Business Travel Advisory – 3/5/19

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AMERICAS

Mexico 
Yesterday, two armed men fatally shot two people during a robbery on a passenger bus in the Iztapalapa area of Mexico City. One of the victims was shot when he attempted to resist the robbery, while the other person was apparently hit by a stray bullet. The incident highlights the risks posed by violent crime in Mexico City. Travelers are advised not to use public transportation in Mexico City.

Venezuela 
Travelers should continue to minimize non-essential movement amid the ongoing political crisis. The opposition is calling on President Nicolas Maduro to resign in favor of Juan Guaido, the National Assembly-recognized interim President. Guaido has called for countrywide demonstrations to continue today at Plaza Bolivar in Valencia and in San Antonio del Tachira. All political gatherings pose the risk of unrest; security forces and pro-government militias, known as “colectivos,” regularly use tear gas, rubber bullets and, occasionally, live ammunition to disperse anti-government protesters.
 

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Algeria
Today, travelers in Algiers should plan journeys accounting for an ongoing protest by students, which has rendered several routes impassable to traffic. The protest, between University of Algiers and Place de la Grande Poste, has blocked Pasteur Avenue and Rue Didouche Mourad, among others.

Burkina Faso 
On February 15, a Spanish priest and at least four other people were killed in an attack near the Togolese border in Koulpelogo province. Approximately 20 unidentified armed men targeted a Customs Station at about 5:00 PM local time in Nohao, around six miles from Bittou, killing the Customs Agents and priest, before fleeing into a nearby forest. The incident serves as a reminder of the travel risks in eastern and northern border regions, where militant and armed groups are known to operate.

Chad 
An increase in the number of measles cases has been reported. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. Measles can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure that they are fully immunized against measles.

Egypt 
Today through Thursday, March 7, travelers in Cairo should expect heightened security and traffic disruption during a summit on Libyan affairs. The Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria will meet for the summit in Tahrir Palace in downtown Cairo. A visibly increased security force presence can be anticipated around the venue and at Cairo International Airport (CAI). Road checkpoints, closures, and diversions are also likely; travelers should allow additional time for journeys in the vicinity. 

Ethiopia 
Travelers in the Bale Mountains National Park should reconfirm transportation and accommodation arrangements due to an ongoing wildfire. Routes may be closed as emergency services attempt to control the fire; some areas of the park remain unaffected.

Lebanon 
Tomorrow, travelers in Beirut should avoid a sit-in at 11:00 AM local time at Riad elSolh Square to minimize inconvenience. The Association of Full-time Professors at Lebanese University has organized the event to demand a salary rise. Local disruption is expected in the vicinity of the sit-in.

Nigeria 
Today, travelers in urban centers of Ogun state should anticipate disruption and avoid protests during a strike by public sector workers from the Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) over unpaid wages and other grievances. The protests are going ahead despite accusations from the state’s Governor Ibikunle Amosun that the strike is politically motivated. Travelers should avoid all related events as security forces are liable to disperse any unauthorized gatherings.

Travelers in Abuja should avoid protests by the Occupy Nigeria movement to denounce the results of the February 23 Presidential Election. Yesterday, the group held a peaceful sit-in at Unity Fountain and vowed to stage daily protests until Friday, March 8. The group also threatened that its supporters may occupy the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
 

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Bangladesh 
Tomorrow, travelers in Dhaka should avoid a planned opposition rally outside the National Press Club. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) plans to form a human chain from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM local time to call for the release of its leader, Khaleda Zia. The BNP chairperson is reportedly in poor health after being imprisoned on corruption charges in February 2018. While the event should be peaceful, it is liable to cause traffic disruption in its vicinity and travelers should avoid the area as a precaution.

China 
Today through March 15, travelers in Beijing should expect increased security and associated disruption due to ongoing ten-day government meetings. Sessions of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference began on March 3, while meetings of the National People’s Congress will begin today. The Great Hall of the People, located at the western edge of Tiananmen Square, is the venue for the sessions. Security measures will include additional police patrols around the Great Hall of the People and in the central Zhongnanhai area, which houses the central government compound. Short-notice road closures are possible.

India 
Today, travelers in the Kashmir Valley and Jammu region should anticipate disruption and protests during a bandh (shutdown strike) called by multiple trade bodies. The bandh has been organized in protest of the Indian government’s recent ban on the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) organization and ongoing legal challenges to the validity of Article 370 and Article 35-A of the Constitution. Travelers in the region should maintain flexible itineraries, minimize road travel where feasible, and avoid all protests as a routine precaution.

Indonesia 
On Thursday, March 7 and Friday, March 8, travelers in Bali should expect significant disruption to travel, telecommunication, and commercial services during the Hindu festival of Nyepi. The festival will be observed for 24 hours beginning at 6:00 AM local time on Thursday, March 7. Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) will cease operations during this period; only emergency landings will be permitted. Roads and ports, such as Benoa, Celukan Bawang, Gilimanuk and Padangbai, are expected to be closed.

Pakistan 
On March 3, limited international flights resumed at Lahore’s Allama Iqbal (LHE) and Faisalabad (LYP) international airports; international flights have also been operating since March 1 out of Islamabad (ISB), Karachi (KHI), Peshawar (PEW), and Quetta (UET) airports. The country’s other airports will remain closed through 1:00 PM local time tomorrow, amid ongoing tensions with India. Travelers should monitor developments closely and expect flight disruption until operations fully normalize.
 

EUROPE

Albania 
Today and March 16, travelers in Tirana should avoid opposition rallies rescheduled to coincide with the next plenary session of Parliament. Demonstrations are expected in the vicinities of Parliament, the Prime Minister’s Office, and other government buildings. While permission for the rally outside Parliament has been denied by authorities, organizers still plan to hold the gathering there, raising the likelihood of local unrest. Called by opposition leader Lulzim Basha, the rallies have been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Edi Rama and a transitional government to prepare for fresh elections. Nationwide protests are also planned for March 16.

United Kingdom 
Today, rail travelers transiting London’s Waterloo Station should reconfirm schedules and expect delays after the station was evacuated earlier today due to reports of a suspicious package.

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