US Embassy #Libya Goes on Authorized Departure

In an announcement dated today, February 20, the State Department declared US Embassy Libya on Authorized Departure, allowing for the voluntary departure of embassy dependents from the US mission in Tripoli:

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the potential for ongoing unrest in Libya.  U.S. citizens outside of Libya are urged to defer non-essential travel to Libya at this time; those U.S. citizens currently in Libya are advised against non-essential travel to eastern Libya and are urged to limit in-country travel and to exercise extreme caution when traveling.  The Department of State has authorized the voluntary departure from Libya of family members of U.S. Embassy staff.  There are reports of continuing violent clashes between protesters and security forces in various cities in Libya.  Spontaneous demonstrations and violence are possible throughout the next several days.  Unannounced security checkpoints and road closures may occur throughout Libya, changing traffic patterns without notice.  There is no indication that Westerners are being threatened or targeted.

Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in injuries.  While demonstrations have not been directed toward Westerners, U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security.  The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment, or worse.

U.S. citizens in Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Al-Bayda, Al Marj, Derna, and Tobruk who would like assistance in departing those areas should contact the U.S. Embassy at 091-220-5207 and 091-220-5214 or the U.S. State Department at 001-202-501-4444.

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli can be reached at +218 (0)21-337-3250 during business hours; the after hours emergency number for emergencies involving U.S. citizens is 091-220-5207.  The Embassy’s website is at  Security updates can be found at  The Consular Section can be reached at  The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located in the Ben Ashour neighborhood on Jeraba Street behind the former Libyan-Swiss Clinic.  

Read the whole thing here:

When the US Embassy in Egypt went on ordered departure (OD) on February 1st, the safe-haven destinations for evacuees were Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.  Right now, with AD in effect, presumably the Tripoli International Airport is still open and flights are still moving along.  If the embassy moves to ordered departure, it looks like the closest posts for evacuees from Tripoli (Tunisia and Egypt excepted) are Malta and Rome.   If I remember right, Malta is a one-officer consular section; of course, Rome is a much larger diplomatic presence.  Will update as we know more.  

Source: CIA World Factbook/Regional Map

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