Last week, @USEmbassyLLW Charge d’Affaires Andrew Herrup traveled south to meet with local government officials, assistance workers, and Malawians who have been affected by the flooding. He visited the Best Camp in Chikwawa, which currently serves more than 400 households.. pic.twitter.com/FCoRdfH4bJ
The U.S. Embassy is contributing an initial US$100,000 through @USAID to bring relief to victims of #CycloneIdai in Zim. Working with civil society partners to provide safe water, hygiene & sanitation svcs, & shelter to Zimbabweans in need. #WeStandWithZim
Today we join all Ethiopians in their national day of mourning over the loss of life in yesterday's tragic accident involving Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. We stand with the Ethiopian people and have offered our support to Ethiopian Airlines and the Ethiopian government. pic.twitter.com/u0I6PLmM8L
Read U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft’s statement on the loss of Captain Antoine Lewis, a member of the U.S. Embassy Ottawa community, in the Ethiopian Airlines crash near Addis Ababa. https://t.co/gqSvNbm9F8
1/ New: Pilots repeatedly voiced safety concerns about the Boeing 737 Max 8 to federal authorities several months before Sunday’s Ethiopian Air crash that killed 149 people, a Dallas Morning News investigation found. https://t.co/J7ZP22gYst
The U.S. is virtually alone in not grounding the Boeing 737 Max 8 after fatal crashes. I’m honestly not sure “the president talked to the Boeing CEO and will have meetings and the WH is trying to figure out what happened” is the answer people are seeking https://t.co/qshNWulZippic.twitter.com/mQARGkMbGC
As Lori & I leave Kenya we offer a profound asanteni sana to all Kenyans. Serving as US Ambassador has been one of the great privileges of my life. Kenya & Kenyans will always have a big place in our hearts. Kwaheri ya kuonana. My op-ed: https://t.co/HL3I6nMfdZ@USEmbassyKenya
Posted: 12:49 AM PST Updated: 1:06 AM PST Updated: 10:30 AM PST
Reuters is reporting that Gabon has thwarted the attempted coup and the government has killed or arrested the plotters. On January 7, U.S. Embassy Libreville in Gabon posted four Security Alerts on the embassy’s website. The first one warns of “possible anti-government military activity underway.” The second alert says “Embassy has advised the family members of U.S. citizen employees and local staff members to remain in their homes today. Out of an abundance of caution as we further assess the situation, the Embassy has asked the families of U.S. citizen employees to keep their children at home from school tomorrow.” The third alert says “The Embassy has advised local staff members to remain at home. U.S. Citizen employees have been told to avoid the downtown area.” The fourth, and latest alert posted as of this writing includes the following:
In light of recent anti-government activity, the U.S. Embassy has requested that Embassy personnel restrict their movements to the area north of Léon-Mba International Airport from dusk tonight until dawn tomorrow. Embassy personnel and their families are advised to continue to exercise increased caution tomorrow by avoiding the downtown area and limiting unnecessary travel. Although the Léon-Mba International Airport is open at this time, a number of flights have been cancelled. Those who plan to travel in the next few days should contact the airport or their airline to confirm flight status.
The Security Alerts are posted on the embassy’s website but none are posted on Twitter or Facebook. Best we could tell @TravelGov has posted all the alerts here but only the second Security Alert on Twitter. The main State Department account @StateDept has not posted any of the Alerts.
Early Monday morning, Gabonese soldiers appeared on state television announcing a coup in the West African country. Tanks and armed vehicles are reportedly in the streets of the capital, Libreville and a curfew has been imposed. The Internet has reportedly been shutdown. As of this writing there are no alerts, emergency message, or security updates from the U.S. Embassy Libreville (embassy last posted on Twitter and FB the day before the shutdown). There is no update from @StateDept. The Gabon situation is developing.
On January 4, the president notified Congress of the deployment of approximately 80 Armed Forces personnel to Gabon in support of the security of the US Embassy in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Excerpt below:
United States Armed Forces personnel have deployed to Libreville, Gabon, to be in position to support the security of United States citizens, personnel, and diplomatic facilities in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. This deployment of approximately 80 personnel is in response to the possibility that violent demonstrations may occur in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in reaction to the December 30, 2018, elections there. The first of these personnel arrived in Gabon on January 2, 2019, with appropriate combat equipment and supported by military aircraft. Additional forces may deploy to Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the Republic of the Congo, if necessary for these purposes. These deployed personnel will remain in the region until the security situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo becomes such that their presence is no longer needed.
This action was taken consistent with my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad, and in furtherance of United States national security and foreign policy interests, pursuant to my constitutional authority to conduct United States foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
The State Department’sLevel 4 – Do Not Traveladvisory category is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or to leave as soon as it is safe to do so.
As of January 4, 2019, there are eleven countries designated as Level 4 “do not travel” countries.
In Somalia, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens due to the lack of permanent consular presence in the country.
In North Korea, the State Department says that the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in North Korea as it does not have diplomatic or consular relations with North Korea. Sweden serves as the protecting power for the United States in North Korea, providing limited emergency services. However, the North Korean government routinely delays or denies Swedish officials access to detained U.S. citizens.
In South Sudan, U.S. government personnel are under a strict curfew. The advisory says personnel “must use armored vehicles for nearly all movements in the city, and official travel outside Juba is limited. Due to the critical crime threat in Juba, walking is also restricted; when allowed, it is limited to a small area in the immediate vicinity of the Embassy and must usually be conducted in groups of two or more during daylight hours. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in South Sudan.”
In Iraq, the U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens is “extremely limited.” On October 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the temporary suspension of operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah.
In Iran, the U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations. “The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iran. Switzerland serves as the protecting power for U.S. citizens in Iran, providing limited emergency services.”
In CAR, the U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside the Embassy compound.
The U.S. Embassy in Damascus in Syria suspended its operations in February 2012. “The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with Syria. The Czech Republic serves as the protecting power for the United States in Syria. The range of consular services that the Czech Republic provides to U.S. citizens is extremely limited, and the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Syria.”
In Mali, the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the northern and central regions of Mali as U.S. government employees travel to these regions is restricted due to security concerns.
In Libya, the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency or routine assistance to U.S. citizens as the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations in July 2014.
In Afghanistan: The U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is severely limited, particularly outside of Kabul. Evacuation options from Afghanistan are extremely limited due to the lack of infrastructure, geographic constraints, and the volatile security situation. Family members cannot accompany U.S. government employees who work in Afghanistan. Unofficial travel to Afghanistan by U.S. government employees and their family members is restricted and requires prior approval from the Department of State. U.S. Embassy personnel are restricted from traveling to all locations in Kabul except the U.S. Embassy and other U.S. government facilities unless there is a compelling U.S. government interest in permitting such travel that outweighs the risk. Additional security measures are needed for any U.S. government employee travel and movement through Afghanistan.
The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a suspended its operations in February 2015. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Yemen.
On December 14, the State Department issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) urging American travelers to reconsider travel there due to “crime and civil unrest.” The advisory also announced that the Embassy’s non-emergency personnel and their family members were on mandatory evacuation order.
We’re not sure if the staff/family members will be safehavened in the region or if they were ordered to return to the U.S. We will update if we know more. If you’re in the FS community and in the DC area, you may check with AAFSW; they may need help. The group runs an Evacuee Support Network that offers assistance to Foreign Service employees and family members evacuated from posts overseas through a dedicated network of volunteers in the Washington, DC area.
Reconsider travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) due to crime and civil unrest. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.
Do not travel to:
Eastern DRC and the three Kasai provinces due to armed conflict.
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, armed home invasion, sexual assault, and physical assault, is common. Assailants may pose as police or security agents. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious crime.
Many cities throughout the country experience demonstrations, some of which have been violent. The government has responded with heavy-handed tactics that have resulted in civilian casualties and arrests.
On December 14, 2018, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees and family members.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Kinshasa due to extremely limited infrastructure and poor security conditions, notably in eastern DRC and Kasais.
More here: https://cd.usembassy.gov/news-events/
An Embassy Security Alert dated December 16 “strongly urges U.S. citizens to depart the country and take advantage of departing commercial flights.” The Embassy’s once more emphasized that its ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the DRC is severely limited, particularly outside of Kinshasa. It also notes that “elections are scheduled to take place on December 23 and could trigger large-scale demonstrations which could further limit the services of consular staff even in Kinshasa.”
On December 2, the US Embassy Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo announced that it will be closed to the public again due to a terrorist threat against USG facilities in the capital city. Below is part of the announcement:
The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is working closely with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to address a terrorist threat against USG facilities in Kinshasa. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa will be closed to the public on Monday, December 3.
Actions to Take:
· Maintain a heightened level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness.
· Monitor local media for updates.
· Keep a low profile and notify friends and family of your safety.
· Review the country page and remain alert for potentially dangerous situations.
US Embassy Kinshasha previously “received credible and specific information of a possible terrorist threat against U.S. Government facilities in Kinshasa” on November 24, 2018. It initially closed to the public with only minimal staffing on Monday, November 26, 2018.
#DRC Security Alert: The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is working closely with the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to address a terrorist threat against USG facilities in Kinshasa. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa will be closed to the public on Monday, December 3.
The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is working closely with the gov. of the D.R.C. to address a terrorist threat against U.S. Gov. facilities in Kinshasa. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa will remain closed to the public on Monday Dec 3. More details here: https://t.co/xfQeYy7Nyvpic.twitter.com/NbhiUv7x2d
The Democratic Republic of Congo accused Washington of sparking "needless fear" after the US embassy in Kinshasa warned of a "possible terrorist threat" against its mission in the country as it heads towards key elections. https://t.co/GjtPue6abLpic.twitter.com/bdOHcq7hGA
US Embassy/Kinshasa received "credible & specific" info of a "possible terrorist threat against U.S. govt facilities" in country's capital city.#DRCongo security deteriorating as Dec 23 elections near. Concerns for #Ebola resp, tho far away: Rising chaos.https://t.co/9vceX9vVO4
This is a follow-up to our post in October 2017 about the death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan J. Melgar who was found dead in his room at post housing in Bamako, Mali on June 4, 2017. Two members of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six were reportedly under investigation in his death. (see U.S.Embassy Bamako: Army Green Beret Logan J. Melgar’s Death in Mali Under Investigation as Homicide). Now two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders are facing murder charges in the 2017 death (see USNI News for charge sheet). A medical examiner ruled that Sgt. Melgar’s death was a homicide by asphyxiation. USNI News reports that the SEALs and Melgar lived in the same house and were members of the same joint special operations team attached to the U.S. Embassy in Bamako. These individuals will face a preliminary Article 32 hearing on the charges at Naval Station Norfolk on Dec. 10 according to USNI.