering that during the month of July 59 new cases were reported. While three new cases were confirmed in Sierra Leone between July 26 and August 9, no new infections were reported since then until August 29, when health officials announced a new death from the virus in Kambia District. In addition, on August 24 the last Ebola-infected patient was discharged from hospital. Although the fact that no new Ebola cases were reported from August 9 to August 29 raised hopes of a total eradication of the virus, the new death announced on August 29 highlighted the potential for further cases to be reported in the coming days and weeks. On August 6 the Sierra Leone government lifted a ban on large public gatherings such as sporting events, nightclubs and cinemas that was put in place in June 2014 in order to minimize the spread of the Ebola virus. Despite the lifting of the ban, other preventive measures remain in place, including temperature screening and hand washing stations. Moreover, on August 14 the government stated that the curfew imposed on the village of Massessebeh, located in Northern Province s Tonkolili District was lifted. The quarantine affected 500 people, who had been under Ebola lockdown since July 30. 4Page

5 EXTREME RISK CAR Renewal of localized sectarian clashes around Bambari reflect volatile security situation. Resignation of MINUSCA head over sexual abuse allegations erodes public support. We continue to advise against all travel to CAR, including Bangui, at this time given extreme security risks and volatility. If travel is unavoidable, it is advised to remain within the confines of the Bangui M Poko International Airport compound. Sectarian clashes renew in Bambari, surrounding regions Clashes between largely Muslim ex-seleka and predominantly Christian anti-balaka militias erupted in and around Bambari. At least twenty people, mostly Christians, were killed in Bambari on August 23 during violence following the beheading of a local Muslim man by an anti-balaka member. Separately, from August 2-3, 12 were killed in sectarian clashes between the anti-balaka and a joint group of Fulani herdsmen and ex-seleka militiamen in Malegbasssa in the Basse-Kotto region. In separate Fulani clashes, five were killed and eight injured near Bria town, 165 km east of Bambari on August 24. The clashes in Bambari are notable, as they follow a period of relative calm over the past months in the city, despite violent incidents between Fulani herdsmen and anti-balaka militias nearby. Bambari has long been a contested region, lying on the dividing line between the largely Christian south and Muslim-majority north. Following tentative signs of progress, with an agreement signed by armed groups on demobilization during the Bangui Forum in May, the clashes highlight the fragile security situation, which can erupt in bouts of cyclical violence, as well as the potential for seemingly isolated incidents to trigger such violence. The persistent inter-communal violence between Fulani herdsmen and largely Christian pastoralists adds to this volatility, particular since the Fulani and ex-seleka tend to carry out attacks and reprisals in tandem. Head of MINUSCA resigns amid sexual abuse allegations against peacekeepers Following a request by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, the head of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the CAR (MINUSCA), Babacar Gaye, resigned on August 12 surrounding at least 57 allegations of misconduct, including 11 sexual abuse complaints against UN peacekeepers. On August 19, three more sexual abuse complaints were made against MINUSCA peacekeepers in Bambari. Given the weak state security apparatus, MINUSCA plays an important role in filling the vacuum and facilitating peaceful elections. The numerous sexual abuse allegations have likely eroded the legitimacy and public support enjoyed by MINUSCA and their 10,806 security personnel, complicating their mission. We assess that this decreased public support will impact MINUSCA s ability to maintain security nationwide should sectarian violence reignite in the lead-up to elections. 5Page

6 EXTREME RISK Somalia Lawmakers submit motion of non-confidence in President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud due to alleged constitutional violations, amidst announcement to postpone 2016 elections. SNA, AMISOM continue military operations in multiple regions, as al-shabaab continues to clash with security forces, target various locals, public officials We advise against all travel to Somalia at this time with the exception of the Puntland and Somaliland regions. Travel within these regions should be restricted to cities and be for essential purposes only, while avoiding travel to outlying regions. Lawmakers embark on impeachment process of President Mohamoud On August 12 more than 90 of Somalia s 275 members of parliament submitted a motion of non-confidence against President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud following accusations of constitutional and human rights violations. The petition, which was received by the office of the Speaker of Parliament, still needs to be approved by the Somali Supreme Court before returning to the parliament floor, while the figure exceeds the requirement for a motion to be debated in parliament. The accusations come following Mohamoud's announcement that the planned 2016 elections were postponed to an undisclosed date. The high number of lawmakers endorsing the petition suggests a notable level of dissatisfaction with Mohamoud. That said, Mohamoud enjoys wide support among regional leaders and the international community, as the country under his rule has enjoyed relative economic growth and improved security conditions. With this in mind, and given that two thirds of parliament must vote in favor of the motion, we assess that the impeachment process is unlikely to be successful. Nevertheless, we assess that increased political and public pressure is likely to bring about a return elections to their originally-slated 2016 date. SNA, AMISOM clash with al-shabaab in multiple regions, sect continues operations Following the July 19 commencement of "Operation Juba Corridor" by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), frequent clashes between AMISOM, the National Somali Army (SNA) and the militant sect al-shabaab were recorded in multiple regions of Somalia. Although SNA and AMISOM reportedly inflicted heavy losses on the organization's militants, the latter reportedly succeeded to ambush convoys in outlying regions and target government officials, mostly in Mogadishu. Alongside the capital city, focal points for clashes over the past month include the Hiran, Galgadud, Lower Shabelle, Bakool, Lower Juba, Gedo and Bay Regions. We assess that despite strategic losses for the organization as a whole, its militants maintain sufficient manpower and operational capabilities to continue carrying out such attacks, both in Somalia's outlying regions in general and within Mogadishu's districts in particular. 6Page

7 EXTREME RISK South Sudan President Kiir signs IGAD peace deal on August 26 under heavy pressure by international community as reports of subsequent ceasefire violations emerge. It is advised to restrict travel to Juba at this time given persistent insecurity in outlying areas due to residual volatility from the ongoing internal conflict. President Kiir signs IGAD peace deal on August 26 On August 26, South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) peace proposal, following heavy international pressure by the US, UN, and regional African leaders. The agreement was signed by rebel leader Riek Machar on August 17. In this context, Kiir also added reservations to the official agreement. The peace and power sharing deal intends to put an end to the ongoing civil war in the country between the Juba government and rebel groups since December Moreover, the power sharing deal sets a fixed ratio of representatives from both parties in the State-level governments. Lastly, two former high-level generals from the Sudan People s Liberation Movement - in Opposition (SPLM-IO) rebels, Gathoth Gatkuoth and Peter Gadet, split from the SPLM-IO ranks and rejected Machar s leadership on August 11 and reportedly rejected the power-sharing proposal. On August 29, SPLA-IO officials blamed government troops for violating the ceasefire amid reports of clashes in the oil-rich Upper Nile and Unity States. Since rebel leader Riek Machar signed the IGAD peace proposal on August 17, Kiir's government faced the threat of UN sanctions and an arms embargo following a US-led initiative. Given that regional African leaders joined this international pressure, we assess that Kiir had little choice but to sign the peace and power sharing deal. We further assess that the Kiir's reported reservations highlight the Juba government's dissatisfaction with the terms of the agreement as well as its unwillingness to share power with the rebel factions. In this context, we assess that the rush for signing the aforementioned deal as well as the lack of effective hierarchical structure within both the government and rebel troops, poses serious challenges to the implementation of a lasting ceasefire. Moreover, multiple ethnic divisions within the government and rebel ranks could also instigate acts of violence. The reported split of two leading generals away from the SPLM-IO and their objection to the aforementioned deal also highlights the risks of rebel factions refusing to abide by the ceasefire. In this context, we assess that the current ceasefire is highly fragile and susceptible to further violations given ethnic cleavages, potential defections and lack of an effective command structure on both the government and rebel side. 7Page

8 HIGH RISK DRC Indefinite postponement of gubernatorial elections risks delays to presidential elections. Rampant insecurity persists in eastern provinces despite efforts by UN, Congolese army. Essential business travel can continue to Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, while adhering to stringent security precautions. We advise against nonessential travel to outlying rural areas given rampant criminality and insecurity from militant and rebel groups. CENI indefinitely postpones gubernatorial elections in 16 newly formed provinces On August 24, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) announced the indefinite postponement of gubernatorial elections in 16 newly formed provinces. These provinces were officially formed on June 30 as part of the Congolese government's division of 11 existing provinces into 26. This process has reportedly been beset by a lack of planning, "logistical difficulties" reported by CENI, and failure of provincial assemblies to promptly adopt the necessary measures to implement the changes. In January 2015, clashes with security forces in Kinshasa left over 40 anti-government protesters dead and forced President Joseph Kabila to back down on plans to conduct a nationwide preelection census, which likely would have delayed presidential elections slated for November CENI's postponement of the 16 gubernatorial elections takes place against the backdrop of incumbent President Joseph Kabila's attempts to prolong his stay in power past the constitutionally mandated two-term limit, slated to end with presidential elections in November According to CENI's current electoral calendar, local, provincial, gubernatorial elections slated for 2015 and senatorial elections slated for January 2016 must be completed prior to presidential elections. While Kabila appears to have suspended plans to amend the constitutional term limits following heavy pressure by donor countries, he could nevertheless remain in power by postponing presidential elections. CENI's indefinite postponement of gubernatorial elections increases the likelihood of this scenario, which will heighten political tensions and potentially trigger a renewal of violent anti-kabila protests and accompanying security crackdowns. Armed groups continue attacks in eastern Kivu provinces despite efforts by UN, FARDC. On August 20-21, at least five villagers were killed by Allied Defense Force (ADF) rebels north of Beni, North Kivu Province. In South Kivu Province, Raia Mutomboki militiamen caused the displacement of over 600 people from the Shabunda territory after the departure of local Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) troops. These attacks reflect the rampant insecurity in the Kivu provinces, despite counterinsurgency operations by the FARDC and UN troops, which have recently focused on targeting the ADF near Beni. Furthermore, the Raia Mutomboki attacks in Shabunda following the FARDC's departure are part of a broader pattern of armed groups exploiting the security vacuum in outlying areas of both North and South Kivu provinces. 8Page

9 HIGH RISK Mali Militant threat persists throughout Mali, especially in central region, as militants likely taking advantage of porous border regions. Renewed fighting between Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), progovernment Imghad and Allies Self-Defense Group (GATIA) threatens ceasefire Travel to Bamako may continue at this time while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding criminal activity and potential militancy. Militants launch attacks across expanded geographic scope in northern, central Mali In August, there has been an elevated level of militancy with attacks reported in the Mopti region, central Mali, as well as the targeting of UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and Malian army in the north. On August 7, militants stormed a hotel in the town of Sevare, located in the Mopti region bordering Burkina Faso, killing at least 12 people including five MINUSMA subcontractors. The attack was claimed by Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the leader of the Islamist militant group al- Mourabitoun. On August 10, a convoy of Malian soldiers struck a landmine near Diafarabe, also in Mopti Region. In the north, both al-qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Ansar Dine claimed attacks on Malian soldiers in Gourma-Rhaous, Timbuktu Region, while a landmine also targeted MINUSMA forces near Ansongo, Gao Region. The uptick in militant attacks in central Mali highlights heightened operational capabilities of militant groups to launch attacks beyond their core theater of operations in northern Mali despite counterinsurgency efforts by Malian and international troops. This is partially due to the proximity of porous borders with Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Niger, which allow militants to move freely between neighboring countries, as well as to smuggle arms and fighters in order to continue their insurgency. Moreover, given the repeated threats by al-mourabitoun and other militant groups to target foreigners, we assess that international forces and Westerners in Mali, especially in central and north regions, will continue to face elevated threat of attacks in the near and mid-term. Clashes between CMA, GATIA continue in Anefis in violation of ceasefire signed on June 20 Following GATIA s recapture on August 17 of Anefis, a strategically located town 100 km southwest of Kidal, the CMA suspended its participation in the UN peace agreement monitoring committee and conditioned its renewal on GATIA s withdrawal from the town. At the time of writing, GATIA had reportedly agreed to leave the town, although previous promises by GATIA have not been followed through in the past. GATIA's apparent concession to the CMA is likely due to heavy pressure from the Malian government and international community following. That said, high levels of mistrust will likely remain an obstacle to the successful implementation of the agreement, limiting its impact on the ground and risking further ceasefire violations by GATIA and the CMA. In this context, we assess that the security situation in northern Mali remains volatile. 9Page

10 HIGH RISK Nigeria Buhari increasingly demonstrates commitment to structural reforms in oil and defense. Boko Haram employs wide tactical spectrum, yet balance vis-a-vis military is unfazed. Travel to Lagos and Abuja may continue while maintaining heightened vigilance for militancy and crime and following general security protocols. Buhari probes defense contracts, cancels NNPC processing agreements, oil swap deals President Muhammadu Buhari s new initiatives continued to emphasize the fight against corruption. This includes a probe into arms and equipment purchases for the Armed Forces made since 2007, announced on August 24. Similarly, on August 25 a presidential spokesperson reportedly announced the cancellation of all offshore crude oil processing agreements and crude oil swap deals for refined products between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and oil traders, which were designed to mitigate the limited capacity of the country s oil treatment facilities. These have been criticized for corruption. This follows previous measures, such as the replacement of Nigeria s security and military chiefs, and the board of directors of the NNPC. While earlier, such steps could have been perceived to be mere gestures, Buhari continues to demonstrate commitment to structural reforms in key sectors. At this time, the extent of potential backlash from the established actors in the aforementioned sectors remains to be seen. Meanwhile, in the short term, such measures may result in disruptions to normal fuel distribution in the country, as the NNPC s foreign contracts played a key role in bolstering its limited production capacity. In the medium term, grievances among Niger Delta militants and oil-industry unions, who have benefited from the status quo, may seek to reverse the tide on reform initiatives. This can materialize in higher number of strikes and other industrial actions, as well as increased attacks against state and foreign-owned installations. This was highlighted on August 18 when a multinational oil company suspended operations in the Obagi oilfield, located 85 km northwest of Port Harcourt, due to oil spillage from a nearby pipeline, suspected to be the result of sabotage. Boko Haram instigated daily attacks in strategic landscape that remains unfazed During the period of this report, Boko Haram continued their elevated insurgency in northeastern Nigeria. This included high casualty suicide attacks and large scale militant raids, an ambush against the Army Chief, kidnappings, as well as slitting villagers throats in outlying regions. These reflect the current strategic balance in northeastern Nigeria. Boko Haram continues to effectively execute a large number of attacks making use of a wide spectrum of tactical capabilities, ranging from unsophisticated attacks to high casualty bombings. The Nigerian and regional security forces, while successfully preventing the militants from regaining their previous control over large swaths of land, have demonstrated their inability to secure the areas recaptured over recent months. 10Page

11 HIGH RISK Sudan Continued violence between Sudanese troops, SPLM-N rebels reflects ongoing insecurity. President Omar al-bashir calls for dialogue, ceasefire with rebels unlikely to result in lasting end to conflict. Travel to Khartoum may continue while adhering to stringent security protocols regarding the threat of criminality. Continued violence between government forces, SPLM-N rebel factions, as President Bashir calls for renewal of national dialogue Over the past month, clashes between government and Sudan People s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) rebel forces have continued in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. These developments include the alleged capturing of strategic locales, the Gadier and Abu Grain garrisons by SPLM-N rebels in South Kordofan on August 12. In addition SPLM-N forces allegedly repelled an offensive by the Sudanese Army on August 17, killing at least ten soldiers in the Jebel Kolgo area of Blue Nile State. Following this flare-up of violence, on August 20 President al-bashir offered a two month ceasefire to rebel factions in Sudan, as well as amnesty for the rebels who decide to participate in the renewal of a national dialogue with opposition and rebel groups on October 10. It remains likely that al-bashir s call for a ceasefire and renewal of the reconciliation process with the opposition and rebel factions is a politically motivated attempt to gain legitimacy and calm tensions by fulfilling promises made during his presidential campaign. It is also likely intended to improve his regional and international standing amidst his ongoing indictment at the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Darfur. We further assess that it is unlikely that al-bashir s ceasefire offer will result in a lasting end to the conflict, particularly given the rebels longstanding claims for autonomy that the government is unlikely to grant. As such, the South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions remain at risk of further clashes between rebel and government forces in the near future. 11Page

12 MEDIUM RISK Angola New law places significant restrictions on foreign investors. Travel to Luanda can continue at this time while adhering to basic security precautions. New Private Investment Law concerning foreign investors On August 11, the Angolan Parliament passed the Private Investment Law, placing new restrictions on foreign investors, which require foreign companies to operate using an Angolan bank and face restrictions on currency transfers to other countries. Moreover, the law stipulates that investors in strategic sectors of telecommunications, electricity, construction, water, technology and transportation must transfer the control of at least 35 percent of their shares to an Angolan partner. However, the energy sector, including oil firms, was not included in the list. The new regulations underscore the government s ongoing efforts to improve the difficult economic situation by regulating foreign investment. While the new law may decrease new investments in the aforementioned strategic sectors, the decision to exclude oil companies highlights the attempt to prevent damaging that industry, Angola s biggest source of income. Nevertheless, we assess that additional fiscal regulations are likely in the near-term in order to halt the economic deterioration and promote Angolan participation in foreign owned businesses. 12Page

13 MEDIUM RISK 42 candidates affiliated with Compaore banned from October elections despite ruling by ECOWAS against such restrictions while other candidates validated. Police station near Mali, Niger border tri-point attacked by Islamists on August 23. Burkina Faso Travel to Ouagadougou may continue while maintaining heightened vigilance and adhering to general security protocols. Restrictions against Compaore-era ministers On August 25, the Constitutional Council declared 42 candidates, planning to present themselves as candidates in the upcoming October elections as ineligible. In response, on August 26, Compaore-affiliated parties called for nonviolent civil disobedience. That said, on August 29 the Compaore affiliated Congress for Democracy and Progress (CDP) decided to participate in the elections as the constitutional council validated several candidates despite their previous affiliation. The Constitutional Council s ruling comes in contradiction to the July ruling by the court of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) against a new Burkinabe law that banned electoral candidates affiliated to Compaore. Therefore this may prompt criticism from various elements; however, concrete measures remain unlikely given the relative stability achieved by transitional authorities ahead of the elections. Meanwhile, concerning the call for civil disobedience, given the diminished popular support for Compaore-affiliated parties, as well as the lack of any manifestations of such civil disobedience since the call, we assess that notable incidents of unrest remain unlikely. Lastly, the call by the CDP to participate in the elections and the validation of several of their candidates highlights a further relaxation of tensions ahead of the elections. Police station attacked near Malian, Nigerien, Burkinabe tri-border area attacked On August 23 a police station in the remote northern town of Oursi situated near the triborder area adjacent to Niger and Mali was attacked by three unidentified assailants. According to local sources, the gunmen were searching for Christians while ordering locals to flee. As a result, a policemen was killed and another individual was severely injured. In addition, the gunmen claimed to be affiliated with the Lake Chad Basin-based Boko Haram. While it is not possible to corroborate the level of the affiliation, if any, between the attackers and Boko Haram, given the distance between the attack and Boko Haram s main area of operations, and that the group has not conducted any known activity in the area, we assess that the relationship is likely relatively loose, with the gunmen possibly being local sympathizers of the Islamist militant group. That said, the porous borders in the Sahel region have enabled widespread proliferation of firearms as well as facilitated the movement of Islamist elements, and thus, it remains possible that the aforementioned gunmen had contact with Boko Haram leaders and did conduct the attack with direct support from the latter. That said, attacks on Burkinabe soil by Islamists remain rare, and at this point there is no indication that the aforementioned incident is anything more than an isolated event. 13Page

14 MEDIUM RISK Burundi Newly formed Nkurunziza government includes five former opposition members; reflects weakening, fragmented opposition amid risk of more localized, targeted political violence. Those traveling to Burundi are advised to maintain increased vigilance in light of recent violent unrest and heightened political tensions. Those operating in the country are advised to confirm itineraries as well as examine emergency contingency evacuation procedures in case of devolution in the security situation. President Nkurunziza's new cabinet highlights fragmentation in opposition ranks On August 25, five days after President Pierre Nkurunziza was sworn in for a highly controversial third term in office, his cabinet was announced. Notably, five lower-level cabinet posts were allocated to affiliates of Agathon Rwasa, former leader of the opposition coalition, who has agreed to serve as Deputy Parliamentary Speaker. Alain- Guilllaume Bunyoni, a top Nkurunziza loyalist, who was instrumental in the crackdown on opposition protests over recent months, was reportedly returned to his position as the Ministry of Public Security. Two other security officials were also appointed as Nkurunziza s chiefs of staff. In previous weeks, localized bouts of violence were recorded in opposition strongholds of Bujumbura with grenade attacks in Musaga and Jabe, as well as gunfire reported in the Ngagara and Cibitoke districts. The cabinet's composition reflects the fragmentation within the opposition ranks between a faction led by Rwasa, who have agreed to back the "unity government", and those who have denounced the appointment of regime hardliners, like Bunyoni, to key cabinet posts. This, in turn renders an inclusive national dialogue to defuse political tensions increasingly unlikely. Furthermore, the decision by Rwasa and the five Ministers from the former opposition coalition to serve in Nkurunziza's government will significantly weaken the opposition camp. Given the weakened and fragmented opposition ranks, we assess that a renewal of large-scale anti-government protests is unlikely. In the meantime, security risks are expected to take the form of localized politically-motivated violence in opposition strongholds in Bujumbura and outlying areas as well as targeted tit-for-tat killings of high-profile individuals affiliated with the Nkurunziza regime and the opposition camp. Furthermore, the appointment of regime hardliner Bunyozi as Minister of Public Security signals Nkurunziza's continued intention to intimidate, arrest and crack down on political opponents in a bid to consolidate power and restore security to the capital. 14Page

15 MEDIUM RISK Cameroon Multiple Boko Haram attacks continue to be recorded in the Extreme North Region, reinforcing a trend of lacking regional cooperation, plagued by mutual mistrust. Travel to Douala and Yaounde may continue, while it is advised to refrain from nonessential travel to outlying areas, and against all travel to the Extreme North and eastern border regions due to volatile security conditions. Despite augmented discussion of MNJTF, Boko Haram continues to operate in Extreme North Region Continuing a trend noted in previous months, particularly in July, the month of August witnessed high levels of Boko Haram activity in the Extreme North. This comes despite the announced deployment of 2,000 additional troops to the area. Some notable examples include an August 4 assault in which at least seven people were killed and dozens kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram gunmen in Tchakamari, a village located north of Maroua, capital of the Extreme North Region. Similarly, on August 23, militants reportedly attacked Manawadji, near the Nigerian border, killing four villagers and abducting dozens more. According to unconfirmed reports, the militants took the abducted villagers across the border into Nigeria. Against this backdrop, President Paul Biya announced that in addition to the aforementioned deployment of 2,000 additional troops to the Extreme North, Cameroon will contribute 2,450 troops to the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a regional framework for cooperation against Boko Haram. However, military cooperation in the region has significant limitations. For example, following an attack on August 24-26, in which suspected militant killed dozen, unconfirmed local reports cited a military source as stating that the Cameroonian forces ability to pursue the assailants is restricted since they are not able to operate on Nigerian soil. This comes despite standing arrangements facilitating cross-border operations, which have existed in formal agreements, but have been repeatedly undermined on the ground. Such mutual mistrust and poor coordination have plagued the regional counterinsurgency campaign in the area for several years. All the while, cross-border access has facilitated militants' activity in their core theatre of operations in northeastern Nigeria, as well as in neighboring countries. This trend has been reinforced during the month of August, and is likely to continue during the coming weeks and months, despite augmented discussion of the MNJTF. 15Page

16 MEDIUM RISK Chad Counterinsurgency operations against Boko Haram continue in Lake Chad Basin, amid US Embassy warnings of heightened risks of militant attacks in N'Djamena. Travel to N Djamena and Mondou, may continue at this time while maintaining elevated security measures regarding potential civil, political unrest. US Embassy's militancy warnings reflects Boko Haram's resilient operational capabilities On August 28, the US Embassy in N'Djamena prohibited its personnel from conducting travel other than between their residences and the embassy, citing security risks following Boko Haram suicide bomb attacks in June and July. The Embassy had previously warned US citizens on August 17 from visiting public venues such as open-air markets and restaurants in N'Djamena. Meanwhile, the Chadian military continued its counterinsurgency operation against Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, with five militants and two soldiers reportedly killed on August 5 during clashes on Tchoukou Telia Island located on the border with Nigeria's Borno State. Despite increased counterinsurgency operations by Nigerian and Chadian-led regional troops in Nigeria's northeastern regions, the Tchoukou Telia clashes demonstrates the ongoing security risks posed by Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin border area. We therefore assess that there is an ongoing risk of further militant attacks in the area over the coming weeks and months, given Boko Haram's capacity to launch cross-border attacks from Nigeria across Lake Chad's vast network of small islands and swamplands. We further assess that the militants' operational reach extends to N Djamena given its close proximity to Boko Haram s core theater of operations in the Lake Chad Basin, pattern of recent militant attacks, and raids on alleged Boko Haram cells in the capital. This assessment is further strengthened by the progressive increase in the level of security warnings issued by the US Embassy over the past weeks regarding the risk of further militant attacks in the capital. 16Page

17 MEDIUM RISK Ethiopia ONLF kills up to five Chinese nationals, six Ethiopian soldiers, injures Educational Minister in mid-august, clashes with security forces on July Muslim activists sentenced for long prison terms on August 3, as 12 protesters killed by security forces on August 14 Travel to Addis Ababa may continue while adhering to general security protocols with regards to risk of civil unrest and the underlying threat of militant attacks. ONLF Militancy Reports from August 18 indicate that the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) ambushed a convoy escorting Chinese oil workers near Dalaad village, located approximately 25 km east of the city of Kebri Dahar in the Ogaden Region of eastern Ethiopia. Conflicting reports place the number of Chinese nationals killed between one and five. In addition, the Minister of Education was injured and at least six Ethiopian soldiers were killed in the attack. Separately, at least nine Ethiopian soldiers were killed and an additional ten injured in several clashes with ONLF, which were recorded in the Ogaden Region between July 27 and July 29. The targeting of the Chinese nationals is notable, given that they were likely deliberately targeted due to the ONLF's opposition to government-backed foreign investment in the Ogaden Region. Therefore, we assess that foreigners operating or travelling in Ogaden will continue to face threat of additional attacks by the ONLF. Meanwhile, the abovementioned targeting of Ethiopian soldiers and high-ranked government figures is indicative of the ONLF's continued efforts to undermine the role and legitimacy of the Ethiopian government as the authority in Ogaden, which ONLF claims to belong to Ogaden people. In this context, we assess that additional clashes between the parties will take place over the coming weeks and months. 18 Muslim activists sentenced for long prison terms on August 3 On August 3, reports indicated that the Federal High Court reportedly sentenced 18 Muslim activists in July for jail terms ranging from seven to 22 years over allegations of terrorism and conspiring to create an Islamic State in Ethiopia. The individuals were arrested three years ago during protests against perceived government interference in religious affairs. Meanwhile, on August 14, at least 12 protesters were killed, 56 were injured, and another 54 were arrested during anti-government protest in Menge District, located in the Asosa Zone of the Benishangui-Gumuz Region. Local accounts claimed that security forces used live ammunition in order to disperse the protesters. The aforementioned incidents are indicative of the continued political persecution and violent crackdowns on activists and those who oppose the regime in the country. Given the implementation of the heavy-handed policies, including use of live ammunition, by the security forces in Ethiopia, we assess that further protests and demonstrations are liable to witness casualties. 17Page

18 MEDIUM RISK Government, opposition agree to conduct peaceful elections on October 11. Guinea Exiled former junta leader Camara fails to return to country, withdraws candidacy. Travel to Conakry may continue while maintaining heightened vigilance and adhering to general security protocols. As a general security precaution, we advise to avoid all large gatherings and protests given the associated security risks. Government, opposition agree to conduct peaceful elections in October The beginning of August saw no major changes in the political sphere as the dialogue between the opposition and President Conde's administration were in deadlock. On August 11 Conde officially set October 11 as the date for the presidential elections, thus prompting the opposition to call for a renewal of street protests on August 17, leading to several smallscale incidents of unrest. Meanwhile, the imprisonment of an opposition Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) Member of Parliament following a violent incident at a local car dealership further strained the relationship between the government and the opposition. The opposition, which viewed the arrest as politically-motivated, called for a "dead city" protest in Conakry on August 12. This event was partially observed, while another UFDG "dead city" protest on August 18, saw greater participation in upper Conakry's opposition strongholds and was accompanied by instances of unrest. Amidst these events, President Alpha Conde and the opposition led by Cellou Dalein Diallo signed an agreement on August 20 to conduct peaceful elections on October 11. In conclusion of the two-month long negotiations, which broke down repeatedly, the government agreed to grant representation to opposition representatives in a third of local governments and replaced several members of the electoral commission with opposition members. While agreements between the opposition and the government haven't been stable, we assess that this one significantly lowered political tensions between the sides and prevented an electoral boycott, which could have led the country to major turbulences. Exiled former junta leader Camara fails to return to country, withdraws candidacy The return of the controversial leader, indicted in June for his alleged responsibility in the killing of 150 people in 2009, was delayed on August 15 and 26 as Ivory Coast prevented Camara from flying into Guinea, in a likely attempt by the Guinean government to avoid disruptions to the political status quo. On August 27, Camara withdrew his candidacy from the presidential elections. Notwithstanding Camara s unclear support base, as well as his inability to return from exile, his potential arrest in the future will likely lead to unrest, especially near Conakry s airport and in his home town of Nzerekore. Moreover, while it is unclear whether his previous alliance with UFDG leader Diallo will hold in the case of his arrest, the opposition condemned the "deceitful" methods employed by Conde to prevent his return. 18Page

19 MEDIUM RISK Ivory Coast Dissident FPI faction announces boycott of October presidential polls Violence related to youth criminal groups leads to increased security deployments in Abidjan Travel to Abidjan may continue, while maintaining heightened vigilance for crime and social unrest. Former President Laurent Gbagbo's supporters announce boycott of upcoming polls A dissident faction of the opposition Popular Ivorian Front (FPI) party, which claims that former President Laurent Gbagbo should be the FPI s candidate for the October presidential elections, announced on August 18 its intention to boycott the vote. According to the group, current FPI president Pascal Affi N Guessan does not represent the party and is not a legitimate candidate. Moreover, the faction criticized the upcoming elections, claiming that they are bound to be unfair, given the alleged bias of the country s electoral commission and constitutional court towards incumbent President Alassane Ouattara. Although the dissident FPI faction previously announced its rejection of the candidacy of N Guessan, the latest announcement is notable given that, as the presidential polls approach, the party s persistent division is likely to undermine N Guessan s support ahead of the vote. Increased security deployments announced in Abidjan, following microbes violence On August 6, clashes between youth criminal groups, known as microbes, were recorded in the Abobo area of north Abidjan, with the use of machetes and firearms being reported. In addition, on August 13 local residents attacked a local youth criminal group in the Yopougon area of western Abidjan. As a result of the public lynching, two microbes were killed, one was gravely injured, and Ivorian security forces were deployed in the area in order to quell the unrest. Unconfirmed reports indicated that the incident came in the wake of the murder of a young woman allegedly carried out by one of these criminal groups on August 11. Elevated tensions between microbes criminal gang and local residents have remained a constant issue in certain districts of Abidjan, where residents perceive them to be operating with impunity. Consequently, the Director General (DG) of Police Bredou M Bai announced that an increased security presence would be witnessed in six districts of Abidjan from August 20. Moreover, the DG indicated that the frequency of crime has not increased, but the deployment would be implemented in order to combat insecurity. Nevertheless, we assess that the deployment will have a limited effect on curbing crime in the sprawling Ivorian capital due to the relative ineffectiveness of previous similar measures taken by authorities. 19Page

20 MEDIUM RISK Kenya Inter-communal violence, al-shabaab cross-border incursions highlight continued insecurity in Kenya's outlying regions despite comparative decrease in attacks over past month. Travel to Nairobi may continue at this time while adhering to stringent security protocol due to the threat of militancy and high levels of criminality. Essential travel to Mombasa can continue while practicing vigilance against militancy and religiously motivated unrest. Inter-communal violence, al-shabaab incursions indicate insecurity in outlying region During the month of August, Kenya s outlying regions witnessed a spate of intercommunal clashes in Coast Province between Wardei pastoralists and Giriama famers in the Tana River County as well as between rival herdsmen in Marasabit County. Additionally, despite the relative decrease of al-shabaab activity in the past month, the risk of militancy continues to contribute to insecurity in the northeastern region. This is underscored by the July 31 arrest of six individuals in Mombasa due to suspected links to al-shabaab as well as the August 15 cross-border incursion of approximately 100 heavily armed al-shabaab militants into the village of Basuba, situated in the Lamu East Sub- County. The militants reportedly gathered residents and preached to them for approximately one hour prior to retreating. Moreover, the government suspended stone quarrying operations in Mandera East Constituency due to alleged security concerns on August 11. While these incidents highlight the ongoing security concerns in Kenya s outlying regions, they are indicative of different challenges facing Kenyan security forces. Intercommunal clashes are a common and longstanding occurrence in Kenya, as tensions between neighboring communities are often caused by sectarian cleavages, and a general scarcity of land and resources, which contribute to the cyclical nature of such violence. Given the cyclical nature of such attacks and the widespread proliferation of arms, additional intercommunal attacks are likely to be recorded in the Coast Province and other outlying regions in the near term. Separately, the al-shabaab cross-border incursion highlights the trend of nonviolent, temporary incursions into small villages in eastern Kenya, where militants preach their strict version of Islam prior to retreating. In this context, we assess that the militant group is likely attempting to increase its support base amongst local residents. We further assess that the militant arrests and suspension of stone quarrying activity indicate the continued counterinsurgency measures undertaken by the government and security forces. Despite these efforts, we continue to assess that al-shabaab retains the operational capabilities to conduct large scale, cross-border incursions from Somalia, maintaining the highly volatile security situation in the northeastern Kenyan border regions. 20Page

21 MEDIUM RISK Mauritania Parliament passes new anti-slavery bill while court upholds anti-slavery activists' sentence. Travel to Nouakchott may continue while adhering to general security protocols with regards to risk of civil unrest and the underlying threat of militant attacks. Prison sentence of anti-slavery activists upheld, as new law restricts NGOs On July 21, a Mauritanian court upheld a two-year prison sentence given to three antislavery activists in January, including Biram Ould Abeid, a candidate in the 2014 presidential race and the head of the Initiative for the Resurgence of the Abolitionist Movement (IRA). The three were arrested in November 2014 during an anti-slavery demonstration and accused of taking part in an illegal organization, leading an unauthorized march, and acting violently against police forces. Meanwhile, the Mauritanian Parliament passed a new anti-slavery law on August 11, stating that slavery is now a crime against humanity, while also doubling the related prison sentence to 20 years. In addition, the new bill restricts the activities of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that wish to assist slavery victims in Mauritania. Despite slavery being abolished in 1981 and becoming a criminal act in 2007, more than 150,000 people are considered to be living as slaves in the country, according to the Global Slavery Index. While the new anti-slavery law may indicate the government's will to fully eradicate slavery in the country, the court's decision to uphold the sentence of anti-slavery activists highlights authorities' continued crackdown on human rights activists rather than on slave-owners. Moreover, the reported decision to include restrictions on NGOs involved in the issue, further underscores the apparent low tolerance by authorities towards human rights organizations. As such, we assess that Mauritanian authorities are unlikely to begin targeting people who are engaged in slavery in the near-term, specifically given that only one person has been convicted under the previous law while the charges in other cases were transformed to "unpaid labor". 21Page

22 MEDIUM RISK Mozambique Renamo leader reiterates threat of a forcible seizure of provinces, as fighters ambush security forces in Tete Province Travel to Mozambique may continue while adhering to stringent security protocols, and refraining from nonessential travel to outlying areas. Longstanding tensions between government and Renamo remain elevated, without significant devolution of the situation On August 21 Afonso Dhlakama, the opposition Renamo leader, reiterated his intentions to forcibly take control of the central and northern provinces of the country during a meeting of the movement s armed wing. Dhlakama announced a series of actions to be implemented over the near-term, which include the creation of police and army forces as well as establishing Renamo s headquarters in the Morrumbala District of Zambezia Province. In addition, on August 22 Renamo fighters ambushed security forces in Moatize District, Tete Province, placing a dozen barricades along their patrol route, without casualties being reported by either side. Previously, and despite a ceasefire signed in August 2014, confrontations between the two sides occurred on July 3-4 as well as on July 24 in Tete Province. On August 24, following this incident, President Nyusi stated that he will invite Dhlakama to a meeting aimed at promoting peace in the country. The recurring threats by Dhlakama over recent months regarding the forceful manner in which Renamo would take control over the provinces in which it won a majority in the previous elections come in the context of longstanding tensions with the government as well as the ongoing conciliatory talks. Given that Dhlakama s previous similar threats have not materialized, we assess that these hold a low potential of materializing this time as well. In this context, the announcement is also a part of a longstanding dispute and heightened rhetoric between Renamo and the Mozambican government, likely aimed at increasing future political gains. In light of the recent combative rhetoric by Dhlakama, Tete Province has been the scene of intermittent localized clashes between government forces and Renamo combatants in recent months. However, Renamo has not claimed responsibility for the abovementioned attack. As such, we assess that the combatants behind the attack have only a loose affiliation to the central leadership of the group. In sum, while longstanding tensions between the sides remain elevated, we assess that both Nyusi and Dhlakama will likely try to avoid a drastic devolution of the situation. 22Page

23 MEDIUM RISK Niger New opposition coalition headed by former President Ousmane formed to challenge President Issoufou, promote free and fair elections. Decline in Boko Haram attacks in Diffa Region. Travel to Niamey may continue while maintaining heightened vigilance and adhering to general security protocols. New opposition coalition formed by former President Mahame Ousmane On August 18, Niger s main opposition parties, civil society organizations and trade unions in the country established a new opposition coalition named the Patriotic Republican Front (FPR) in order to challenge President Issoufou and promote free, transparent, and fair elections. The figure agreed upon by the parties to lead the coalition is former President Ousmane, who led the country from Another important figure in this newly formed alliance is Hama Amadou, who is currently in exile in France on charges of babytrafficking, a claim he has repeatedly denied and condoned as political persecution. While the extent and stability of the aforementioned alliance remains to be seen, we assess that the government may take efforts to weaken it. This may include attempts by Issoufou to coopt members of the opposition in order to fracture the new alliance, or by targeting additional members of the opposition with legal measures, such as seen with the lifting of immunity for the leader of the opposition Moden Fa Lumana Africa Party, Bakary Seidou, in July. Furthermore, given that Amadou remains in exile, the depth and extent of his contribution to the alliance may be restricted. In any case, in the lead-up to elections, there are liable to be various shifts within political alliances, while political tensions will likely increase gradually over the coming months. Decline in Boko Haram attacks in Diffa Region during month of August In recent months, the Diffa Region adjacent to Nigeria s northeast and situated in the restive Lake Chad Basin was plagued by recurring attacks by Boko Haram. For example, during the month of July, at least 21 civilians were killed, while several clashes between Boko Haram militants and security forces took place in the region. That said, during August only one attack was recorded, resulting in the death of three civilians. Nevertheless, despite this relative reduction, it is too preliminary to determine whether this is indicative of a new trend or trajectory with regards to Boko Haram activity in the Diffa Region or rather just one month of reduced incidents. However, while the group is liable to conduct additional attacks over the coming months in Niger, we assess that security force measures likely have had an impact on the militant group s operational capabilities in the country. 23Page

24 MEDIUM RISK Senegal Presidential candidate Karim Wade's verdict upheld by the Supreme Court, as PDS opposition party continues struggle for his release. Following several nationwide strikes, negotiations continue between government, SAMES medical union amid threat of further labor action. Travel to Dakar may continue while maintaining heightened vigilance and adhering to general security protocols. Supreme Court rejects Karim Wade's appeal Reports released on August 22 indicate that the opposition Democratic Party of Senegal (PDS) and the Patriotic Front for the Defense of the Republic (FDDF) parties vowed to continue their struggle by organizing rallies for the release of Karim Wade, the opposition's candidate for the 2017 presidential elections. On August 20, the Senegalese Supreme Court upheld the six-year sentence handed to Wade on March 23 on charges of corruption during his tenure as Minister of State under his father Abdoulaye Wade's previous government despite an appeal. Prior to the appeal decision, security forces used tear gas and arrested several people during a protest for the release of Wade, organized by the PDS party on August 19 in the capital Dakar. In spite of the opposition's intention to continue with protests against Wade's verdict, we assess that the potential for additional demonstrations in the near-term exists but remains low, mainly since the PDS has not engaged in any civil action after the appeal ruling. Furthermore, we assess that the likelihood and frequency of such protests are likely to continue to decrease over the long-run given that Wade will not be able to appeal again and thus will have to serve his six-year term in prison. Moreover, we assess that the PDS will likely be forced to choose a different presidential candidate over the coming months, leading to potential infighting within the party and opposition coalition over rival candidates. SAMES medical union vows to continue fight for better working conditions The Secretary General of the Autonomous Union of Doctors of Senegal (SAMES), Boly Diop, announced on August 23 that the union will continue its struggle for improved working conditions while additional reports indicate that negotiation with the government are still ongoing. The SAMES conducted multiple 72-hour nationwide strikes during the recent months, as the latest one took place on August Given that SAMES conducted several strikes over recent months and has not been able to reach a settlement with the government, we assess that the union grievances are unlikely to be comprehensively resolved in the near future. As such, and given recent statements by the SAMES union leadership, we assess that additional labor actions are likely to be witnessed in the coming weeks. 24Page

25 MEDIUM RISK South Africa Significant increase in number of cops killed during criminal incidents. Major road reconstruction works to commence in September in Johannesburg. Travel to Pretoria, Johannesburg and Cape Town can continue as normal while adhering to heightened vigilance against possible criminality. Number of police officers killed on duty by armed criminals significantly increased On August 21-22, two police officers were killed on duty by armed criminals in different areas of Gauteng Province. These events follow previous killings of at least four officers between August 3-6 in Pretoria and Johannesburg. According to the South African Police Service (SAPS), more than 61 police officers have been killed in the country since January, an increase from 47 cops killed over the same time period in The recurrence of violent incidents involving the death of police officers serves to highlight the levels of criminality rampant throughout South Africa in general and in the Gauteng Province specifically. In addition, the ineffectiveness of SAPS to locate the criminals as well as the high number of police personnel killed since January highlight the structural inability of the authorities to respond to the persistent violence directed at police officers. 25Page

26 MEDIUM RISK Uganda Political developments, including arming of youth, are indicative of tensions and potential for unrest between opposition, government supporters and security forces. Travel to Kampala may continue while adhering to general security protocols with regards to criminal threats, ethnic violence and the persistent risk of militant attacks. Political tensions, clashes, crackdown of opposition indicate risk of violence during campaign period The past month has witnessed a variety of notable developments, which have influenced the political climate in the country and tone of the electoral season. On July 31, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi declared his intent to run as an independent candidate, following a number of hurdles perceived by some as political persecution. For example, at the time of writing Mbabazi's slated campaign has been held back, after the police failed to approve his requested schedule. In tandem, opposition campaign gatherings have often been met with a forcible response from security forces, whereas events in support of incumbent President Yoweri Museveni where most commonly uninterrupted. This includes an opposition protest on August 11 in the town of Pajule, which was forcibly dispersed by security forces, compared with a pro-museveni protest on August 14, which concluded without incident. Moreover, on August 18, President Yoweri Museveni authorized the arrest of politicians accused of engaging in 'sectarian acts', warning that they would be pursued in accordance with the law. The opposition party Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) announced the formation of an armed youth group on August 21. The Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, who is also affiliated with the opposition camp, announced a similar group on August 24. Both organizations are thought to be in response to a pro-government militia led by Major Roland Kakooza Mutale in the Luweero District. These developments underscore the elevated political tensions between supporters of the incumbent government and potential challengers, while highlighting the potential for such tensions to devolve into unrest. Museveni s August 18 declaration is likely to further strengthen security forces' inclination to use forcible measures against opposition candidates, facilities and events. A similar threat is posed by pro-government militias. It is in this context that opposition groups have opted to form armed civilian forces, further increasing the risk of unrest during the electoral period. At this time, there is insufficient evidence to determine that large scale violence is imminent, yet political tensions, and associated risks, continue to mount. 26Page

27 LOW RISK Ghana Ghana Medical Association strikes for over three weeks, demanding improved conditions. Amidst soaring inflation, looming elections, government to balance unions' demands and foreign credit conditions. Travel to Accra may continue at this time while avoiding nonessential travel to outlying areas and Greater Accra suburbs due to volatile security conditions. Doctors strike for over three weeks From July 30 to August 23, the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) engaged in a strike action that involved the withdrawal of all outpatient department services, and later that of emergency services in the public health sector. The striking workers demanded improvements in the terms of their employment, such as the formula through which overtime is calculated. The GMA suspended the strike despite the fact that no agreement has been reached with the government. Instead, it was said that negotiations will continue. This has been a high profile challenge to President John Mahama. In the past, paralyzing strikes and other protest actions have resulted in generous pay raises in Ghana s public sector. At this time, however, Mahama faces external pressure by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has conditioned its loan to the country on strict containment of expenditure, in particular of the wage bill and subsidies. In this context Mahama, who is expected to seek re-election in the 2016 general elections, has to balance external pressure from the IMF with domestic pressure from labor unions, which see their salaries eroding from high inflation rates, which in July stood at 17.9 percent year-on-year. 27Page

28 LOW RISK Sierra Leone Gold, diamond exports suffer significant Ebola-related decrease in second half of Travel to Freetown may continue at this time, while adhering to stringent security precautions regarding criminal activity, and practicing heightened health precautions and proper hygiene due to the Ebola epidemic. Significant decrease in gold, diamond exports reported due to Ebola Recent reports indicate that on August 22, Sierra Leonean government sources announced a significant decrease in gold and diamond exports in the second half of Gold exports dropped nearly 300 percent from approximately 11,751 grams in January to 3,900 grams by July, causing revenues to significantly drop from 433,000 USD to 132,000 USD. Diamond exports were cut in half with a decrease from 64.5 thousand carats in April to approximately 35.6 carrots in July. That said, the economic turmoil coincides with reports from August 11 indicating that the year-long Ebola-related ban on large public gatherings, sporting events, nightclubs, cinemas and markets was lifted due to political and social pressure, due to reduced cases of Ebola. On August 15 Sierra Leone lifted its last major Ebola quarantine in the country. The decrease in revenues highlights the severe impact of Ebola on Sierra Leone s economy, which was sub-saharan Africa's second-fastest growing economy prior to its outbreak. The financial developments coincide with the June 2015 decision by the Sierra Leone government to lower its economic forecast for 2015 by 20 percent. These circumstances highlight the financial ramifications of Ebola, driven by interruptions to the operations of large sectors of the economy. As such, should the significant strides made against Ebola be sustained, we assess that Sierra Leone will experience a gradual economic recovery with the assistance of international donors. 28Page

29 LOW RISK Tanzania Opposition coalition UKAWA nominates former PM Edward Lowassa as presidential candidate on August 4, as CMM crackdowns on opposition continue, with additional restrictions on its political activities. Travel to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar may continue at this time while adhering to general security protocols given the potential for militancy and criminal activity. Opposition coalition Ukawa nominates former PM Edward Lowassa as presidential candidate on August 4 On August 4, the opposition coalition UKAWA nominated former Prime Minister (PM) Edward Lowassa as its candidate for the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for October 25. Prior to Lowassa's official nomination, on August 3, the opposition party Chadema announced that its Secretary General, Willibrod Slaa, had left its ranks. Another senior leader, the Civic United Front (CUF) party Chairman Ibrahim Lipumba, also resigned from UKAWA on August 7, following Lowassa s nomination. The resignations of the two prominent opposition leaders highlight tensions within the opposition regarding Lowassa's nomination as UKAWA s presidential candidate. That said, despite the loss of some of its prominent members, Lowassa's popularity and strong base of support carry the potential to significantly improve UKAWA s standing in the general elections. Meanwhile, the government began imposing various restrictions on the political campaigning ahead of the October 25 elections. This includes the August 19 announcement of a ban on political rallies at Uhuru Stadium and the National Stadium, both located in Dar es Salaam. Moreover, police reportedly banned party-affiliated security-teams during campaign and election period, which is slated between August 22 and October 24. According to the police commissioner, Paul Changonja, police forces will carry the responsibility for overall security throughout the electoral period, with legal actions to be taken against potential violators. Furthermore, although later reversed by the electoral commission, a UKAWA rally was banned in Dar es Salaam due to claims that the grounds it was to take place on were previously reserved. Lastly, on August 15, security forces used tear gas to disperse a crowd of Lowassa's supporters along the Arusha-Moshi Road, situated in Arusha, as they were blocking traffic. In this context, regardless of the true motivation behind the aforementioned measures, we assess that they are liable to be perceived as directed against the opposition, as highlighted by statements to this effect by the opposition. As such, we assess that political opposition is liable to increase over the period leading up to the elections, possibly intensifying associated protests, and increasing the potential for unrest. 29Page

30 LOW RISK Zambia Government revises power supply reduction to mining sector, announces termination of electricity subsidies for large companies. Travel to Lusaka may continue while maintaining heightened vigilance against crime and in the vicinity of political gatherings, given the increased potential for unrest. Government revises power supply reduction to mining sector On August 4, President Edgar Lungu reportedly stated that mining companies should seek alternative sources of power. Shortly after, on August 5, the Zambian government announced that it reached an agreement with mining companies to reduce electricity consumption by percent. On August 14, the government announced the termination of electricity subsidies for large companies, so as to insure costs-reflecting tariffs in the domestic energy market. The negotiated 15 percent power reduction to mining companies is significantly lower than the previous target set by the state-owned power cooperation, which on July 7 announced that power supply to mining companies will be reduced by up to 30 percent. The immediate trigger for Zambia's current electricity shortages is a drought experienced over recent months, significantly limiting the country's predominantly hydropower production. In May, at the conclusion of the rainy season in the country, reports estimated that power generation will have to be cut by 25 percent due to poor rainfalls. Structurally, however, Zambia's limited power capacity goes beyond precipitation recorded in a specific season. Decaying facilities and long-term climate changes on the one hand, and population and economic growth on the other, have meant that the country that once exported electricity to its neighbors can now scarcely meet its domestic demand. It is in this context that the government is forced to balance between necessary reductions to power consumption on the one hand, and protection of the copper-mining sector, central to the country's economy on the other. The government s decision to negotiate with mining companies regarding the new electricity policy underscores its will, and need, to support the operations of such firms. 30Page

31 LOW RISK Zimbabwe Labor law amended by parliament amidst continued ZCTU protests against large scale layoffs. 23 of the remaining white-owned farms confiscated by government despite deteriorating economy. Travel to Harare and Bulawayo can continue while adhering to basic security precautions against common criminality. As a general security precaution avoid large gatherings given potential for politically motivated unrest. Parliament amends labor law in attempt to halt recent massive layoffs Parliament amended the Labor Act on August 20 in an effort to curb recent layoffs of more than 18,000 workers in a period of three weeks. According to the new changes, an employer will be able to fire workers only on grounds of misconduct. The amendment followed a Supreme Court's ruling on July 17 that simplified termination of work procedures. According to reports, opposition legislators left a parliamentary session discussing the new amendments after Labor Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, refused to incorporate their proposed changes. Sources indicate that business owners, too, voiced their concern, saying that the new legislation will force employers to pay severance to those fired following the original law, in an already strained financial status. On August 22 police rejected a Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) request to authorize demonstrations against the layoffs in the capital Harare, since the matter is currently being dealt with by the parliament. Moreover, security forces besieged the offices of the ZCTU in Harare on August 12 in an apparent attempt to prevent additional protests against the layoffs, after the union conducted earlier demonstrations on August 8 in Harare, Bulawayo, Gweru, Chinhoyi and Mutare. While the new amendments are aimed at dealing with the extensive job cuts, they are unlikely to significantly improve the situation since employers will still be able to terminate contracts on grounds of misconduct, which can be used broadly. As such, we assess that additional ZCTU demonstrations are likely in the coming weeks. Government confiscates 23 of last remaining white-owned farms On August 15 the government published a list of a commercial white-owned farms to be confiscated and transferred to black Zimbabweans. These exclude six farms owned by white farmers, who in the July were permitted by the Masvingo Provincial government to remain on their lands given their strategic economic importance", a step which was perceived by some as a potential signal that other white farmers will be allowed to stay on their farms, in an attempt to combat economic deterioration. However, a number of sources speculate that the six exempt white farmers' are Zanu-PF supporters. This, together with the August 15 confiscation of another 23 farms, further allude to the fact that President Robert Mugabe's that he is unlikely to change land distribution policies in the near-term. 31Page

South Sudan JANUARY 2018

South Sudan JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 2018 COUNTRY SUMMARY South Sudan In 2017, South Sudan s civil war entered its fourth year, spreading across the country with new fighting in Greater Upper Nile, Western Bahr al Ghazal, and the

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