15 Countries the U.S. Government Doesn’t Want You to Travel to

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Traveling is something that is on everyone’s to do list. It is something that is encouraged to become more cultural and aware of the lifestyles of different ethnic groups. People create travel list of countries and cities that they want to travel to. Sometimes people are unaware of the conditions of the country they are planning to visit. It is wise to check to see if there are any travel warning for your destination. That will save you from a lot of stress and potential dangerous situations. Here is a list of countries that the U.S. government would like its citizens not to travel too.

Saudi Arabia  There are multiple terrorist units in Saudi Arabia, some allied with al-Qaida. The Department of State advises anyone who is visiting Saudi Arabia to make sure their lodging area has strict security. In July 2014, al-Qaida members attacked a border check point between Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Attacks like these are frequent, unpredictable and lead to multiple fatalities.

Pakistan Pakistan is a breeding ground for foreign and native terrorist bands. The terrorist in this country often focus their acts of violence against noncombatant, government, and foreign targets. These attacks use heavy military grade weapons on places like military bases and airports. The most recent attack happened on June 24 when gunmen opened fire on an international flight. The Western edges of Pakistan must be evaded specifically, as stated by the Department of State.

Sudan All travel to Sudan should be avoid as stated by the Department of State. In Sudan, especially in Darfur, the lack of security has led to high crime rates and increases violence. The possibilities of hostility and aggression directed toward Westerners. In 2012 the U.S. Embassy was attacked, and terrorist groups in the region remain active. Anyone under the age of 21 is not allowed to travel from the U.S. to Sudan

Algeria  There is a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping in Algeria. Bombings, false roadblocks, ambushes and assassinations occur on regular basis in Algeria. Suicide car bombing are the most common attacks due to that method being unpredictable. Most of these attacks happen on the East and South of Algeria. Travel to Algeria should be completely avoided.

Mexico  For multiple reasons, Mexico should be on your “don’t go” list. Drug trafficking is a major problem in Mexico. With the movement of narcotics comes violence. Drug cartels are known to be cruel and brutal especially close to the U.S. border. Tourist and locals are often caught in the crossfire of rival cartels. The threat of “express kidnappings”, where innocent people are held captive until a ransom is paid or money is withdrawn from a bank account, are a reality.

Russia  Russia is a complicated country to visit. There is a lot of political controversy and bureaucratic red tape that must be navigated carefully when visiting Russia. Getting there is only half the battle. The procedure to get a tourist visa is so long and dragged out, it deters people from wanting to go. The tensions between Russia and the Ukraine have reached a boiling point which makes Russia a less attractive destination and should be avoided.

Niger  In 2013 the Department of State authorized and encouraged the departure of family members of Embassy personnel because of extensive problems with the electrical power grid and water supply in Niger. The Government of Niger continues to maintain security checkpoints in Niamey to address security concerns. The U.S. Embassy recommends that citizens traveling in Niger remain especially careful around security checkpoints, as security forces continue to be on a heightened state of alert. If you are unsure of what to do, please request verbal confirmation before proceeding.

Nigeria  U.S. citizens avoid visiting Nigeria especially all travel to the Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains unpredictable. The U.S. Department of State strongly issues a travel warning in January 2015. Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast Nigeria designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State, has claimed responsibility for many attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria. Its members have killed or wounded thousands of people during the past four years. The threat of piracy also exist in the Gulf of Guinea.

North Korea  All travel to North Korea should be avoided. U.S. citizen tourists have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally crossed into DPRK territory. There have also been reports of DPRK authorities arbitrarily detaining U.S. citizens without charges and not allowing them to depart the country. They must be really mad about The Interview movie.

Ukraine  Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement in September 2014, violent clashes between Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces continue in parts of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Thousands of injuries and deaths still ocurr since the ceasefire. In addition, Russian military forces continue to occupy the Crimean Peninsula and are present on the eastern border of Ukraine. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at separatist checkpoints.

Sierra Leone  There is a different kind of terror going on in Sierra Leone. After review of health conditions and limited availability of medical evacuation options, the U.S. Department of State, ordered the departure of eligible family members residing with Embassy staff in Freetown. A travel warning was issued advising U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Sierra Leone. The Ebola outbreak proved to be overwhelming for the limited health care services.

Cameroon There is a high risk of traveling to Cameroon. Avoid the far North region of the country, due to the continuous threat of kidnappings and other armed attacks. The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the far North region of Cameroon, and has actively targeted foreign residents, tourists and government leaders. On January 1, 2015, 11 civilian passengers traveling between Mora and Waza by bus were executed by suspected Boko Haram militants.

Iran  Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay abreast of current events and carefully consider nonessential travel to Iran. Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. As a result, U.S. citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran. Iranian authorities also have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security.

Mali The U.S. Department of State  strongly warn against travel to the northern parts of Mali. Along the border, there is ongoing military operations and threats of attacks and kidnappings targeting westerners. Mali faces significant security challenges because of the presence in northern Mali of multiple extremists and militant factions, one of which is Al Qaeda. Along with terrorist threats, Mali reported its first cases of the Ebola in October.

Libya The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Libya depart immediately. On July 26, the U.S. Embassy suspended all embassy operations in Libya and relocated staff, due to ongoing violence between Libyan militias near the Embassy. The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution.


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