Posted: 21:02 PSTFollow @Diplopundit
On Sunday, February 8, the US Embassy in Sanaa issued an emergency message notifying U.S. citizens in Yemen of the suspension of all consular services in the country until further notice. It also advised those requiring assistance to contact a neighboring U.S. embassy at this time. There’s Somalia across the Gulf of Aden, but we only have a Virtual Presence Post there. The U.S. missions in the area (see pdf map) are in Djibouti, Eritrea, Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Below is an excerpt from the Emergency Message:
Due to ongoing security concerns in Yemen, U.S. Embassy Sanaa has suspended all consular services until further notice. For now, we ask U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance to contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in a neighboring country. U.S. Embassy Sanaa is continuously analyzing the security conditions in Yemen; please check this website for updates.
The U.S. State Department 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 not to travel to Yemen. U.S. citizens still in Yemen should make plans to depart immediately. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Yemen are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. Travelers should reconfirm flight schedules with their airline prior to arrival at the airport, since flight cancellations occur frequently. There are no plans for charter flights or other U.S. government-coordinated evacuations.
U.S. citizens in Yemen remain vulnerable to kidnappings and terrorist attacks, especially when in transit to and from residences or workplaces. U.S. citizens should exercise caution and take prudent security measures in all areas, especially those areas frequented by Westerners.
Unlike Madam Secretary where every episode is resolved neatly at the end of the hour, this is real life. We know this is an exceptionally difficult time for those with loved ones working in Yemen. The embassy there had been evacuated in FY2013 and again in FY2014. Our thoughts are with the remaining crew at post and the Marines protecting them.
If you know somebody who has a loved one in Sanaa, do look in on them, make sure they are holding up okay while their loved ones are working at our frontline post.