U.S. warns citizens not to travel to Somalia

Published: October 2, 2015

U.S. warns citizens not to travel to SomaliaThe Department of State reiterated its warning to U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Somalia for the second time in a year, describing the situation in the country as “remaining dangerous.”
While the Horn of Africa nation continues to recover from over two decades of civil war, the department of state said in a statement released on Thursday that its citizens should avoid all travel to Somalia because of the general threat of violent crime, terrorism, and the targeting of foreigners for murder and kidnappings, particularly by the extremist terrorist group al-Shabaab.
‘’The security situation in Somalia remains unstable and dangerous. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia continue to attack Somali authorities, the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and other non-military targets. Kidnapping, bombings, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents and threats to U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals can occur in any region of Somalia. In addition, there is a particular threat to foreigners in places where large crowds gather and Westerners frequent, including airports, government buildings, and shopping areas. Inter-clan and inter-factional fighting can flare up with little or no warning,’’ the department said on its website.
This replaces the Travel Warning of October 24, 2014 to emphasize the continuing threat of armed attacks, bombings and kidnappings in the Southern part of the country.
Last month, the US government reopened Somalia mission in neighbouring Kenya as part of its efforts to restore the diplomatic relations.
In May, John Kerry became the first-ever U.S Secretary of State and also the first highest-ranking American official to visit Somalia since 1993.
Al Shabaab insurgents have staged a string of assaults in their fight to overthrow the country’s internationally-backed government. They have targeted hotels, the international airport, Villa Somalia, a United Nations compound and restaurants in a bid to discredit claims by the authorities and AU troops that they are winning the war.
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