Washington orders non-essential personnel to leave Lagos

Washington orders non-essential personnel to leave Lagos

The United States on Thursday ordered the departure of non-essential diplomatic personnel and their families from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, because of the “increased risk of terrorist attacks”, according to a State Department 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.

Insecurity on the rise

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, Nigerian authorities had assured that “all necessary precautions had been taken”.

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