US Issues Travel Warning on North-East

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The United States government on Tuesday warned its citizens in Nigeria to avoid travelling to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe States due to the security situation in North-eastern part of the country.

A statement issued by the Department of State urged its citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel plans.

This warning according to the statement, replaced earlier one for Nigeria dated August 11, 2014.

The US stated that the ability of its mission to provide assistance to its 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 US in the statement also warned its citizens against travelling along the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy.

“Based on safety and security risk assessments, the embassy maintains restrictions for travel by US officials to those states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the US mission for any travel deemed as mission-essential.

“US citizens should be aware that extremists could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.

“The US mission advises all US 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 travellers.  Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and US citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

“Nigeria’s general elections are scheduled for February 14, 2015, and gubernatorial elections are scheduled for February 28, 2015, in all states except Anambra, Bayelsa, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, and Osun.  Nigeria last held national elections in April 2011.

“Although the elections themselves remained largely peaceful, violence temporarily erupted in many northern states after the announcement of results in the presidential race.  The 2015 elections again present a possibility of violence, particularly in the northern and south-eastern parts of the country.  US citizens are encouraged to exercise caution during the election process, particularly in and around polling locations in the weeks before and after the elections,” the statement said.

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