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Security assistance in Egypt
Security support during civil unrest
The 2011 Egyptian Revolution, in which President Hosni Mubarak was ousted from power started off relatively peacefully, with protests, marches and non-violent occupation of plazas. However, following attempts by the police to enforce a government-imposed curfew some protests became violent and some areas of Cairo and other cities, such as Alexandria, Suez and Mansoura in Egypt became dangerous.
An NGS client operating in Cairo requested a full assessment of the security situation, and support for its personnel living in the city. Their focus was initially based around reports in some media that the whole country was unsafe and lawless, as such they were considering full-scale evacuation of their personnel.
NGS had been monitoring the situation in Egypt closely, the NGS security department had been in regular contact with several closed source advisors in Cairo. It was immediately apparent that there were differences between the general media assessment and the information being provided by the local providers and sources giving NGS its intelligence feed.
The focus of the protests in Cairo were centered on Tahrir Square and near government buildings. Other cities had similar areas where the protests and violence were focused. There was also widespread petty and minor crime (as a result of the police being withdrawn on the 28th January) with local neighborhoods forming their own groups to generally maintain good order.
NGS had already identified a number of safe hotels and locations around the city that were suitable for short to medium term hibernation. This was an alternative to conducting a full-scale evacuation and this option was presented to the client. Having agreed the situation was localised the staff would temporarily move to one of the vetted hotels, a further assessment would be carried out every 24 hours. A local security provider arranged a pick up for all staff and escort them to a safe hotel near the Citystars Mall area of the Cairo. A permanent security presence in addition to that being provided to the hotel, was maintained throughout the period the staff were in the hotel.
Six days after the staff were moved to the secure hotel, President Mubarak resigned and handed power to the Council of the Egyptian Armed Forces, this prompted widespread celebrations across Egypt. The clients remained at the hotel for one further day before being allowed home, again escorted by the security team.
Risk management team
Whilst there was localised trouble in Egypt, the use of NGS global network of providers, offered an accurate and unbiased analysis of the unfolding situation allowed the client to remain in country. Moving to a pre-vetted hotel, with good security meant that the staff felt safe and were never threatened, this in turn offered a business continuity solution.