August 2013 Travel Warnings

travel-warningThe August 2013 Travel Warnings are a listing of any warnings that have been posted by the US Department of State in the month of July, 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  July 2013 include:

Saudi Arabia – 25th July 2013

Department of State urges travelers to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia. As the August 26, 2012, arrest of two terrorist cells by Saudi security authorities indicates, there remains an ongoing security threat due to the continued presence of terrorist groups, some affiliated with al-Qaida, who may target Western interests, housing compounds, hotels, shopping areas, and other facilities where Westerners congregate.

Mali – 18th July 2013

The U.S. Department of State warns against all travel to Mali because of ongoing conflict in northern Mali, fluid political conditions, and continuing threats of attacks and kidnappings of westerners. While the security situation in Bamako remains relatively stable, there are ongoing security concerns and military operations taking place in the northern and western parts of the country.

Yemen – 16th July 2013

Due to the ongoing unrest in the Yemen, the security threat level in Yemen is extremely high. In September 2012, a mob attacked the U.S. Embassy compound. Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent. Travelers are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration.

Niger – 15th July 2013

The U.S. Department of State warns of the risks of travel to Niger. Those considering travel to Niger should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing threats to safety and security. On June 13, 2013, the Department of State approved authorized departure for family members of Embassy personnel because of security concerns. Since that time, circumstances have improved and, as of July 12, the U.S. Embassy in Niger is no longer on authorized departure status.

Mexico – 12th July 2013

Although millions of travelers visit Mexico each year, the department feels travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) which engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. Crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere. Visitors have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery. While most of those killed in narcotics-related violence have been members of TCOs, innocent persons have also been killed.

Philippines  – 5th July 2013

The Department of State warns of the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu Archipelago and the island of Mindanao due to the continuing threats in those areas due to terrorist and insurgent activities. It is recommended to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago, due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there.

Kenya – 5th July 2013

The U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Therefore they are recommending that those traveling to Kenya should evaluate their personal security situation to make sure they are prepared.

Egypt – 3rd July 2013

Due to the continuing political and social unrest, the State Department advises that all non-essential travel to Egypt should be postponed until the situation improves. Political unrest, which intensified prior to the constitutional referendum in December 2012 and the anniversary in 2013 of Egypt’s 25th January Revolution, is likely to continue in the near future.

While traveling, please keep these June 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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