July 3, 2013

The Situation
Protests in Egypt Continue
Comments

Opposition and Islamist groups continue their respective anti- and pro-government demonstrations throughout Egypt on July 3. While neither opposition groups nor supporters of President Mohammed Morsi have stated specific demonstration plans, the rival groups are likely to continue to protest in well-established rally sites in urban centers throughout the country. Violent clashes between the opposing groups are likely to continue and perhaps worsen as a military-imposed deadline for a political solution passes at approximately 1700 July 3.

Protest activity has been highest in the following areas:
•    Cairo: The Qubba and Ittihadiya presidential palaces, Tahrir Square and the surrounding Interior Ministry complex, the Muslim Brotherhood's headquarters in Moqattem, Cairo University (pro-Morsi), Rabaa al-Adawiya Square (pro-Morsi)
•    Alexandria: the Qaed Ibrahim Mosque and the adjacent Corniche coastal road
•    Port Said: Martyrs' Square (also known as Al-Masala Square)
•    Suez: Arbaeen Square

Additional demonstrations will also occur in Beheira, Beni Suef, El Arish, Ismailiya, Luxor, Mahalla, Mansoura, Tanta and elsewhere.

Transport Disruptions
All areas experiencing high levels of protest activity are subject to significant transport disruptions. Protesters are also likely to block major road and rail routes, including train tracks linking Cairo to Alexandria and the Nile Delta area. Police and military units may also close streets near sensitive sites such as government buildings and military facilities.

The unrest has not affected flight operations at Cairo International Airport (CAI). However, airline tickets may be in high demand in the coming days if the situation continues to worsen. Shipping operations in the Suez Canal Zone also continue to proceed normally.

Foreign Diplomatic Facility Closures and Advisories
The US, UK, and Canadian governments have stated that their diplomatic facilities will remain closed on July 3; such closures are likely to persist until the unrest subsides. These countries have also issued warnings advising their citizens to defer non-essential travel to Egypt. On July 3, the Kuwaiti government urged all of its citizens in Egypt to depart the country immediately due to the unrest.

Additional countries may also close or otherwise restrict access to their respective diplomatic facilities as conditions warrant.

Advice
Continue to shelter in place until security conditions normalize. Strictly avoid all demonstrations due to the potential for violence, if moving about in public is unavoidable. Stay away from government buildings, security installations, and political party offices. Seek updated information on security and road conditions before driving; use alternate routes to avoid downtown areas of major cities. Maintain contact with your diplomatic mission.

Avoid rallying points during times of civil unrest
During periods of heightened civil unrest, maintain as low a profile as possible; undertake only essential travel and avoid large crowds and demonstrations. When possible, travel in groups of two or more. Avoid using public transportation and maintain awareness of your surroundings at all times. If the civil unrest is anti-Western in nature, limit exposure to areas frequented by expatriates.

If caught in a potentially violent situation, immediately seek shelter in upscale hotels or large public buildings, such as libraries, theaters, hospitals, or museums.
Diplomatic missions may temporarily close or suspend public services for security reviews. Even when embassies and consulates are closed to the public, they can still be reached by phone. Some embassies and consulates may require advance appointments, so it is always best to phone ahead. Expatriates should have an individual contingency plan that will allow safe and swift passage from the country should it become necessary.



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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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