June 2013 Travel Warnings

travel-warningThe June 2013 travel warnings are a listing of any warnings that have been posted by the US Department of State in the month of May, warning travelers who plan to visit those countries. Remember to exercise extra care if you are visiting these countries, and check with your travel insurance provider to make sure you still have coverage in place – sometimes coverage can be excluded to countries that are under a travel warning.

Countries listed through the month of May 2013 include:

Niger – 29th May 2013

On May 23, 2013, terrorists using suicide car bombs attacked a Nigerien military compound in Agadez and a uranium mining facility, operated by a French company, in Arlit. Therefore, the Department of State warns of the risks of travel to Niger, and urges caution due to these recent attacks in the northern Nigerien towns of Arlit and Agadez. This replaces the Travel Warning for Niger dated January 16, 2013.

Iran – 24th May 2013

Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. As a result, U.S. citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran. Since 2009, Iranian authorities have prevented the departure, in some cases for several months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens, including journalists and academics, who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. Therefore, The Department of State warns citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran and dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should also stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran issued December 7, 2012.

Mauritania – 21st May 2013

There is an increased risk for US Citizens traveling to Mauritania, and urges those who travel to Mauritania to exercise extreme caution because of activities by terrorist groups in the region, including al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). AQIM continues to demonstrate its intent and ability to conduct attacks against foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens. This replaces the Travel Warning for Mauritania, issued November 30, 2012.

Cote d’Ivoire – 16th May 2013

In April 2013, municipal and regional elections were held and were generally peaceful; however, there were limited and localized incidents of violence in the days following the election, as results were announced. Local security forces responded to these events, which were quickly resolved. However, U.S. citizens who reside in or travel to Cote d’Ivoire should still monitor conditions carefully, maintain situational awareness, and pay very close attention to their personal security. Although the security situation significantly improved in 2013, security conditions can change quickly and without warning. This Travel Warning updates U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Cote d’Ivoire, replacing the Travel Warning of November 16, 2012.

Eritrea – 10th May 2013

The Eritrean government continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals. These restrictions require all visitors and residents, including U.S. diplomats, to apply 10 days in advance for permission to travel outside Asmara’s city limits. Permission is rarely granted. As a result, the U.S. Embassy is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara, and thus warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and strongly recommends U.S. citizens defer all travel to the country.

Central African Republic – 10th May 2013

U.S. citizens are warned against all travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) and recommends that those who remain in CAR depart immediately by taking advantage of existing commercial flights. U.S. citizens who have decided to stay in CAR despite this warning should review their personal security situation and seriously consider departing. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 28, 2012, to reflect the lack of security, increased risks in CAR, and the Government of France’s role as the U.S. government’s Protecting Power in CAR while U.S. Embassy operations and services are temporarily suspended.

Libya – 9th May 2013

In early May, the security situation in Tripoli deteriorated when armed groups seized Libyan government buildings in a dispute over a law regarding officials of the former regime. In response, on May 8, the Department of State ordered the departure of a number of U.S. government personnel in Tripoli. Therefore, U.S. citizens are warned of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and all travel to Benghazi, Bani Walid, and southern Libya, including border areas and the regions of Sabha and Kufra.

While traveling, please keep these May 2013 travel warnings in mind. Additionally, travelers are advised to enroll through the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to stay up to date on travel security information.

Posted by Ross Mason

Ross is the Vice President of International Student Insurance, with over 15 years experience in the international education arena. A graduate from the Nottingham Trent University in the UK with a First in BSc (Hons) Business and Technology, Ross has lived all around the world including LA, New York, Boston, London, Hong Kong, Florida and Germany.

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