US Calls on Nationals Not to Travel to Libya

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On Monday, the US Embassy in Libya called on its citizens not to travel to Libya, due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and the risk of abduction.

In a statement, the Embassy added that this comes after the State Department updated its travel advisory for Libya to level four. Crime levels in Libya remain high, including the threat of kidnapping for ransom.

It noted that terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Libya. Violent extremist activity remains high, and extremist groups have made threats against US government officials and citizens. Attacks may occur with little to no warning, targeting tourist locations, hotels, transportation hubs, markets, shopping malls and government facilities.

Outbreaks of violence between competing armed groups can occur randomly, and have the potential to impact US citizens. The capital, Tripoli, and other cities, such as Surman, Al-Jufra, Misrata, Ajdabiya, Benghazi, Sebha, and Derna, have witnessed infighting among armed groups, as well as extremist attacks. Hotels and airports frequented by Westerners have been the targets of these attacks. Even peaceful demonstrations, can turn confrontational, and escalate into violence.

The majority of airports are closed, and flights out of operational airports are sporadic, and may be cancelled without warning. The US government is very concerned about the targeting of commercial transportation in Libya, and is prohibiting commercial aviation operations within Libyan airspace.

The American government is unable to provide emergency or routine assistance to its nationals in Libya. The Embassy in Tripoli suspended its operations in July 2014.