— Domani Spero
[twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]
On September 25, the State Department finally ordered the
evacuation temporary reduction of USG personnel from the US Embassy in Yemen. Below is an excerpt from the updated Travel Warning:
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. The Department urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Yemen and those U.S. citizens currently living in Yemen to depart. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen issued on July 21, 2014.
On September 24, 2014, the Department of State ordered a reduction of U.S. government personnel from Yemen out of an abundance of caution due to the continued civil unrest and the potential for military escalation. The Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services may be limited. Embassy officers are restricted in their movements and cannot travel outside of Sana’a. In addition, movements within Sana’a are severely constrained and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.
The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high. The Embassy is subject to frequent unannounced closures. In May 2014, the Embassy was closed for almost five weeks because of heightened security threats.
Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration.
Read in full here.
In related news, the Official Spokesperson of the State Department released a statement emphasizing that “The Embassy did not suspend operations and will continue to operate, albeit with reduced staff” and that “Consular services have not been affected by this temporary reduction in personnel.”
Serious question — when the USG declares that post is on “temporary reduction” or on “temporary relocation” of personnel, which seems to be the trend these days, are affected personnel considered “evacuees” for allowance and travel purposes? Or are all the affected personnel put on TDY status to their designated safe havens? We’re having a hard time locating the citation for “temporary reduction”or “temporary relocation” in the Foreign Affairs Manual.
* * *
Clips via Twitter:
Meanwhile, 300 people killed in a week of devastating violence in #Yemen and hardly anyone noticed. http://t.co/xpMXvff4VI
— Peter Bouckaert (@bouckap) September 24, 2014
Another surreal sight: Houthi checkpoint with big sarkha sign (‘death to America’) on 40m road bang slap in front of US embassy #Yemen — Peter Salisbury (@altoflacoblanco) September 24, 2014
MT @omeisy: “asked #Houthi at Checkpoint [re protecting U.S. emb] & resp was “we dont want some idiot attacking them & pining on us” #Yemen
— Atiaf Alwazir (@WomanfromYemen) September 24, 2014
AQAP news today in #Yemen : AQ declares war on Houthis in Sanaa. US drone strike in Shabwah kills 4 AQ. AQ leader in Abyan died in car crash — هيكل بافنع (@BaFana3) September 25, 2014
…& AQAP mass executes Damt (Al Dhale’ province) security director & 3 bodyguards after they dug their own graves. pic.twitter.com/LCm2LAaXJX
— هيكل بافنع (@BaFana3) September 25, 2014
Who’s who in Yemen – a handy guide to key players http://t.co/J3L6TwSKrx
— Brian Whitaker (@Brian_Whit) September 25, 2014
Today’s must-read @WSJ editorial: #Yemen, the latest Mideast breakdown – http://t.co/7l6GndEiWN
— FPI (@ForeignPolicyI) September 25, 2014
US condemns Shiite rebels in #Yemen http://t.co/4zPnhw9uch via @YahooNews
— Laura Kasinof (@kasinof) September 24, 2014
* * *
- Yemen Rebels With “Death to Amreeka” Logo Take Over Sanaa (diplopundit.net)
- Yemen Deal Brings Little Solace – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- Deadly car bomb in Sa’ada (yementimes.com)
- Why Yemen is such a disaster (vox.com)
- Houthi rebels shell Yemen state TV, residents flee fighting (dailystar.com.lb)
Is a “temporary relocation” mentioned in the Foreign Service Act? This seems to be related to the conditions of employment of FS personnel, so perhaps AFSA should be examining closely….thanks, @Diplopundit, for all you do!