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Nigeria Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains fluid and unpredictable.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel planning.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated July 27, 2015.

The ability of the Mission to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states remains severely limited.  The Department continues to recommend against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.  The Department also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.

Based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy maintains restrictions for travel by U.S. officials to those states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the U.S. Mission for any travel deemed as mission-essential.  U.S. citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.

The U.S. Mission advises all U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.  Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast Nigeria designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State, has claimed responsibility for many attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria.  Its members have killed or wounded thousands of people during the past five years.  Boko Haram has targeted churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Taraba, the Federal Capital Territory, and Yobe states.  Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of violence in the north.

2015 saw an increase in attacks by Boko Haram and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria.  Boko Haram targets men, women, and children for kidnapping and is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes.  For example, in January 2015, Boko Haram attacked the town of Baga in Borno state, resulting in an estimated 2,000 casualties; in January - July 2015 there were attacks and suicide bombings in Adamawa, Plateau, Borno, and Kano states; in October 2015, suicide bombers targeted Abuja and villages in Kuje and Nyanya; and in January 2016, upwards of 80 people, including children, were killed in the village of Dalori.

Various local government curfews are intermittently in effect in several states in the North. All U.S. citizens should remain aware of current situations including curfews, travel restrictions, and states of emergency in the areas they are in or plan to visit.  This information is commonly announced via the news media, but at times it can change with very little notice.  Please take the time to find out this information for your area.

Cell phone service has, at times, been disrupted in Nigeria, particularly in areas where a State of Emergency has been declared, and when extremists have attacked cellular telephone towers.  U.S. citizens should attempt to arrange for multiple means of communication in case of need during emergencies.

Kidnappings remain a security concern throughout the country. Criminal elements throughout Nigeria orchestrate kidnappings for ransom; Islamic extremists, operating predominantly in the North, also have been known to conduct kidnappings. Criminals or militants have abducted foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from off-shore and land-based oil facilities, residential compounds, airports, and public roadways.  In 2015, six U.S. citizens were kidnapped in separate incidents in the states of Kogi, Ondo, Anambra, Plateau, and Imo.  Local authorities and international corporations operating in Nigeria assert that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria remains under-reported.

Attacks by pirates off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea have increased substantially in recent years.  Armed gangs have boarded both commercial and private vessels to rob travelers.  The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Nigeria Country-Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(9) 461-4000, or by email at AbujaACS@state.gov.  The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400, or by email at LagosACS@state.gov.  For more information, please visit the U.S. Mission in Nigeria website.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Nigeria Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains fluid and unpredictable.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel planning.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated July 27, 2015.

The ability of the Mission to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states remains severely limited.  The Department continues to recommend against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara.  The Department also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.

Based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy maintains restrictions for travel by U.S. officials to those states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the U.S. Mission for any travel deemed as mission-essential.  U.S. citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.

The U.S. Mission advises all U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers.  Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast Nigeria designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State, has claimed responsibility for many attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria.  Its members have killed or wounded thousands of people during the past five years.  Boko Haram has targeted churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Taraba, the Federal Capital Territory, and Yobe states.  Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of violence in the north.

2015 saw an increase in attacks by Boko Haram and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria.  Boko Haram targets men, women, and children for kidnapping and is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes.  For example, in January 2015, Boko Haram attacked the town of Baga in Borno state, resulting in an estimated 2,000 casualties; in January - July 2015 there were attacks and suicide bombings in Adamawa, Plateau, Borno, and Kano states; in October 2015, suicide bombers targeted Abuja and villages in Kuje and Nyanya; and in January 2016, upwards of 80 people, including children, were killed in the village of Dalori.

Various local government curfews are intermittently in effect in several states in the North. All U.S. citizens should remain aware of current situations including curfews, travel restrictions, and states of emergency in the areas they are in or plan to visit.  This information is commonly announced via the news media, but at times it can change with very little notice.  Please take the time to find out this information for your area.

Cell phone service has, at times, been disrupted in Nigeria, particularly in areas where a State of Emergency has been declared, and when extremists have attacked cellular telephone towers.  U.S. citizens should attempt to arrange for multiple means of communication in case of need during emergencies.

Kidnappings remain a security concern throughout the country. Criminal elements throughout Nigeria orchestrate kidnappings for ransom; Islamic extremists, operating predominantly in the North, also have been known to conduct kidnappings. Criminals or militants have abducted foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from off-shore and land-based oil facilities, residential compounds, airports, and public roadways.  In 2015, six U.S. citizens were kidnapped in separate incidents in the states of Kogi, Ondo, Anambra, Plateau, and Imo.  Local authorities and international corporations operating in Nigeria assert that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria remains under-reported.

Attacks by pirates off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea have increased substantially in recent years.  Armed gangs have boarded both commercial and private vessels to rob travelers.  The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Nigeria Country-Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, located at 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(9) 461-4000, or by email at AbujaACS@state.gov.  The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400, or by email at LagosACS@state.gov.  For more information, please visit the U.S. Mission in Nigeria website.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Turkey Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to southeastern Turkey due to an increased threat of terrorist attacks from both international and indigenous terror groups.

U.S citizens should exercise caution when traveling throughout the country.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated September 3, 2015. 

On September 2, the Department of State permitted the departure of U.S. government family members from the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey, as a precautionary measure following the commencement of military operations out of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.  There are no plans to evacuate citizens and commercial airports remain open.  The U.S. Consulate in Adana continues to operate normally and provide consular services to U.S. citizens. 

Terrorists have targeted popular tourist sites, U.S. government buildings, police, and other local authorities throughout Turkey.  The threat of kidnapping remains a concern, especially in the southeast, and incidents of indirect fire from Syria have impacted Turkey along the border.  For your safety:

  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border. 
  • Stay away from large crowds and remain vigilant near popular tourist destinations.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  • Monitor local media.

Travel restrictions remain for U.S. government employees to southeastern Turkey for the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Turkey Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to southeastern Turkey due to an increased threat of terrorist attacks from both international and indigenous terror groups.

U.S citizens should exercise caution when traveling throughout the country.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated September 3, 2015. 

On September 2, the Department of State permitted the departure of U.S. government family members from the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey, as a precautionary measure following the commencement of military operations out of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.  There are no plans to evacuate citizens and commercial airports remain open.  The U.S. Consulate in Adana continues to operate normally and provide consular services to U.S. citizens. 

Terrorists have targeted popular tourist sites, U.S. government buildings, police, and other local authorities throughout Turkey.  The threat of kidnapping remains a concern, especially in the southeast, and incidents of indirect fire from Syria have impacted Turkey along the border.  For your safety:

  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border. 
  • Stay away from large crowds and remain vigilant near popular tourist destinations.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  • Monitor local media.

Travel restrictions remain for U.S. government employees to southeastern Turkey for the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Iran Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran.

This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran of August 5, 2015, to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans, in Iran.  All U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel.    

Various elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States.  Since the United States and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to address the international community's concerns over Iran's nuclear program on July 14, 2015, Iran has continued to harass, arrest, and detain U.S. citizens, in particular dual nationals.  

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Iran.  The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran.  The range of consular services provided by the Foreign Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy is limited and may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates. 

The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and will not allow the Swiss to provide protective services for U.S. citizens who are also Iranian nationals. The Iranian authorities make the determination of a dual national’s Iranian citizenship without regard to the dual national’s personal wishes.  Consular access to U.S. citizens without dual nationality is often denied as well. 

Iranian authorities have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including journalists, businessmen and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security.  Iranian authorities have also prevented the departure, in some cases for months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. 

The Iranian government continues to repress some minority religious and ethnic groups, including Christians, Baha'i, Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and others.  Consequently, some areas within the country where these minorities reside, including the Baluchistan border area near Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Kurdish northwest of the country, and areas near the Iraqi border, remain unsafe. Iranian authorities have detained and harassed U.S. citizens, particularly those of Iranian origin.  Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, religious activists, and persons who encourage Muslims to convert are subject to arrest and prosecution.

The U.S. government’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Iran in the event of an emergency is extremely limited.  U.S. citizens in Iran should ensure that they have updated documentation at all times and make their own plans in the event of an emergency. For more information, see "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis" at the Department's website." 

For further information:

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Iran Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran.

This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran of August 5, 2015, to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans, in Iran.  All U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel.    

Various elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States.  Since the United States and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to address the international community's concerns over Iran's nuclear program on July 14, 2015, Iran has continued to harass, arrest, and detain U.S. citizens, in particular dual nationals.  

The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Iran.  The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran.  The range of consular services provided by the Foreign Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy is limited and may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates. 

The Iranian government does not recognize dual citizenship and will not allow the Swiss to provide protective services for U.S. citizens who are also Iranian nationals. The Iranian authorities make the determination of a dual national’s Iranian citizenship without regard to the dual national’s personal wishes.  Consular access to U.S. citizens without dual nationality is often denied as well. 

Iranian authorities have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including journalists, businessmen and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security.  Iranian authorities have also prevented the departure, in some cases for months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. 

The Iranian government continues to repress some minority religious and ethnic groups, including Christians, Baha'i, Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and others.  Consequently, some areas within the country where these minorities reside, including the Baluchistan border area near Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Kurdish northwest of the country, and areas near the Iraqi border, remain unsafe. Iranian authorities have detained and harassed U.S. citizens, particularly those of Iranian origin.  Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, religious activists, and persons who encourage Muslims to convert are subject to arrest and prosecution.

The U.S. government’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in Iran in the event of an emergency is extremely limited.  U.S. citizens in Iran should ensure that they have updated documentation at all times and make their own plans in the event of an emergency. For more information, see "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis" at the Department's website." 

For further information:

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Uganda Travel Alert

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Uganda to the upcoming general elections scheduled for February 18, and local elections scheduled between February 24 and March 10.

 U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period.  This Travel Alert expires on March 31, 2016. 

The State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness leading up to, during, and following the election period.  U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies, polling centers, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind as gatherings intended to be peaceful can become confrontational and turn violent.  Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Although there is no indication that U.S. citizens may be targets of violence, you are urged to exercise caution and stay current with media coverage of local events.

Monitor local media for any changes in the election schedule.  General election results are expected to be announced within a week of the election.  For more information about security conditions in Uganda, please see the Country Specific Information page for Uganda.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Uganda.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Uganda, located at Plot 1577 Ggaba Road, Kamapala, at :+(256)(0) 414-306-001 and +(256)(0)312-306-001 or e-mail at KampalaUScitizen@state.gov.  The Embassy is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 – 12:30 a.m.  For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +(256)(0) 414-306-001 and ask to speak with the Embassy duty officer.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Posted in Travel Alerts (U.S. Dept of State)

Sudan Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the continued risks of travel to Sudan.

U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to the Darfur region, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan states, and consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan, due to the continued threat of terrorism, armed conflict, violent crime and kidnapping. The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide services outside of Khartoum is very limited. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on June 15, 2015.

Terrorist groups remain present in Sudan and are intent on harming Westerners and Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, shootings, or kidnappings. The threat of violent crime targeting Westerners, including kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings is particularly high in the Darfur region.  

U.S. citizens should mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of terrorism or violent crime by being vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially at public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners. Exercise caution at all times and monitor reliable news sources for information on the local security situation. Follow the advice of local authorities. All U.S. citizens should assess their personal security and have evacuation plans that can be carried out quickly. Do not rely solely on U.S. government assistance.

Violent flare-ups, tribal violence, and armed banditry continue in the Darfur region, along the border between Chad and Sudan, and in areas that border South Sudan. There are landmines and unexploded ordnance in Sudan, especially in the Eastern Sudan, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan regions. Hostilities between Sudanese forces and armed opposition groups continue in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, including the disputed area of Abyei. In addition to risking injury or death, U.S. citizens who are in these areas without permission of the Sudanese government may be detained by security forces.

The U.S. Coast Guard from time to time issues Maritime Security Directives designating certain sea areas as "high risk waters" due the possibility of terrorism, piracy, or armed robbery against ships. U.S. flag vessel owners take these designations into consideration in the development of vessel security plans. In the past, the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) advised that regional tensions increase the risk of maritime attacks being conducted against vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb regions. View current advisories here.

The U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security measures to protect U.S. government personnel, including requiring travel in armored vehicles at all times. U.S. government personnel are not authorized to travel outside of Khartoum without advanced permission or to certain areas of Darfur without appropriate security precautions. Family members of U.S. personnel under age 21 are not allowed to reside in Sudan.

For further information:

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Sudan Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the continued risks of travel to Sudan.

U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to the Darfur region, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan states, and consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan, due to the continued threat of terrorism, armed conflict, violent crime and kidnapping. The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide services outside of Khartoum is very limited. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on June 15, 2015.

Terrorist groups remain present in Sudan and are intent on harming Westerners and Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, shootings, or kidnappings. The threat of violent crime targeting Westerners, including kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings is particularly high in the Darfur region.  

U.S. citizens should mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of terrorism or violent crime by being vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially at public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners. Exercise caution at all times and monitor reliable news sources for information on the local security situation. Follow the advice of local authorities. All U.S. citizens should assess their personal security and have evacuation plans that can be carried out quickly. Do not rely solely on U.S. government assistance.

Violent flare-ups, tribal violence, and armed banditry continue in the Darfur region, along the border between Chad and Sudan, and in areas that border South Sudan. There are landmines and unexploded ordnance in Sudan, especially in the Eastern Sudan, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan regions. Hostilities between Sudanese forces and armed opposition groups continue in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, including the disputed area of Abyei. In addition to risking injury or death, U.S. citizens who are in these areas without permission of the Sudanese government may be detained by security forces.

The U.S. Coast Guard from time to time issues Maritime Security Directives designating certain sea areas as "high risk waters" due the possibility of terrorism, piracy, or armed robbery against ships. U.S. flag vessel owners take these designations into consideration in the development of vessel security plans. In the past, the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) advised that regional tensions increase the risk of maritime attacks being conducted against vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb regions. View current advisories here.

The U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security measures to protect U.S. government personnel, including requiring travel in armored vehicles at all times. U.S. government personnel are not authorized to travel outside of Khartoum without advanced permission or to certain areas of Darfur without appropriate security precautions. Family members of U.S. personnel under age 21 are not allowed to reside in Sudan.

For further information:

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Niger Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Niger and specifically recommends citizens avoid travel to Niger’s border regions, including the Diffa region and particularly the Lake Chad basin area.

The entire Lake Chad region is especially vulnerable because of ongoing activities by the extremist group Boko Haram. This replaces the Travel Warning for Niger dated July 17, 2015, to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Niger.

U.S. citizens currently in or travelling to Niger should evaluate their personal security situation. The U.S. Embassy has very limited capability to assist U.S. citizens in remote and rural areas. You should take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violent acts, and avoid locations routinely frequented by Westerners, such as markets, hotels, restaurants, bars, and places of worship. Violent groups have targeted these kinds of venues in the past and will likely do so again. The Embassy requires that all U.S. Embassy personnel stay only in hotels having an armed Nigerien government security presence and recommends U.S. citizens follow the specific additional security guidance on the Embassy website.        

As a result of safety and security concerns, some organizations, including foreign companies, NGOs, and private aid organizations, have temporarily suspended operations in Niger or withdrawn family members and/or staff. Check with your organization’s security office before making travel plans to Niger.

Terrorist groups have called for and executed attacks against countries that supported the intervention against terrorist groups in northern Mali, including Niger. Because of terrorist and kidnapping threats, the Embassy Travel Policy requires armed Nigerien government security escorts for U.S. government employees’ official travel north of Niamey and east of Maradi. The areas bordering Mali and Libya, and northern Niger continue to be areas in which bandits, smugglers, and terrorist organizations operate. Operations to counter Boko Haram in northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger have resulted in security degradation along the Niger-Nigeria border, primarily east of Maradi. The border is porous, and there are frequent reports of suspected terrorists and smugglers crossing into Niger.

In 2015, Boko Haram used small arms fire and suicide bombers to attack Bosso, Diffa town, and other villages in the Diffa region of Niger. On February 10, 2015, the Government of Niger declared a state of emergency in the Diffa region. A curfew has been in place in Diffa region since December, 2014. 

The terrorist organization Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has kidnapped Europeans in the region and continues to threaten to kidnap Westerners, including U.S. citizens, in Niger. Exercise extreme caution in Niger due to the seriousness of this kidnapping threat. Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. government policy not to make concessions to kidnappers.

In 2015, large-scale protests occurred throughout Niger, which caused extensive property damage. The return of political candidate Hama Amadou to Niger sparked another large scale protest in Niamey, which resulted in the death of at least two people. You should avoid large public gatherings, and stay indoors if you hear reports of demonstrations in your area. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational without warning. Nigerien security services may interrupt cell and social media connection before and during protests. 

The Government of Niger maintains security checkpoints in Niamey. Be especially careful around these checkpoints, as the security forces may be on a heightened state of alert. Do not drive away from, or through, a checkpoint until you receive clear permission to do so. If the instructions are unclear, request verbal confirmation before proceeding.

Outside Niamey, the potential for violent crimes increases significantly. Armed bandits target travelers on roads in all parts of the country. For U.S. government personnel, all travel outside Niamey must occur during daylight hours with a minimum of a two vehicle convoy. We recommend U.S. citizens follow a similar procedure, travelling no earlier than after sunrise and no later than one hour prior to sunset. 

For further information:

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)