Expats Urged to Leave Bahrain

Alongside governments all over the world the US Department of State has urged all expats living in Bahrain to leave the country at the nearest opportunity.

Expats living in the region are being warned that levels of civil unrest in Bahrain constitute a severe risk to their safety and that the area should be avoided at all costs.

Bahrain, which is currently in a state of emergency, is suffering from a “breakdown in law and order” according to the US Department of State and, despite the fact that Westerners are not believed to a target of the protestors, there is a general consensus from Western governments that there are potential dangers to any foreign workers who remain in the Emirate. This was confirmed in a statement issued by the US Department of State: “Demonstrations have degenerated into violent clashes between police and protesters on several occasions, resulting in injuries,” it said. “There also have been multiple reports of sectarian groups patrolling areas throughout Bahrain and establishing unofficial vehicle checkpoints.”

Talking to eFinancial Careers one expat told of how he had been contacted by the US Embassy and advised to leave:

One banker who works in Saudi, but whose family is based in Bahrain, tells us this has meant the problems have finally hit home: “The US Embassy contacted my family by both e-mail and phone this morning, essentially urging them to leave if they could,” he said.

However, despite the warnings, many expatriates seem intent on remaining in their host country. These expatriates have reportedly stock piled emergency supplies and are remaining inside their homes in the hope that the crisis will end. Talking to the Gulf Daily News, one expatriate told of how she did not see any reason to leave the country: “I am not considering leaving just yet as until they start officially evacuating families I don’t see much point to be honest,” said the British born expat.

“The situation hasn’t become that hectic yet so I am not going to think about leaving, just wait for it to calm down over the next days,” she said.

Over the past couple of days over 1,000 Saudi troops have entered Bahrain with the intention of suppressing protests and avoiding any further civil unrest. The move confirms Saudi Arabia’s support of the ruling al-Khalifa family.