US issues Level-2 travel advisory for Bangladesh

Staff Reporter Published: 14 October 2023, 09:25 AM
US issues Level-2 travel advisory for Bangladesh

The United States on Thursday issued a ‘Level 2’ travel advisory for Bangladesh, urging its citizens to exercise caution while travelling to the country.

The US also urged its citizens to reconsider travel to Chittagong Hill Tracts Region “due to occasional communal violence, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and other security risks”.

Here is the full statement issued by the US State Department:

“Travelers should be aware of petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded areas. Crimes such as muggings, burglaries, assaults, and illegal drug trafficking constitute the majority of criminal activity in Bangladesh's major cities, but there are no indications foreigners are being targeted because of their nationality. These crimes tend to be situational, based on time and location.

Terrorist attacks can happen with little or no warning, with terrorists targeting public areas such as tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, restaurants, places of worship, school campuses, and government facilities.

The next general election is anticipated to occur before January 2024, and political party rallies and other election-related activities have already commenced. Political rallies and demonstrations may be held with increasing frequency or intensity as the general election draws nearer. Travelers to Bangladesh should practice vigilance and remember that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

Because of security concerns US government employees in Bangladesh are subject to some movement and travel restrictions. The US government may have limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Bangladesh due to these travel restrictions, a lack of infrastructure, and limited host government emergency response resources.

Chittagong Hill Tracts Region - Level 3: Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel to the Khagrachhari, Rangamati, and Bandarban Hill Tracts districts (collectively known as the Chittagong Hill Tracts) due to occasional communal violence, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and other security risks. Kidnappings have occurred in the region, including those motivated by domestic or familial disputes, and those targeting religious minorities. Separatist organizations and political violence also pose additional threats to visitors to the region, and there have been recent instances of IED explosions and active shooting. Prior approval from the Government of Bangladesh's Ministry of Home Affairs Office of Public Safety is required if you plan to travel to these areas.”