Archive for January 2012
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Iraq yesterday. It reads as follows:
January 19, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq given the dangerous security situation. Civilian air and road travel within Iraq remains dangerous. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated September 13, 2011, to update information regarding the Government of Iraq’s strict enforcement of immigration and customs regulations and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns for U.S. citizens in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The United States completed its withdrawal of military forces from Iraq as of December 31, 2011. The ability of the Embassy to respond to situations in which U.S. citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.
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I have received a number of queries from readers inquiring about the various positions in the Foreign Service and what their job usually entails. As a result, I am interested in arranging a series of guest posts by the various skill codes in the Foreign Service as well as EFMs. If you are interested in participating, leave a comment or drop me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . I won’t ask you for your State e-mail address, but I will reserve the right to not publish your submission if I think it’s fake or disingenuous. If you are a fellow blogger and want to post your submission on your own site I’m happy to link to it.
If there’s not a good response I probably won’t move forward, but I think this is a great chance to talk your job up (if you enjoy it) or shed some light on the realities (if you don’t).
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Nigeria yesterday. It reads as follows:
January 12, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria, and continues to recommend U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers; the Southeastern states of Abia, Edo, Imo; the city of Jos in Plateau State, Bauchi and Borno States in the northeast; and the Gulf of Guinea because of the risks of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas. Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by persons wearing police and military uniforms, remains a problem throughout the country. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated October 13, 2011, to provide information concerning a national strike to protest the government’s elimination of a gasoline subsidy, to update information on recent violent activity, and to inform U.S. citizens of the December 31, 2011 declaration by the President of Nigeria of a State of Emergency. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday. It reads as follows:
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
January 12, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) (DRC), and recommends against non-essential travel to eastern and northeastern DRC. This replaces the Travel Warning dated July 19, 2011, to update information on security, safety, and health concerns in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Armed groups, bandits, and elements of the Congolese military remain security concerns in eastern and northeastern DRC. These armed groups – located especially in the North Kivu, South Kivu, and Orientale provinces, as well as the northern part of Katanga province, parts of Equateur province, and the eastern part of Maniema province – are known to pillage, steal vehicles, kidnap, rape, kill, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians are indiscriminately targeted. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is present near the border with Uganda, Central African Republic, and the Republic of South Sudan. Although reduced, armed conflicts continue in these areas despite the signing of peace accords in 2008 and 2009. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) continues to assist the Congolese government with the protection of civilians and efforts to combat armed groups. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Sudan on January 11. It reads as follows:
January 11, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Sudan, urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Darfur region of Sudan, the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States, and advises them to carefully consider the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on June 22, 2011, to note the political situation and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Sudan.
While the Government of Sudan has taken some steps to limit the activities of terrorist groups, elements of these groups remain in Sudan and have threatened to attack Western interests. The terrorist threat level throughout Sudan and particularly in the Darfur region remains critical, and the U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security measures to protect U.S. government personnel assigned to Sudan. These measures include requiring U.S. government personnel to travel in armored government vehicles for official business, and to obtain advance permission for travel outside of Khartoum. In addition, family members under age 21 of U.S. Embassy personnel are not allowed to reside in Sudan.
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for the Philippines yesterday. It reads as follows:
January 05, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of terrorist activity in the Philippines. While most of the recent incidents of terror have occurred on the island of Mindanao and in the Sulu Archipelago, U.S. citizens are reminded that terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate and could occur in any area of the country, including Manila. Public gathering places may be targeted, including (but not limited to) airports, shopping malls, conference centers and other public venues. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated June 14, 2011, and reflects continuing threats due to terrorist and insurgent activities.
U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution if traveling to Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago. Regional terrorist groups have carried out bombings resulting in injuries and death. Sporadic clashes have occurred between criminal groups and the Philippine Armed Forces throughout Mindanao, particularly in rural areas. U.S. government employees must receive authorization from the Embassy to travel to Mindanao or the Sulu Archipelago. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for the Central African Republic yesterday. It reads as follows:
Central African Republic
January 04, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to the Central African Republic (CAR), and recommends against all but essential travel outside the capital, Bangui. Travelers in CAR should exercise extreme caution. This replaces the Travel Warning of July 28, 2011, to reflect the current security situation and the potential for spontaneous demonstrations.
Armed militia groups, bandits, and poachers present real dangers, and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country. There have been repeated attacks on Central African and expatriate travelers in the countryside. Attacks in past months have occurred as close as 70 kilometers from Bangui. Poachers and armed men also pose a threat to game hunters in northern and eastern CAR. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) poses a similar threat to hunters in eastern CAR. Read the rest of this entry »