News from the Embassy
Travel Warning - Libya (Feb 21 Update)
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the potential for ongoing unrest in Libya. Violent clashes between protesters and security forces continue throughout Libya, including in Tripoli. Spontaneous demonstrations, violence, and looting are possible throughout the next several days. The Department of State has ordered all Embassy family members and non-emergency personnel to depart Libya. U.S. citizens outside of Libya are urged to defer all travel to Libya. U.S. citizens in Libya should minimize overall travel in-country, exercise extreme caution when traveling, and limit all travel after dark. U.S. citizens not departing Libya should make preparations to shelter in place. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated February 20, 2011.
U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution, avoid areas where demonstrations are likely to occur such as government offices and public squares, and leave an area immediately if a demonstration begins. Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between security forces and protesters, resulting in injuries and deaths. The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment, or worse. While demonstrations have not been directed toward Westerners, U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. U.S. citizens should take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. Again, there is no indication that Westerners are being threatened or targeted at this time.
Unannounced security checkpoints and road and airport closures may occur throughout Libya, changing traffic patterns and flight availability without notice. Due to ongoing internet and telephone service interruptions in Libya, U.S. citizens who require assistance in departing Libya should contact the U.S. State Department at the phone numbers below or via email at LibyaEmergencyUSC@state.gov.
The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli can be reached at +218 (0)21-337-3250 during business hours; the after hours emergency number for emergencies involving U.S. citizens is 091-220-5207. The Embassy’s website is at http://libya.usembassy.gov. Security updates can be found at http://libya.usembassy.gov/service/information-for-travelers/warden-messages.html. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located in the Ben Ashour neighborhood on Jeraba Street behind the former Libyan-Swiss Clinic.
All U.S. citizens in Libya are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
For the latest security information on travel and security in Libya, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for callers in other areas by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).