Ten countries we should possibly cross off our list until further notice

By Doug Williams
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Ten countries we should possibly cross off our list until further notice

Doug Williams
 
 
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There are almost 200 sovereign countries in the world today, each one of them with different and interesting sights, experiences and cultures. Many would definitely belong on a ‘must visit before you die’ list.However, there are some you really should avoid for a while.

These countries can be very dangerous places to travel in, and you may die while you are there!  The reasons are varied: there could be military conflict; the economy could be causing social unrest; there is a danger of contracting dangerous diseases to which western people have little or no immunity.

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Here are ten countries you should possibly cross off your list until further notice.

Sierra Leone

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The west coast of Africa, including Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, was the place where the Ebola virus caused an epidemic. The disease is highly contagious and the US State Department has recommended that citizens do not visit for any reason that is non-essential.

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Sierra Leone, in particular, was singled out as a hotspot as there were cases as late as August 2015. While authorities have been working tirelessly to contain the outbreak, part of the problem is the general lack of medical services in the country. The clinics and hospitals are not well equipped, and ambulances are sadly lacking.

Bangladesh

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Since the elections there in 2014, there has been political unrest throughout the country, with increasingly violent protests breaking out in the spring 2015. Terrorist activity has been increasing across the world, and Bangladesh is no exception.

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Bangladeshi nationals and foreign visitors alike have been killed. Journalists, writers, and publishers were under particular threat, and an American blogger was assassinated. A peaceful funeral was bombed by a terrorist faction in late 2015. The threat of extremist violence continues to be a big worry in Bangladesh

Kenya

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Kenya has thus far managed to thwart most of the attacks that have been planned by terrorist organizations in the country. However, there have still been several deadly incidents. 147 people were killed by gunmen at a college in the capital, Nairobi. The terrorist group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack. Kenya has been on alert for attacks for some years.

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Kenya is a beautiful country, and many people visit every year without incident. With Somalia right next door, however, the threat is real and ever-present. Attacks are often planned for places where many people visit. These include shopping malls, airports or resorts. Churches and other places of worship are often targeted, and public transport is an easy target. Extra security measures regularly cause disruptions for tourists.

Somalia

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Somalia is a lawless country and is considered to be a “failed state.” The government is weak and unrecognized by a large segment of the population. Many parts of the country are under the control of extremists like Al-Shabab, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda. Attacks like the one on Mogadishu International Airport were claimed by them. There are many countries who no longer have embassies in Somalia, and their citizens cannot be guaranteed safety.

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The famine in 2015 was aggravated by a weak government and many Somalis are suffering. Such suffering is often the root of violence. Pirates sail the waters off Somalia and have been known to attack vessels in Somali territory and even in international waters 1000 nautical miles from the coast. Somalia remains very dangerous to this day.

Venezuela

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There is continuing civil unrest in Venezuela because of tensions between the supporters of Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro and those of opposition parties. Chavista policies are responsible for chronic shortages of food and other goods, which has lead to increased inflation. Fear grips the population as Venezuela has the highest murder rate in the world. Kidnapping has become an every-day business.

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Victims are captured and held while their families try to raise a ransom. Deteriorating living standards and problematic policies have been the reason for riots and demonstrations. The crime rate has increased exponentially and there are frequent hijackings and armed robberies. Tourists are easy prey for the criminals who perpetrate these crimes. Many countries still risk business interests, but travelers have been warned to keep away.

Turkey

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While Turkey is a fascinating place to see, the risk of becoming a victim of violence while there has increased in the last few years. The level is not quite that of the scale seen in some other places in the world but due to sharing borders with Syria and Iraq, acts of terrorism are becoming regular occurrences. Being close to the conflicts in these Middle Eastern countries has seen Turkey become the destination of a flood of refugees.

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There have been military operations at Turkish bases in the South of the country. There has also been internal unrest for some years. Political demonstrations often turn violent.

Ukraine

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Ongoing tensions in the Crimea and Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine have made traveling in the area dangerous. Western regions and the capital city of Kiev are, for the moment at least, safe to travel to. The civil unrest that broke out in 2013 affected the capital and other areas, causing the government to respond. Rebels in the east, having broken away from the state, asked for Russian support.

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The Crimea was occupied by Russia causing an escalation in the crisis until a ceasefire between the Ukraine government and rebels created a dividing line. Opposite territories are controlled by each group. The airspace of the region has been restricted since the 2014  Malaysian Aircraft disaster. The Ukraine is still in a state of unrest.

Yemen

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For many years, there has been a threat of civil war in Yemen, a state in the south of the Arab peninsula. There was an Arab spring revolution back in 2011 and violent unrest has continued since. The entire government resigned in early 2015, and the country has technically been in a state of civil war since.

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The United States closed its embassy and can no longer vouch for the safety of Americans who were strongly advised to leave. The country is experiencing a civil war which includes military intervention from other Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, which makes life very unsafe for citizens and visitors alike. Pirates who operate in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and into the Indian ocean add to the dangers.

Syria

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Syria has been the subject of news headlines for ages. The situation is dire. It is clearly a better place to be leaving than to go to, as so many refugees will testify. The region has become more and more dangerous in the years following the outbreak of civil war. Humanitarian reasons would probably be the only ones to compel anyone to visit Syria.

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This is a war zone, and your safety in the area is definitely at risk The United States Department of State advises its citizens that kidnappings and checkpoints run by terrorist groups make travel to Syria ill-advised, EscapeHere reported.

The Democratic Republic of Congo

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There have been trouble and turbulent times in The Democratic Republic of Congo for decades. It is experiencing relative peace at the current time. However, instability is a constant threat and security is not guaranteed. Protests in 2015 demanding that President Joseph Kabila resigned turned violent. Elections are not expected to ever be peaceful in the country. Since 1966 at the beginning of the Congolese civil war unrest has been ongoing.

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Violent crimes are regularly committed against local civilians and foreigners all over the country. Roadblocks, official and unofficial, stop travelers and bribes are extorted on pain of death. There is little infrastructure with few roads or railways. Travel is often by boat, but this is also unsafe. To top it all, Ebola, Yellow fever, and Malaria are endemic in the country.

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