The US department of state has cautioned its citizens to “reconsider travel to Nigeria because violent crime, such as armed robbery, assault, carjacking, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, rape and piracy, is common throughout the country.”

In a travel advisory recently released on its website, which contains information on the safety and security of US travellers, Nigeria was listed among 35 countries with a “K” indicator that indicates where its citizens could be at risk of getting kidnapped or taken hostage.

“The new “K” indicator is part of our ongoing commitment to provide clear and comprehensive travel safety information to U.S. citizens so they can make informed travel decisions,” the department said.

“The Travel Advisories for 35 countries have been updated to include a “K” indicator for the risk of kidnapping and/or hostage taking:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo,  Ethiopia, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine (in Russian-controlled eastern Ukraine), Venezuela, and Yemen.”

While Nigeria was placed on level 3, the US department of state issued a level 4 travel alert for Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

“The security situation in northeast Nigeria is fluid and unpredictable, particularly in Borno and Yobe States and northern Adamawa State,” the department said.

“Terrorist groups based in the Northeast target churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues. Approximately two million of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of the violence in northeast Nigeria.”

The 35 countries were placed in four levels of travel with respect to their safety and security risk.

  1. Exercise normal precautions
  2. Exercise increased caution
  3. Reconsider travel
  4. Do not travel

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