Posted: 2:10 pm EDT
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On May 15, 2015, the US Embassy in Bujumbura, Burundi went on Ordered Departure status (see New #Burundi Travel Warning, Non-Emergency US Embassy Staff & Family Members Now on Ordered Departure).
On November 3, 2015, the State Department updated its Travel Warning for Burundi, informing U.S. citizens that it has terminated the Ordered Departure status, allowing eligible family members and non-emergency personnel who departed Burundi to return. The Department continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Burundi and recommends U.S. citizens avoid non-essential travel. The terrorist organization al-Shabaab, based in Somalia, has threatened to conduct terror attacks in Burundi. It may also target U.S. interests in Burundi.
Just several days after the lifting of the Ordered Departure status, africaleader.com is reporting that Belgium and the European Union are warning of escalating violence in the country. The EU has now reportedly withdrawn its non-essential personnel and families from violence-hit Burundi.
Note that the initial cable ordering a post evacuation declares the evacuation for a specified period of time (normally 30 days). At the end of that period, the State Department, working with post, reviews the evacuation status to determine whether it should be continued, whether employees should be reassigned, or whether to terminate the evacuation. If the evacuation is not terminated, the status must continue to be reviewed every 30 days up to 180 days. Today is exactly 180 days from the date Bujumbura was declared on Ordered Departure, and 12 days after the termination of its evac status, but by law, an evacuation cannot last longer than 180 days. If things in Burundi get worse, the newly returned non-emegerency personnel and family members may be subjected to a fresh round of evacuation order.
— ICRC (@ICRC) November 9, 2015
— Michel Arseneault (@miko75011) November 12, 2015
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) November 13, 2015
— Africa Center (@AfricaACSS) November 13, 2015
EU to evacuate families from violence-hit Burundi https://t.co/5QOItFIC3h
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) November 13, 2015
The EU withdraws ‘non essential’ diplomatic personnel from Bujumbura as tension rises in Burundi: https://t.co/Qmx0fV9ErW
— reported.ly (@reportedly) November 13, 2015