Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 14 August 2017, 11:45 NZST
  • Still current at: 21 November 2017

Extreme Risk

There is extreme risk to your security in Libya and we advise against all travel. The ongoing conflict and the threat from terrorism and kidnapping present a significant risk to New Zealanders in Libya. New Zealanders currently in Libya are strongly advised to depart immediately.

As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Libya, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited. The British  Embassy, which had previously provided emergency assistance to New Zealanders in Libya, has closed due to the security situation.

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Ongoing conflict
The political and security situation in Libya remains extremely fragile. Since 2014 there has been heavy fighting between rival factions throughout the country. Fighting occurs daily. Hundreds of people have been killed, thousands injured and hundreds of thousands displaced by the fighting.  Significant numbers of unmarked landmines and unexploded ordinances remain in areas where fighting has occured. 

Militia continue to operate freely in Libya, and the Libyan authorities have been unable to exert control over the security situation nationwide. Further clashes are likely and it is possible that those in the wrong place at the wrong time could get caught in the crossfire. Public demonstrations are a frequent occurrence throughout Libya.

Tripoli International Airport has been closed since July 2014. A number of other international airports in Libya have closed or become inaccessible as a result of the security situation. A small number of airports, including Benghazi,  Mitiga and Misrata airports, offer international flights out of Libya, however, flight schedules can change at short notice.

New Zealanders who choose to remain in Libya against our advice should be vigilant and ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times, including a robust contingency plan. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company for advice on security arrangements. You should monitor developments closely through the media and heed any local advice. 

Civil Unrest
New Zealanders in Libya are advised to avoid all protests and large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should find a safe location, remain indoors, heed any local advice and leave the area as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Terrorism
There is an extreme threat from terrorism throughout Libya. Terrorist and extremist groups, including ISIL, continue to conduct attacks frequently and the unsettled security situation in Libya means future attacks are expected. Attacks may be indiscriminate and could occur anytime and anywhere, including in places frequented by foreigners.

Westerners and Western interests continue to be targeted by terrorists in Libya. A number of foreign nationals have been targeted and killed in the past. Further attacks against foreigners are highly likely. Potential targets for future attacks may include Libyan government buildings and security forces, embassies, diplomatic interests and international hotels.

Kidnapping
There is a significant risk of kidnapping throughout Libya with foreigners being specifically targeted. The risk of kidnapping is particularly high in the border areas of Algeria, Chad, Niger and Sudan. It is likely that kidnapping attempts against Westerners will occur opportunistically and without warning. A large number of hostages have been killed by their captors. Criminal groups have been known to carry out kidnappings for terrorist groups in exchange for financial reward.

Crime
Law and order has broken down in many parts of the country and crime levels have increased. The presence of a large number of looted weapons within the country means there is a heightened risk of crime involving firearms, including armed robbery and car jackings.  There is a limited police capacity to respond to crime.

General travel advice
New Zealanders in Libya are advised to respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Libya should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel to Libya as exclusions may well apply.

New Zealanders who decide to travel or live in Libya against our advice are strongly advised to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Cairo, Egypt is accredited to Libya

Street Address 8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt Telephone +202 2461 6000 Fax +202 2461 6099 Email enquiries@nzembassy.org.eg Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/egypt Hours Sun-Thur 0900-1500 hrs Note In an emergency or if you require urgent assistance, please call the Embassy on +202 2461 6000. Outside of business hours you will be redirected to an after-hours duty service.

See our regional advice for Africa

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Accredited New Zealand Embassy Egypt

Street Address
8th floor, North Tower, Nile City building, Corniche El Nil, Ramlet Beaulac, Cairo, Egypt

Telephone: +202 2461 6000

Fax: +202 2461 6099

Email: enquiries@nzembassy.org.eg

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/egypt

Hours: Sun-Thur 0900-1500 hrs

Related advice from other countries

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