Abuja. Washington orders the departure of its non-essential personnel.
The United States on Thursday ordered the departure of non-essential diplomatic personnel and their families from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. This decision was made due to the “increased risk of terrorist attacks”. Bern is closely monitoring the situation.
The Swiss embassy in Abuja is currently operational and in contact with other embassies in this country. “The security device is adapted according to the circumstances,” the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) told Keystone-ATS on Friday in a position statement.
On Tuesday, Washington had already authorized these people to leave the city if they wished. Several Western embassies, including that of the United States, have also recently recommended that their nationals limit their movements in the country.
Residents of Abuja and surrounding areas, including Western diplomats, are increasingly concerned about insecurity following a mass jailbreak in July at Kuje prison in the suburbs of Abuja.
More than 400 detainees then escaped, including dozens of suspected jihadists. The police and the army had announced that they had reinforced security measures in and around the capital, but Abuja is surrounded by mountainous and forested areas which are difficult to secure.
Following multiple Western warnings, the Nigerian authorities had assured that “all necessary precautions had been taken”. The jihadists generally attack in the northeastern regions of Nigeria, far from the federal capital, but Islamist cells exist in other regions of the country.
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