America, UK Warns Citizens Against TripsTo Nigeria

By 10:39 Sat, 22 Dec 2012 Comments



The United States Government has warned

its citizens against travelling to Nigeria,

particularly during the holiday season,

saying they could be kidnapped, robbed or

attacked by gunmen.

The U.S. Department of States in a warning

message to Americans recommended against

trip to Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Plateau, Gombe,

Yobe, Kaduna, Bauchi, Borno, and Kano states.

The Department also warned against travel to

the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of

piracy.

“Based on safety and security risk assessments,

the Embassy has placed further restrictions for

travel by U.S. officials to all northern Nigerian

states (in addition to those listed above),” the

message said.

The U.S. said its officials must receive advance

clearance by the U.S. Mission for travel in the

above states as being mission-essential.

“U.S. citizens should be aware that, in light of the

continuing violence, extremists may expand their

operations beyond northern Nigeria to the

country’s middle and southern states.

This

Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for

Nigeria dated June 21, 2012,” the government

said.

The message reminded US citizens that in 2012,

Boko Haram claimed responsibility for many

attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria.

“Boko Haram is responsible for killing or

wounding thousands of people. Multiple Suicide Vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Devices

(SVBIED) targeted churches, government

installations, educational institutions, and

entertainment venues in Adamawa, Bauchi,

Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Taraba,

and Yobe states,” the US said in warning its

citizens.

America said kidnappings continue to be a

security concern that exists throughout the

country.

“In the first six months of 2012, five foreign

nationals, including two U.S. citizens, were

kidnapped in Kwara, Imo, Enugu, Delta, and

Kano states.

“Nine foreign nationals have died in connection

with these abductions, including three who were

kílled by their captors during military-led raids,”

the US said.

The government said local authorities and

expatriate businesses operating in Nigeria assert

that the number of kidnapping incidents

throughout Nigeria is underreported.

“Crime is a risk throughout the country,” the

message said, adding that U.S. citizen visitors

and residents have experienced armed

muggings, assaults, burglaries, car-jackings,

rapes, kidnappings, and extortion.

“Home invasions also remain a serious threat,

with armed robbers accessing even guarded

compounds by scaling perimeter walls,

following residents or visitors or subduing

guards to gain entry to homes or apartments.

Armed robbers in Lagos have also accessed

waterfront compounds by boat,” the

government said.

The US said traveling outside of major cities after

dark is not recommended because of both crime

and road safety concerns.

“Attacks by pirates off the coast of Nigeria in the

Gulf of Guinea have increased in recent years.

Armed gangs have boarded both commercial

and private vessels to rob travelers. The Nigerian

Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal

acts at sea,” the US said.

The government said beginning in September

2012, extremists attacked cellular telephone

towers in Northern Nigeria, damaging over 50

towers and degrading cellular telephone and

internet communications nationwide.

“Additional attacks could further weaken the

ability of citizens to communicate through

cellular telephones and the internet,” the US

warned, adding that land line telephone

communications in Nigeria remain extremely

limited.

“U.S. citizens should attempt to arrange for

multiple means of communication during

emergencies,” the US said.

The United Kingdom has also warned its citizens

against travelling to Nigeria.

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