Special Report

29 Countries the US Government Doesn't Want You to Go To

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21. Pakistan
> Advisory level: Level 3: reconsider travel
> Last updated: Aug. 1
> Population: 193.2 million
> GDP per capita: $1,500

Deadly terrorist attacks are common in Pakistan, and they frequently target areas where Americans and other westerners convene. The Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces have been targets of frequent terrorist attacks, according to the U.S. government. Americans also have been the victims of kidnappings. The U.S. government has restricted travel in Pakistan for its employees, who are prohibited from using public transportation or staying at hotels. Relations between Pakistan and the U.S. are rocky, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went to Pakistan in early September to try and improve them.

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22. Russia
> Advisory level: Level 3: reconsider travel
> Last updated: June 15
> Population: 144.3 million
> GDP per capita: $9,720

One of two European countries on the list, Americans have been advised to reconsider travel to Russia because of terrorism, civil unrest, and harassment. Americans have been advised not to travel to the north Caucasus because of civil disturbances and terrorism, nor should they travel to Crimea because of occupation by Russia, which annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The State Department says American citizens have been harassed, mistreated, and extorted by law-enforcement and other officials. Russia has been known to impose restrictions on those with dual U.S.-Russian citizenship. Because the U.S. claimed Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, tension between the United States and Russia has risen, and the Russian government has forced the U.S. to trim its diplomatic presence in Russia. This reduction has limited the U.S. government’s ability to provide services to American citizens in Russia.

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23. Somalia
> Advisory level: Level 4: do not travel
> Last updated: July 9
> Population: 14.3 million
> GDP per capita: N/A

Somalia, an African nation located on the Indian Ocean, has been a haven for terrorism. At least six people were killed after a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle containing explosives on Sept. 2 in the Somali capital of Mogadishu. Kidnapping and murder also are widespread in Somalia, including in the areas of Puntland and Somaliland. Illegal roadblocks are a fact of life in the country. Pirates also are active in the international waters near Somalia.

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24. South Sudan
> Advisory level: Level 4: do not travel
> Last updated: Jun. 28
> Population: 12.2 million
> GDP per capita: $390

South Sudan gained independence in 2011. But peace has been elusive for the fledgling nation, which descended into conflict two years after its creation. About 4 million people have been displaced by conflict. The ongoing ordeal is the reason the U.S. government has advised Americans not to travel to South Sudan. U.S. government employees are under sever curfew and can only travel in armored vehicles in the capital Juba. Because of frequent crime, walking anywhere by embassy personnel is discouraged.

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25. Sudan
> Advisory level: Level 3: reconsider travel
> Last updated: July 2
> Population: 39.6 million
> GDP per capita: $2,140

American travelers are advised to reconsider traveling to Sudan because of terrorism and civil unrest. The concern is most acute in the Darfur region, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan state because of crime and armed conflict. The U.S. government has advised Americans not to travel to those areas. Nearly one-third of Darfur’s population lives in refugee camps.

The State Department says in its advisory that terrorist groups are targeting the capital Khartoum. Because of the heightened security concerns in areas such as Kassala and North Kordofan states, security forces have amassed strong arrest powers. This has led to frequent detentions, including foreigners. Curfews may be enforced with little warning. The Sudanese government does not recognize dual citizenship and considers those holding it to be Sudanese citizens.

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