|11-09-2005, 12:20 PM||#1|
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Member since: Feb 2005
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Special Client Bulletin
State of Emergency in France
Officials in France declared a state of emergency Nov. 8 and authorized a 12-day curfew in order to rein in unrest that has threatened to spiral out of control in some areas. France and an increasing number of other European nations greet each successive nightfall with anxiety, anticipating another night of violence.
French authorities are using the state of emergency to mobilize police reservists, and the government has deployed 1,500 police and gendarmes to back up the 8,000 officers currently holding the line in areas hit by riots. The nightly rampages in Paris have diminished in intensity leading up to the imposition of the curfew, but violence is still apparent in the other cities, and it will be several tense nights before officials will be able to gauge the success of their efforts to stem the unrest.
The Oct. 27 accidental deaths of two minority teenagers in an electrical sub-station in the northern Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois sparked the initial violence, which quickly spread to a number of predominantly North African Parisian suburbs. Soon thereafter, disaffected youths launched copycat attacks across the country Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including in well-known resort areas like Nice and Cannes, and in larger French cities like Marseille and Toulouse.
One death has thus far been attributed to the mayhem Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a man in Stains who died after being beaten during a riot Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and scores have been injured. Similar, though less intense, attacks have occurred in Brussels, Liege and Brugge, Belgium; Arhus, Denmark; and Bremen, Cologne and Berlin, Germany.
Targeted Areas of Riots and Steps to Halt the Violence
Although rioters have targeted primarily parked vehicles and private businesses, they have also attacked churches, post offices, nursery and primary schools, hospitals, tax offices, town halls, police stations, warehouses and car dealerships. No structure, public or private, appears entirely safe from attack.
Nearly 6,000 cars have been burned and authorities have arrested more than 1,500 people since the beginning of the violence. Officials have announced that they will no longer disclose the number of cars vandalized or destroyed by fire, as they suspect rival gangs may be attempting to outdo each othersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ previous nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tally, thus escalating violence and destruction with each passing night. Authorities have been given permission to search for weapons and to establish checkpoints to monitor incoming and outgoing vehicles. Travelers should, as a precaution, consider taking out greater insurance for rental vehicles, and expect official roadblocks in or near affected areas.
Cities affected by the riots include:
Paris - including Seine-Saint-Denis department
Seine-Maritime and Bouches-du-Rhone regions
Service on Paris' RER Line B was halted Nov. 4 after workers launched a wildcat strike following an attack on a driver traveling through a riot-ravaged suburban area. Although the strike has ended, sporadic, riot- related disruptions continue on transport between Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and Paris, and most travelers have opted for airport shuttle buses or taxis. Lyon's metro system was briefly closed after a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a train car Nov. 8. Rioters have also attacked public transportation buses, which could lead to disruptions in some cities. Further disruptions to train services and other means of transport are possible if violence continues.
Because further violence is likely in the coming days or weeks, the governments of Australia, Japan, Canada, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. have issued precautionary public advisories for their nationals in France. Despite ongoing violence in isolated parts of metropolitan areas across France, travel within and between French cities remains largely unimpeded, and overseas travel providers report no drop in visits to France or other European destinations in the wake of the riots.
Despite an announcement by the Union of Islamic Organizations in France (UOIF) that it had issued a fatwa condemning the violence, unrest is likely to continue and may spread to additional cities and towns. Heavy-handed attempts to restore order may only exacerbate the situation, and organizations with interests in Europe should pay close attention to iJET updates as the security situation after dark is likely to remain fluid.
Even if authorities succeed in restoring relative calm, French leaders, and perhaps all Europeans, will be forced to come to terms with the potentially explosive discontent in neglected suburbs wherein unemployment is rife and residents complain bitterly of racism and discrimination, particularly in the face of increased security imposed and reinforced following the terror attacks over the past few years in the U.S., Spain and the United Kingdom.
Summary and Advice for Corporations and Their Employees:
Travelers should avoid RER Line B to and from ParisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) due to its proximity to unrest, as well as the threat of wildcat strikes by train crews over safety fears.
Copycat attacks have taken place across France Ã¢â‚¬â€œ including in well-known resort areas like Nice and Cannes, as well as larger cities like Marseilles and Toulouse.
Travelers should, as a precaution, consider taking out greater insurance for rental vehicles, and expect official roadblocks in or near affected areas.
Rioters have attacked public buses, which could lead to disruptions in some cities. Further disruptions to train services and other means of transport are possible if violence continues.
Despite disruptions caused by ongoing violence in isolated parts of metropolitan areas across France, travel within and between French cities remains largely unimpeded.
Overseas and inter-European travel providers report no drop in visits to France or other European destinations in the wake of the riots.
Limit after dark travel, as situation remains fluid and spontaneous unrest cannot be ruled out.
If caught in a potentially violent situation, seek shelter in large hotels, department stores or public buildings such as libraries or museums. Avoid government buildings and police stations. Exercise particular caution during evening and nighttime hours as much of the violence is occurring after sundown.
About WorldcueÃ‚Â® GPS
WorldcueÃ‚Â® GPS employs advanced mapping, notification, and intelligence capabilities to make emergency and crisis response more efficient and effective by linking threat information to our clients' global assets. This enables corporate security and risk managers to instantly ascertain how particular events may impact their facilities, operations and people around the world. Learn more
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|11-09-2005, 10:34 PM||#4|
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|11-10-2005, 10:42 AM||#5|
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