DUBAI: The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a travel warning on Wednesday advising its citizens planning to visit the Maldives to take precautions.
The advisory, posted on the ministry’s official Twitter account, comes as political instability continues in the small island nation.
Political turmoil has swept the Maldives since a surprise court ruling in January that ordered the release of jailed opposition leaders, including many of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s main political rivals.
The ruling has led to a tense standoff between President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and the Supreme Court, with protests spilling into the streets of the capital, Male, and soldiers in riot gear deployed to the parliament building to stop lawmakers from meeting.
The UN and many foreign governments including the United States, Britain and India have expressed concern over the state of emergency and have urged Yameen to respect the earlier court order.
Hours after the emergency was declared, security forces in riot gear stormed the Supreme Court building, arresting the two judges, including Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed. It was not immediately clear what charges they face, if any.
The Maldives is an archipelago of more than 1,000 islands with fewer than 400,000 citizens, more than one-third of them living in the crowded capital city. Tourism now dominates the economy, with wealthy foreigners flown to hyper-expensive resort islands.