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Message for U.S. Citizens

Travel Warning - Libya

May 09, 2013

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and all travel to Benghazi, Bani Walid, and southern Libya, including border areas and the regions of Sabha and Kufra. Because of ongoing instability and violence, the Department’s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in these regions of Libya is extremely limited. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated March 11, 2013. 

In early May, the security situation in Tripoli deteriorated when armed groups seized Libyan government buildings in a dispute over a law regarding officials of the former regime.  In response, on May 9, the Department of State ordered the departure of a number of U.S. government personnel in Tripoli.

The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable. Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country.  U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations, as even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens traveling to, or remaining in, Libya should use caution and limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, and maintain security awareness at all times.  We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Libya enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

The Embassy’s website includes consular information and the most recent messages for U.S. citizens in Libya. U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance should call 091-379-4560 within Libya or +218-91-379-4560 if dialing from outside of Libya.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis link. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, Monday through Friday(except U.S. federal holidays).

For further information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Libya. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and Google play, to have travel information at your fingertips.