NGOs Draw Ire in Burma’s Rakhine State
NGO; Political Violence; Travel Health and Safety
East Asia & Pacific > Burma > Rangoon
4/2/2014
Summary

The Department of State has advised U.S. citizens not to travel to Burma’s Rakhine state following recent incidents of violence. At the root of the conflict are long-simmering inter-ethnic tensions, most recently aggravated by a March 30-April 10 nationwide census. NGOs operating in Rakhine have reported harassment and intimidation based on their perceived support of the Rohingya Muslim minority and currently have limited access to the region due to both uncertainty about their safety and pending authorization from the government. Lot’s of typical Muslim violence going on: The chopping off of heads, hands, the raping of innocent women and children and young boys to include the occasional weak adult male. So if you don’t want to get caught up in this normal violent but all too typical ethnic Muslim behavior stay away until enough people are killed to temporally quell their thirst for blood. Once this has occurred it will again be somewhat safe to travel in this rotten country.

Ukraine Travel Warning
March 21, 2014

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ukraine and to defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula and eastern regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk due to the presence of Russian military forces in the Crimean Peninsula, and in Russia near the Ukrainian border.  Russia is taking actions in support of its attempt to annex the Crimean Peninsula and is likely to continue to take further actions in the Crimean Peninsula consistent with its claim.  The United States and Ukraine do not recognize this claimed annexation, and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is constrained in its ability to provide assistance to U.S. citizens visiting or residing in the Crimean Peninsula.  This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated March 7 and Emergency Message dated March 14, 2014, to provide updated information on the situation in the Crimean Peninsula and the eastern regions of Ukraine.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Ukraine to evaluate carefully the risks posed to their personal safety, particularly in the Crimean Peninsula and the eastern regions of Donetsk, Lugansk, and Kharkiv.  While the transition to a new government has been largely peaceful in most parts of Ukraine, the potential for violence between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian groups still exists.  Since February 27, demonstrations and clashes have occurred in several cities in Ukraine, some of which were violent and resulted in deaths and injuries.  Additionally, groups advocating closer ties to Russia have taken on a more strident anti-American tone, especially in Crimea, where some U.S. citizens have reported being detained and questioned by armed men.  U.S. citizens in areas where there are pro-Russian demonstrations should maintain a low profile and avoid large crowds and gatherings.

Peace Corps Volunteers departed Ukraine on February 25, 2014, and remain out of the country at this time.  U.S. Embassy Kyiv’s Consular Section is open for all public services.  The Embassy’s ability to respond to emergencies involving U.S. citizens in other parts of Ukraine, especially in southern and eastern Ukraine, is limited.

Ground transportation may be disrupted throughout the country.  Drivers, especially in the Crimean Peninsula, may encounter roadblocks that restrict access on certain roads.  Commercial air travel, especially out of the Crimean Peninsula, could be delayed or cancelled with little or no notice.  Travelers should check with their airlines for possible flight delays or cancellations prior to travel.

The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and could change quickly.  U.S. citizens throughout Ukraine should avoid large crowds.  Those in Kyiv should keep away from the downtown areas of Kyiv near Independence Square and government buildings.  U.S. citizens should be prepared to remain indoors for extended periods of time should clashes occur in their vicinity.

Protests in Kyiv began on November 21, 2013, following the Government of Ukraine’s announcement that it was suspending preparations to sign an association agreement with the European Union.  On February 22, following three months of large protests and violent clashes, former President Yanukovych departed Kyiv.  The Ukrainian Parliament established an interim government on February 27.  Groups that oppose the new government and those who support closer ties with Russia have staged demonstrations in cities throughout eastern and southern Ukraine.  Russia has conducted an illegal military intervention in the Crimean Peninsula and has been taking steps to acquire territory from Ukraine through the illegal use of force.  On March 18 the Russian Government recognized Crimea as independent and declared its intention to annex Crimea as part of the Russian Federation. On March 20, Russia’s lower Parliament House, known as the State Duma, took steps supporting Russia’s illegal attempt to make Crimea a part of Russia.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Ukraine are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel updates and to obtain updated information on security within Ukraine.  By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

For inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Ukraine related to the current unrest, please call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444, or email the Department of State at UkraineEmergencyUSC@state.gov.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  For emergency assistance for U.S. citizens in Ukraine, you may contact the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv at +380-44-521-5000 during regular business hours, or after-hours at +380-44-521-5000.  The U.S. Embassy is located at 4 A.I. Sikorsky St. (formerly Tankova) in Kyiv.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information can be found.  Follow us on Twitter  and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook  as well.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Congo, Democratic Republic of the
October 24, 2013

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa) (DRC). The Department recommends you avoid all travel to the city of Goma and the province of North Kivu, and all but essential travel to the province of South Kivu and the Ituri region in the province of Orientale. With ongoing instability and violence in North and South Kivu, northeastern Orientale, and northern and central Katanga province, the Department’s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in these regions of the DRC is extremely limited. This replaces the Travel Warning dated April 24, 2013, to update information on security in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Armed groups, bandits, and elements of the Congolese military remain security concerns in eastern DRC. These armed groups, primarily located in the North Kivu, South Kivu, and Orientale provinces, as well as the northern and central parts of Katanga province, and the eastern part of Maniema province, are known to pillage, steal vehicles, kidnap, rape, kill, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians are indiscriminately targeted. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is present near the border with Uganda, Central African Republic, and the Republic of South Sudan. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) continues to assist the Congolese government with the protection of civilians and efforts to combat armed groups.

Violent clashes in North and South Kivu have resulted in significant displacements of civilians since September 2010. In April 2012, members of a rebel group that previously had been integrated into the Congolese military mutinied and heavy fighting occurred in Masisi and Rutshuru territories as well as in Virunga National Park. In November 2012, members of this group captured several towns north of Goma and Goma itself, the provincial capital of North Kivu province. Although the rebels withdrew from Goma in December 2012, the security and political situation in Goma and North Kivu remains tense and fragile. In March, June, and August 2013, fighting between government forces and the rebel group pushed the rebels away from Goma, and an additional short firefight took place in mid-September north of Goma. Hundreds of people have been killed or injured as a result of the clashes, and tens of thousands more have been internally displaced. Moreover, violence among foreign and Congolese rebel groups present in the northern part of North Kivu, and former Rwandan militants in the southern part of the province and throughout South Kivu, pose a serious and significant risk to travelers in the region. This fighting underscores the persistent insecurity arising from activities of rebel and other armed groups operating in the Kivu region, which contribute to the overall high risks and dangers associated with travel to eastern Congo. Travel to North and South Kivu and the Ituri region of Orientale province by Embassy personnel is currently restricted to essential business only.

Travelers are frequently detained and questioned by poorly disciplined security forces at numerous official and unofficial roadblocks and border crossings throughout the country. Requests for bribes in such instances are extremely common, and security forces have occasionally injured or killed people who refused to pay. In the past year, several U.S. citizens were illegally detained by government forces, or were robbed of their valuables while being searched. Very poor infrastructure (road and air) makes the provision of consular services difficult outside of Kinshasa.

The Embassy has received many reports of robberies and banditry in Goma after dark. In most such cases, the robbers have stopped cars and stolen money and other valuables. The poor condition of the roads, along with widespread new road construction around the city, contribute to the banditry problem, as traffic is either bottlenecked on the main road, or forced to travel on secondary roads with even worse conditions. The Department strongly urges travelers who must go to Goma not to travel after dark.

Kinshasa has a critical crime threat level, and U.S. citizens continue to be the victims of serious crimes, including armed robbery by groups posing as law enforcement officials in both urban and rural areas, especially after nightfall. Avoid walking alone and displaying cash and other personal property of value.

Avoid taking photos in public, especially of government buildings and the airport (which are viewed as places of national security), police stations, the presidential palace, border crossings, and along the river, since doing so may lead to arrest.

Lock vehicle doors and keep windows closed when driving. You should not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly. In areas where the roads are in poor condition and the speed limit is minimal, be wary of gangs of street children who may approach your car, open your door, and steal your belongings. Roadblocks are often found throughout the country, especially near government buildings and installations in Kinshasa, and should be avoided when possible. If stopped at a roadblock, keep doors locked and crack the window in order to communicate.

Official Congolese motorcades pose hazards to motorists and pedestrians. Drivers should pull over to the far side of the road when sirens or security forces announce their presence. You should not take photographs of motorcades. Proceed only when security forces permit you to do so.

There is no reliable public transportation system in the DRC. Overcrowded vans and taxis, which often do not meet western safety standards, serve as public transportation in Kinshasa. Few independent taxis are available, operating largely out of the big hotels, and most do not meet safety standards. You should avoid all travel by public transportation, and hire private transport from a reliable source.

The DRC has few viable roads or railways, but does have several major waterways. Boat transport is widely used; however, the vessels are often overloaded and/or poorly maintained, and accidents are commonplace and often fatal.

Public health concerns pose a hazard to U.S. citizen travelers due to outbreaks of deadly viruses and other diseases, which can occur without warning and often without swift reporting by local health authorities. Information on personal protection for international travelers, including children, can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. Travelers are required to carry evidence of yellow fever vaccination in order to enter the DRC. Health officials at entry points, such as the airport in Kinshasa, will check for proof of vaccination. If you do not have evidence of a yellow fever vaccination, you may be denied entry or required to pay a fine. Malaria is common throughout the DRC and prophylaxis is recommended. Please consult with your healthcare provider for more information and advice on prophylaxis.

Due to the recent outbreak of measles in the DRC, you should update your measles vaccination, if necessary, and refer to the CDC for additional guidance. Due to the high levels of air borne irritants (i.e., dust, burning trash, debris, etc.) individuals with respiratory illnesses should carry all their necessary medications and equipment with adapters.

There is a high risk of traveler’s diarrhea and cholera throughout the country. You can reduce this risk by using good judgment when choosing what food to eat and water to drink. When in restaurants, you should ask for bottled water and avoid ice.

Due to the immense size of the country, the density of the Congo River rainforest, the terrible state of the roads, and the poor security situation, the only way to get around the country quickly is by plane. However, domestic air travel on Congolese or other local airlines in the DRC is not recommended. There have been several recent incidents causing deaths and injuries, including one on August 25, 2010, that killed all but one passenger. In April 2011, a United Nations operated flight crashed while landing in Kinshasa, killing 32 passengers and crew. In July 2011, a Boeing 737 crashed in Kisangani, killing more than 70 passengers. In March 2013, a domestic airline flight crashed in Goma, killing five crewmembers and passengers. Crashes of private aircraft are even more common. The U.S. Embassy has prohibited official travel by U.S. government employees and certain contractors on most airlines flying domestic routes in the DRC due to safety and maintenance concerns. International flights on foreign-owned-and-operated carriers are not affected by this prohibition. As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in the DRC, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of the DRC’s Civil Aviation Authority. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

You should avoid all public demonstrations and areas where crowds have gathered because even peaceful events can become violent, and even deadly. You should exercise caution at all times, and closely monitor local and international news from reliable sources. Radio Okapi broadcasts in French on 103.5 FM at 0700, 0800, 1200, and 1800 hours, and provides updates throughout the day. English-language news can be found on BBC at 92.6 FM. In emergencies, the Belgian Embassy operates a French-language radio broadcast system at FM 98.8. Changes in security conditions may occasionally restrict the travel of U.S. Mission personnel.

The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa strongly encourages U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in the DRC despite this Travel Warning to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so you can receive the most up-to-date security information. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP current. It is important to include your current phone number and email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy is located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs; the Consular Section entrance is located on Avenue Dumi, opposite Saint Anne’s Church. The Embassy’s telephone number, including for after-hours emergencies, is 243-81-556-0151; callers within the DRC should dial 081-556-0151. All telephone lines in the DRC, cellular as well as landlines, are unreliable. Click here to visit the Embassy website.

For further information, consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Democratic Republic of the Congo and the current Worldwide Caution, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. You can also download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes and the Google play store to have travel information at your fingertips.

Travel Alert: Japan
Other; Natural Disasters
East Asia & Pacific > Japan
3/13/2011
The U.S. Department of State released the following travel Alert on March 13, 2011:The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the situation in Japan in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake, measuring 8.9 magnitude, that struck northern Japan on March 11.  U.S. citizens should avoid travel to Japan at this time.  This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert for Japan dated March 11,  2011, to provide updated information, and expires on April 1, 2011.The Department of State requests all non-essential official U.S. government personnel defer travel to Japan and also urges U.S. citizens to avoid tourism and non-essential travel to Japan at this time.  Flights have resumed at all airports that were closed by the earthquake, with the exception of Sendai Airport in Miyagi Prefecture, which remains flooded.  In Tokyo, most public transportation including trains and subways are operating.  Many roads have been damaged in the Tokyo area and in northern Japan.   In Iwate Prefecture toll road highways are restricted to emergency vehicles only.

Strong aftershocks are likely for weeks following a strong earthquake such as this one.  The American Red Cross recommends that in the event of aftershocks, persons should move to open spaces away from walls, windows, buildings, and other structures that may collapse, and should be alert to the danger of falling debris.  If you are indoors, DROP, COVER AND HOLD ON:  If possible, seek cover under a sturdy desk or table, hold on, and protect your eyes by pressing your face against your arm.  If there is no table or desk nearby, sit on the floor against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you.  Avoid damaged buildings and downed power lines.  Great care should be used with matches, lighters, candles, or any open flame due to the possibility of disrupted gas lines.

U.S. citizens currently in Japan should contact family and friends in the United States to confirm their well-being at the earliest opportunity.  Where internet and telephone services are not available, it may be possible to contact people using SMS (Cell text message) or other forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook.  U.S. citizens may contact the Department of State at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov and the emergency contact numbers below.

U.S. citizens in Japan are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at the following website:  https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulates. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy/Consulates to contact them in case of emergency.

Updated information on travel and security in Japan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Japan, as well as the Worldwide Caution, which can be found at www.travel.state.gov.

 

Libya: Travel Warning (Updated February 25, 2011)
Civil Unrest
Near East > Libya > Tripoli
2/25/2011

U.S. Department of State issued the following Travel Warning on February 25, 2011:

The United States warns U.S. citizens against travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately. The United States advised the Government of Libya that it has suspended all embassy operations effective February 25, 2011, given ongoing violence and a deteriorating security situation. All official U.S. embassy personnel and their family members have departed.This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated February 24, 2011.

The Department continues to reach out to U.S. citizens we believe remain in Libya. The Department is working closely with other governments and multinational corporations to ensure the safe departures of those U.S. citizens who still need assistance. Please direct inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Libya to LibyaEmergencyUSC@state.gov. Callers in United States and Canada may dial the toll free number 1-888-407-4747. Callers outside the United States and Canada may dial 1 -202-501-4444.

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who decide to remain in Libya despite this Travel Warning enroll their stay in Libya through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.travel.state.gov, and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin information.

The United States will appoint a protecting power to assist any remaining U.S. citizens in Libya and oversee its property. Please see the Country Specific Information for Libya on the Department of State’s website at www.travel.state.gov, which will be updated as details become available.

 

Travel Warning: Egypt
Civil Unrest
Near East > Egypt
2/1/2011
U.S. Department of State released the following Travel Warning on February 1, 2011:On February 1, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members from Egypt.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Egypt dated January 28, 2011.  The U.S. Department of State continues to recommend that U.S. citizens avoid travel to Egypt at this time.  U.S. citizens should consider leaving Egypt as soon as they can safely do so, due to ongoing political and social unrest.  Large-scale demonstrations with the potential for violence continue in several areas of Cairo, Alexandria, and other parts of the country, and rail and road travel has been disrupted between cities, and between city centers and airports.  Disruptions in communications, including internet service, also continue.  The Government of Egypt may also disrupt mobile phone service during future demonstrations.  The Government of Egypt modified the curfew times and locations; now 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. throughout Egypt until further notice.  U.S. citizens should obey curfew orders and remain indoors during curfew hours.U.S. citizens currently in Egypt should monitor international and local media to stay abreast of announcements from the embassy.  Due to the fluid nature of the situation and the volume of phone calls to the embassy, U.S. citizens should not wait for a reply from the embassy or the Department of State before traveling to the nearest airport.  Cairo airport is open and operating, but flights may be delayed or cancelled, and transport to the airport is disrupted, due to the protests.  Travelers should remain in contact with their airlines or tour operators concerning flight schedules, and arrange to arrive at the airport well before curfew hours.The U.S. Department of State is making arrangements to provide charter air transportation to safe haven locations in Europe of U.S. citizens and eligible dependents who wish to depart Egypt.  This assistance will be provided on a reimbursable basis, as required by U.S. law.  U.S. citizens who travel on U.S. Government-arranged transport will be expected to make their own onward travel plans from the safe haven location; currently: Larnaca, Cyprus; Istanbul, Turkey; Frankfurt, Germany; and Athens, Greece.  Flights to evacuation points began departing Cairo on Monday, January 31.  There will be a limited number of seats available on future evacuation flights.  Priority will be given to persons with medical emergencies or severe medical conditions.  Persons interested in departing Egypt via U.S. Government-arranged chartered transportation should proceed to one of the airports in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, or Aswan.U.S. citizens with a valid passport wishing to depart from Cairo may proceed to the Hajj Terminal/VIP Hall (Terminal 1, Hall 4) of the airport after curfew is lifted, currently 8:00 a.m.  For U.S. citizens attempting to depart via Alexandria, airports are all open and there are commercial flights available to U.S. citizens.  If traveling from Luxor, Alexandria, or Aswan airport, be sure to have a confirmed ticket and know the terminal you need before traveling to the airport.  There are two operational airports in Alexandria:

Primary airport: Borg El Arab – two terminals:

  • One newer where commercial flights are departing.
  • Older terminal where chartered flights are departing and some commercial flights.

Secondary airport: El Nouzha – older, under reconstruction

Passengers must have a ticket in hand, or arrange to purchase a ticket via cell phone or internet.  Tickets are NOT being sold at the airport.

Immediate family members (spouses and children) who are not U.S. citizens must be documented for entry into the safe haven country and/or the United States, if that is their final destination.  Travelers who are not U.S. citizens but are accompanying a U.S. citizen immediate family member (child, spouse, parent of minor child) should have a valid passport.  U.S. citizens seeking evacuation should be prepared for a substantial wait at the airport.  Travelers are advised to bring food, water, diapers, and other necessary toiletries with them to the airport.  Travelers will not be able to choose their destination, and they are permitted only one piece of luggage per person.  Travelers may not bring pets.

In the event of demonstrations, U.S. citizens in Egypt should remain in their residences or hotels until the demonstrations subside.  Security forces may block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, and U.S. citizens should not attempt to come to the U.S. Embassy or the Tahrir Square area during that time.  Demonstrations have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in injuries and extensive property damage.  While demonstrations have not been directed toward Westerners, U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security.  The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse.   If caught unexpectedly near a demonstration, U.S. citizens should obey instructions from police and leave the area as quickly as possible.  U.S. citizens resident in Egypt should monitor local news broadcasts and U.S. citizen visitors should ask tour guides and hotel officials about any planned demonstrations in the locations they plan to visit.  U.S. citizens should carry identification and a cell phone that works in Egypt.

The U.S. Embassy will be open only for emergency services to U.S. citizens until further notice.  As always, any change to Embassy hours will be posted on the Embassy website.  Family members of U.S. citizens in Egypt may also enroll them in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  U.S. citizens in Egypt, or their loved ones, may contact the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo via email, or at 1-202-501-4444.  Please follow the directions on the Embassy website for all other consular inquiries.

Current information on travel and security in Egypt may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Egypt, as well as the Worldwide Caution.

 

Travel Alert: Worldwide Caution

 Threats; Terrorism; Significant Events; Political Violence; Other; Insurgencies; Civil Unrest

2/1/2011

The U.S. Department of State issued the following Worldwide Caution on February 1:

The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated August 12, 2010, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.

The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning. Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings.

Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices,

hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and locales where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays.

U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Extremists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services. In the past several years, these types of attacks have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, and Glasgow.

Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and Western interests in Europe. European governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions. In the past several years, attacks have been planned or occurred in various European cities.

Credible information indicates terrorist groups also seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa. For example, Iraq remains dangerous and unpredictable. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue. Methods of attack have included roadside improvised explosive

devices, mortars, and shootings; kidnappings still occur as well. Security threat levels remain high in Yemen due to terrorist activities there. The U.S. Embassy has had to close several times in response to ongoing threats by

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). U.S. citizens as well as other Westerners have been targeted for attack in Yemen. U.S. citizens have also been the targets of numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past (though none recently) and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity continues to exist there. In Algeria, terrorist attacks occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie region of the country. In the past, terrorists have targeted oil processing facilities in both Saudi Arabia and

Yemen.

A number of Al-Qaida operatives and other extremists are believed to be operating in and around Africa. Since the July 11, 2010, terrorist bombings in Kampala, Uganda, for which the Somalia-based, U.S.-designated

Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility, there have been increased threats against public areas across East Africa. The terrorist attacks of August and September 2010 against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces in Somalia, as well as the bombing of hotels and minibuses in Somalia, highlight the vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks in East Africa and around the world. Additionally, the terrorist group, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has declared its intention to attack Western targets throughout the Sahel (which includes Mali, Mauritania, and Niger), and has claimed responsibility for kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the murder of several Westerners.

U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or in the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there has been a notable increase in armed attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by pirates. Merchant vessels continue to be hijacked in Somali territorial waters, while others have been hijacked as far as 1,000 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in international waters.

The U.S. government maritime authorities advise mariners to avoid the port of Mogadishu and to remain at least

200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. In addition, when transiting around the Horn of Africa or in the Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys and maintain good communications at all times. U.S. citizens traveling on commercial passenger vessels should consult with the shipping or cruise-ship company regarding precautions that will be taken to avoid hijacking incidents. Commercial vessels should review the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration’s suggested piracy countermeasures for vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden.

The U.S. government continues to receive information that terrorist groups in South and Central Asia may also be planning attacks in the region, possibly against U.S. government facilities, U.S. citizens, or U.S. interests.

The presence of Al-Qaida and its affiliates, Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-Taiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror organizations, many of which are on the U.S. government’s list of Foreign Terror Organizations (FTOs), poses a potential danger to U.S. citizens in the region. Terrorists and their sympathizers have

demonstrated their willingness and ability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners are known to congregate or visit. Their actions may include, but are not limited to, vehicle-born explosive attacks, improvised explosive device attacks, assassinations, carjackings, rocket attacks, assaults, or kidnappings.

Examples of potential attacks in South Asian states include Pakistan, where a number of extremist groups continue to target U.S. and other Western citizens and interests, and Pakistani government officials and military/law enforcement personnel. Suicide bombing attacks continue to occur throughout the country on a regular basis, often targeting government authorities such as police checkpoints and military installations, as well as public areas such as mosques, and shopping areas. In Afghanistan, remnants of the former Taliban regime and the Al-Qaida terrorist network, as well as other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/NATO military operations, remain active. There is an ongoing threat to kidnap and assassinate U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers throughout the country. In India, there is a continuing threat of terrorism as attacks have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners, including luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas.

Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the Central Asian region. Members of these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S. government interests in the past. Previous terrorist attacks conducted in Central Asia have involved improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings,

assassinations, and kidnappings.

Before You Go

The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens living overseas or planning to travel abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling in STEP, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling in STEP will also make it easier for the Embassy to

contact you in the event of an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important when you enroll or update your information to include a current phone number and e-mail address.

U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad”.

U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

As the Department of State continues to develop information on potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, such as Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as Country Specific Information, which are available on the Bureau of

Consular Affairs website. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Follow us on

Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on facebook as well.

In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:15:01 2010.

 

PAKISTAN

January 07, 2010 The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Pakistan.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated June 12, 2009, updates information on security incidents and reminds U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan.    Pakistani military forces have engaged in a campaign against violent extremist elements across many areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and parts of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP).  Terrorists blame the Pakistani and the U.S. governments for the military pressure on their traditional havens and the death of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader- Baitullah Mehsud- in NWFP in August 2009.  In response, militants are seeking to increase their attacks on civilian, government, and foreign targets in Pakistan’s cities.  The presence of Al-Qaida, Taliban elements, and indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to American citizens throughout Pakistan, especially in the western border regions of the country.  Flare-ups of tensions and violence in the many areas of the world also increase the possibility of violence against Westerners.  Terrorists and their sympathizers regularly attack civilian, government, and foreign targets, particularly in the NWFP.  The Government of Pakistan has heightened security measures, particularly in the major cities.  Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where Americans and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events.  In recent incidents, terrorists have disguised themselves as Pakistani security forces personnel to gain access to targeted areas. Some media reports have recently falsely identified U.S. diplomats – and to a lesser extent U.S. journalists and NGO workers – as being intelligence operatives or private security personnel. Visits by U.S. government personnel to Peshawar and Karachi are limited, and movements by U.S. government personnel assigned to the Consulates General in those cities are severely restricted.  American officials in Lahore and Islamabad are instructed to restrict the frequency and to minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other locations.  Only a limited number of official visitors are placed in hotels, and for limited stays.  Depending on ongoing security assessments, the U.S. Embassy places areas such as hotels, markets, and/or restaurants off limits to official personnel.  American citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures and to maintain good situational awareness, particularly when visiting locations frequented by Westerners. Since October 2009, terrorists have executed coordinated attacks with multiple operatives using portable weaponry such as guns, grenades, RPGs, and suicide vests or car bombs in Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi.  Recent attacks included armed assaults on heavily-guarded sites such as the Pakistani Army headquarters in Rawalpindi, the United Nations World Food Program’s office in Islamabad, police training complexes in Lahore; targeted assassinations, including attacks on Pakistani military officers and politicians in Islamabad, as well as an Iranian diplomat in Peshawar; and suicide bomb attacks in public areas, such as an Islamabad university, a Rawalpindi mosque, and major marketplaces in Lahore and Peshawar. Americans have been victims in such attacks.  The October 2009 attack on the World Food Program headquarters resulted in the serious injury of an American citizen.  On November 12, 2008, a U.S. government contractor and his driver in Peshawar were shot and killed in their car.  In September 2008, over 50 people, including three Americans, were killed and hundreds were injured when a suicide bomber set off a truck filled with explosives outside a major international hotel in Islamabad.  In August 2008, gunmen stopped and shot at the vehicle of an American diplomat in Peshawar.  In March 2008, a restaurant frequented by Westerners in Islamabad was bombed, killing one patron and seriously injuring several others, including four American diplomats.  On March 2, 2006, an American diplomat, a Consulate employee, and three others were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives alongside the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi.  Fifty-two others were wounded. Since 2007, several American citizens throughout Pakistan have been kidnapped for ransom or for personal reasons.  Kidnappings of foreigners are particularly common in the NWFP and Balochistan.  In 2008, one Iranian and two Afghan diplomats, two Chinese engineers, and a Polish engineer were kidnapped in NWFP.  In February 2009, an American UNHCR official was kidnapped in Balochistan.  Kidnappings of Pakistanis also increased dramatically across the country, usually for ransom. According to the Department of State’s 2008 Human Rights Report for Pakistan, there were over 200 terrorist attacks, including more than 65 suicide bombings, which killed an estimated 970 civilians and security personnel.  Some of the attacks have occurred outside major hotels, in market areas and other locations frequented by Americans.  Other targets have included restaurants, Pakistani government officials and buildings, police and security forces, mosques, diplomatic missions and international NGOs.  Since late 2007, occasional rockets have targeted areas in and around Peshawar.  Access to many areas of Pakistan, including the FATA along the Afghan border, and the area adjacent to the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed territory of Kashmir, is restricted by local government authorities for non-Pakistanis.  Travel to any restricted region requires official permission by the Government of Pakistan.  Failure to obtain such permission in advance can result in arrest and detention by Pakistani authorities.  Due to security concerns the U.S. Government currently allows only essential travel within the FATA by American officials.  Travel to much of NWFP and Balochistan is also restricted. Rallies, demonstrations, and processions occur regularly throughout Pakistan on very short notice.  The December 2007 death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, a clash between two groups of lawyers in April 2008, ethnic clashes in December 2008, and the bombing of a religious procession in December 2009, each triggered widespread rioting in Karachi.  Multiple deaths and injuries as well as widespread property damage occurred on each occasion.  Demonstrations have often taken on an anti-American or anti-Western character, and Americans are urged to avoid large gatherings. U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register with the Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulates General in Karachi, Lahore, or Peshawar.  This registration can be completed online through the Department of State’s travel registration website.  Alternatively, Americans without Internet access should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for information on registering in person.  Registration enables citizens to obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan via the emergency alert system (Warden Notices). The Embassy reiterates its advice to all Americans to take measures for their safety and security at all times.  These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds, and keeping a low profile.  The Embassy reminds Americans that even peaceful demonstrations may become violent and advises Americans to avoid demonstrations.  Americans should avoid setting patterns by varying times and routes for all required travel.  Americans should ensure that their travel documents and visas are valid at all times.  Official Americans are instructed to avoid use of public transportation and restrict their use of personal vehicles in response to security concerns. Security threats may on short notice temporarily restrict the ability of U.S. Missions, particularly in Peshawar, to provide routine consular services.  All American citizens are encouraged to apply for renewal of travel documents at least three months prior to expiration. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone (92-51) 208-0000; Consular Section telephone (92-51) 208-2700; fax (92-51) 282-2632; website http://islamabad.usembassy.gov; Email address: acs_islamabad@state.gov.  For after-hours emergencies, please call +92-51-208-0000. The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi, located at 8 Abdullah Haroon Road, provides service to U.S. citizens by appointment only.  U.S. citizens requiring assistance should call the consular section in Karachi.  Their telephone is (92-21) 3520-4200; fax (92-21) 3568-0496; website http://karachi.usconsulate.gov/.  For after-hours emergencies, please call +92-21-3520-4200. The U.S. Consulate General in Lahore is located at 50- Sharah-E-Abdul Hameed Bin Badees, (Old Empress Road) near Shimla Hill Rotary; telephone (92-42) 3603-4000; fax (92-42) 3603-4200; website http://lahore.usconsulate.gov/; Email address: acslahore@state.gov.  For after-hours emergencies, please call +92-42-3603-4000. The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone (92-91) 526-8800; fax (92-91) 527-6712; website http://peshawar.usconsulate.gov.  For after-hours emergencies, please call +92-91-526-8800. U.S. citizens living or traveling in Pakistan are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy or Consulates or through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan.  U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Pakistan.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution and the Pakistan Country Specific Information can be found.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:13:59 2010.

SUDAN

December 31, 2009

1. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Sudan, and recommends that all travel to Sudan be deferred due to uncertain security conditions and the possibility of violence and harassment targeting westerners.  This Travel Warning for Sudan updates and replaces the Travel Warning issued on April 8, 2009.

2. U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Sudan despite the Travel Warning should maintain contingency plans to depart Sudan in the event of an emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is committed to assisting U.S. citizens to the extent possible, but the Embassy’s ability to assist is limited, and dependent on the permissiveness of the security environment in Sudan.  The ability of the Embassy to provide assistance to U.S. citizens is particularly limited in Southern Sudan and in Darfur.

3. On January 1, 2008, two U.S. Embassy employees were assassinated while traveling in their vehicle in Khartoum.  In May 2008, the city of Omdurman, adjacent to Khartoum, was attacked by armed militias.  The Embassy has implemented heightened security measures to protect Embassy personnel in Sudan, which include obtaining advance permission for travel outside of Khartoum and requiring transportation in Embassy-operated vehicles at all times.

4. The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan, particularly in the Darfur area, where outbreaks of violence between Sudanese government forces and various armed militias continue.  U.S. citizens and Europeans have been victims of kidnappings, carjackings, and armed robberies while traveling in Sudan.  There have been several kidnappings of European NGO workers and Chinese oil workers over the past eighteen months.  Land travel at night should be avoided.

5. Travelers are reminded that the U.S. Government has received information on terrorist threats against U.S. and European interests in Sudan.  Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, and kidnappings.  U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and locations where expatriates are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or European interests.  Anti-U.S./European demonstrations occur periodically, mostly in the capital city of Khartoum.

6. Travel anywhere in Sudan, including Khartoum and the adjacent town of Omdurman, is potentially dangerous.  Militia forces have instigated sporadic violence and have attacked locations in Southern Sudan.  Threats have been made against foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile state.

7. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas, to review emergency procedures and contingency plans, and to remain aware of their surroundings at all times.  U.S. citizens in Sudan should ensure they have sufficient water, food, and supplies on hand in the event of an emergency.  The dynamic political situation may require the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum or the U.S. Consulate General in Juba to close for safety and security reasons, without advance notice.  The Embassy will seek to notify U.S. citizens of such closures via warden message, which are posted at http://sudan.usembassy.gov/warden_messages.html.

8. U.S. citizens should note that the Embassy may vary its operating hours without advance notice due to changes in the political and security situation.  Services for U.S. citizens are available by appointment only.  Requests for an appointment may be made by e-mailing KhartoumConsular@state.gov, or by clicking on the link found on the following web page: http://sudan.usembassy.gov/service.html.  U.S. citizens may request emergency services at any time by calling the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, but the ability of the U.S. Embassy or the Consulate General in Juba to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency is limited.

9. The U.S. Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum; tel. (249) 1-8701-6000.  U.S. citizens may contact the consular section by phone or by email at KhartoumConsular@state.gov.  Additional information and U.S. Embassy warden messages are available on our website, http://sudan.usembassy.gov.  For after-hours emergencies, please call 091-253-4200 and ask to be connected to the embassy duty officer.

10. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Sudan and the Worldwide Caution, both located on the Department’s Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.  The latest safety and security information is also available toll-free at 1-888-407-4747 from within the United States and Canada, or at regular toll rates at 1-202-501-4444 for callers outside the United States and Canada, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

11. U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sudan are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s secure travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:12:11 2010.

 

SOMALIA

December 31, 2009 The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Somalia and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Somalia.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated November 15 2008, to update information on security concerns. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Somalia, including northern Somalia.  On September 17, 2009, terrorists launched a coordinated suicide-bomb attack against an African Union (AU) peacekeeping base, involving multiple car bombs against local and international targets.  In another attack on December 3, 2009, suicide bombers killed three Somalia Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ministers during a graduation ceremony for Banadir University medical students in Mogadishu.  There is no U.S. Embassy or other U.S. diplomatic presence in Somalia.  Consequently, the U.S. Government is not in a position to assist or effectively provide services to U.S. citizens in Somalia. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent and capability to attack air operations at Mogadishu International Airport.  Kidnapping, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and other violent incidents and threats to U.S. citizens and other foreigners can occur in many regions.  Inter-clan and inter-factional fighting flares up with little or no warning.  Unpredictable armed conflicts among rival militias are prevalent in southern Somalia, particularly in and around Mogadishu.  This has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Somali nationals and the displacement of nearly one million people. The Sanaag and Sool Regions in eastern Somaliland, bordering on Puntland (northeastern Somalia), are particularly unsafe due to ongoing border disputes and inter-clan fighting.  Lines of control in Mogadishu are unclear and frequently shift, making movement within Mogadishu extremely hazardous.  There also have been several fatal attacks and violent kidnappings against international relief workers throughout Somalia, Somaliland, and Puntland.  In July 2009, a U.S. relief worker was kidnapped from a Kenyan border town and held in Somalia for over two months before being released. U.S. citizens are urged to use extreme caution when sailing near the coast of Somalia.  Merchant vessels, fishing boats, and recreational craft all risk seizure by pirates and having their crews held for ransom in the waters off the Horn of Africa, especially in the international waters near Somalia.  If transit around the Horn of Africa is necessary, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys, and maintain good communications contact at all times. U.S. citizens who travel to Somalia despite this Travel Warning are urged to register through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov and obtain updated information on travel and security from the U.S. Embassies in neighboring countries.  Travelers to the self-declared “Republic of Somaliland” should register with the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti, and travelers to Puntland or southern Somalia should register with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti is located at Plateau du Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti City; telephone (253) 35-39-95; after-hours telephone number (253) 35-13-43.  The mailing address is Ambassade Americaine, B.P. 185, Djibouti, Republique de Djibouti, and their workweek is Sunday through Thursday.  The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000; after-hours emergencies (254)(20) 363-6170.  The mailing address is P.O. Box 606 Village Market 00621, Nairobi, Kenya.   U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Somalia and the Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department’s internet website at http://travel.state.gov.  Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:11:16 2010.

MAURITANIA

December 02, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Mauritania, and urges extreme caution when traveling there due to increased activities by the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).  AQIM continues to demonstrate its intent and ability to conduct attacks against U.S. citizens or other foreign nationals.  Most recently in a presumed terrorist action, three Spanish NGO workers were kidnapped from their vehicle while driving from Nouadhibou to Nouakchott on November 29, 2009.  The U.S. Department of State also recommends against all non-essential travel to the Hodh El Charghi region, the eastern half of the Tagant region, as well as the Zemmour region of Mauritania, and strongly discourages travel to unpopulated areas of eastern Mauritania.  Faith-based organizations operating in Mauritania, regardless of location, may also be particularly targeted.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Alert for Mauritania, which was issued on September 1, 2009, to remind travelers of security concerns.

As noted in the Department of State’s Worldwide Caution dated July 29, 2009, AQIM has been designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union.  AQIM has declared its intention to attack Western targets.

On August 8, 2009, a suicide bombing near the French Embassy in Nouakchott injured two French guards and one Mauritanian citizen.  The bomber is believed to have acted on orders from AQIM.  On June 23, 2009, a private U.S. citizen was shot and killed in Nouakchott in an apparent kidnapping attempt by individuals associated with AQIM.  Terrorists also killed 11 Mauritanian soldiers out on patrol approximately 40 miles from the northern town of Zouerate in September 2008.  The Israeli Embassy and an adjoining nightclub frequented by Westerners were attacked in Nouakchott in February 2008.  In December 2007, terrorists shot and killed four French tourists and wounded a fifth near the town of Aleg in southeastern Mauritania.  Two days later, terrorists killed four soldiers near the town of El Ghallaouiya in northern Mauritania.  The perpetrators of these attacks are all believed to be linked to AQIM.

As a result of these safety and security concerns, Peace Corps has temporarily suspended its volunteer program in Mauritania.  The State Department, Peace Corps, and Embassy Nouakchott are continually evaluating the security situation in preparation for a return of the Peace Corps’ volunteer program at the first possible opportunity.

Travelers should avoid all non-essential travel to the Hodh El Charghi region of southeastern Mauritania, the eastern half of the Tagant region of central Mauritania (east of Tidjika) and the Zemmour region of northern Mauritania due to increased AQIM activities in these areas.  Travel in the unpopulated areas of eastern Mauritania (areas east of Zouerate and Chinguetti and north of Nema) is strongly discouraged due to the threats of terrorism and banditry.  U.S. Embassy staff members are authorized to travel to these regions only with Mauritarian government escorts.

U.S. citizens should not venture outside of urban areas unless in a convoy and accompanied by an experienced guide, and even then only if equipped with sturdy vehicles and ample provisions.  Driving after dark outside of urban areas is also strongly discouraged.  There have been reports of banditry and smuggling in the more remote parts of Mauritania.  Landmines also remain a danger along the border with the Western Sahara.  Travelers should cross borders only at designated border posts.

Given AQIM’s threats to attack western targets in Mauritania and the region, and due to indications of a desire to kidnap Westerners for ransom, U.S. citizens should remain aware of their surroundings at all times and maintain good personal security practices, including always locking their homes and cars, varying routes and time of travel, and avoiding drawing attention to themselves.  When going out, they should avoid being part of large, highly visible groups of Westerners, and avoid sitting in areas that are easily visible from the street when in restaurants or cafes.  U.S. citizens should be particularly alert when frequenting locales associated with Westerners, including cultural centers, social and recreation clubs, beach areas, and restaurants.

All U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Mauritania are urged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located between the Presidency building and the Spanish Embassy on Rue Abdallaye.  The postal address is B.P. 222, Nouakchott, telephone (222) 525-2660/2663, 525-1141/45, or 525-3038 (ext. 5441), and fax (222) 525-1592.  For after-hours emergencies, please call (222) 525-3288.  The Embassy webpage is http://mauritania.usembassy.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Mauritania may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Mauritania and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:08:22 2010.

 

CHAD

November 23, 2009 The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Chad and recommends that American citizens avoid all travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border area. This Warning is due to insecurity caused by recently increased levels of violent criminality, the continuing risk of clashes between Chadian government and rebel forces, and current political tension between Chad and Sudan. The U.S. Embassy in Chad has prohibited official government travel to eastern Chad without express authorization. American citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime. American citizens residing in Chad should exercise extreme caution throughout the country. This replaces the Travel Warning for Chad dated June 02, 2008 to remind U.S. citizens of continuing security concerns in Chad. Violent crime in eastern Chad has escalated in recent weeks, including robbery and carjacking at gunpoint, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, and murder. The level of violence in each incident has increased significantly; robbery victims have been beaten and killed. In addition, armed rebel groups continue to be a threat to the region. Criminal and rebel activity tends to increase during the dry season, which lasts from late September to July. The overall security situation remains fluid and potentially dangerous. Violent criminal gangs are difficult to interdict, despite the presence of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation in the region. The government of Chad is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in eastern Chad. If rebels approach the capital, N’djamena, the U.S. Embassy may decide to evacuate non-emergency personnel and family members of Embassy personnel on short notice, as was done in June 2008. Family members of Embassy personnel under the age of 21 are not authorized to reside in Chad. Commercial flights continue to operate from N’Djamena International Airport, but flights are subject to change when rebel activity intensifies. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad are strongly urged to closely review the policies and procedures of their organizations to mitigate risks from violent crime. All should coordinate travel plans with their UN partner agency security officers in Abéché and N’Djamena, and follow UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) guidance regarding safety and security. The government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in refugee-affected areas in eastern Chad to obtain permits issued by the Ministry of Territorial Administration in N’Djamena, and to register in Abéché upon arrival in eastern Chad. American citizens who intend to enter Sudan from Chad, despite the Department’s Travel Warnings for both countries, must obtain the appropriate visas and permits in advance of entry into Sudan. Further information is available in the Department’s Travel Warning for Sudan. The U.S. Embassy is not able to support evacuation from eastern Chad. All Americans affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad must have an evacuation plan developed with the United Nations mission, which has aircraft and other logistical support. The Embassy strongly recommends that all U.S. citizens in Chad be prepared to implement their personal evacuation or safe haven plans on short notice should the situation warrant, and exercise extreme caution. Americans in Chad should closely monitor news media and the U.S. Embassy’s website. The embassy webpage is http://ndjamena.usembassy.gov/ American citizens traveling to or resident in Chad should register with the U.S. Embassy by completing a registration form online and provide contact information and specific travel data if traveling outside the capital. Registration enables the Embassy to contact American citizens in case of emergency and provide updates on the security situation. The U.S. Embassy is located in N’Djamena on Avenue Felix Ebou; mailing address B.P. 413, telephone (including after hours emergencies): (235) 251-70-09; alternate numbers 251-62-11, 251-90-52, 251-92-33, 251-77-59, 251-92-18; fax (235) 251-56-54. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Chad and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.       Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:06:49 2010.

MALI

November 19, 2009

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Mali and continues to recommend against all travel to the north of the country due to kidnapping threats against Westerners.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Mali dated August 31, 2009, to update security and threat information.

As noted in the Department of State’s Worldwide Caution, dated July 29, 2009, the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union.  AQIM has declared its intention to attack Western targets throughout the Sahel (including Mali, Mauritania, and Niger), and has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of two Canadian United Nations officials in Niger in December 2008, the kidnapping of four European tourists in January 2009 on the Mali-Niger border, the murder of a British hostage in Mali in June 2009, the murder of a U.S. citizen in Mauritania in June 2009, and the suicide-bombing of the French Embassy in Mauritania on August 8, 2009.  On November 14, 2009, heavily armed individuals attempted to kidnap U.S. Embassy employees in Tahoua, Niger.

In addition to threats posed by AQIM and potential hostage takers, confrontations between the Malian military and Tuareg rebel groups occurred in Nampala (along Mali’s border with Mauritania) in December 2008 and in the region of Kidal in January 2009.  The threat posed by AQIM, continued Tuareg unrest, sporadic banditry, and the porous nature of Mali’s northern borders with Algeria, Niger, and Mauritania all reinforce longstanding security concerns affecting travel to northern Mali.

The Department of State notes that the U.S. Embassy in Bamako has designated the northern regions of Mali as “restricted without prior authorization” for purposes of travel by U.S. government employees, contractors, grantees and their dependents.  Prior to traveling to these areas U.S. government employees are required to have the written approval of the U.S. Ambassador to Mali.  This designation is based on the presence of AQIM, as well as Tuareg rebel activity and banditry.  Though this restriction does not apply to private U.S. citizens, it should be taken into account by all Americans contemplating travel to Mali.  The restriction is in effect for the following areas:

-The region of Kidal;
-The region of Gao including the road to Ansongo and the border with Niger;
-The region of Timbuktu.

U.S. citizens are specifically reminded that the restricted areas include Essakane, site of the popular “Festival au Desert” musical event, as well as many other musical and cultural festivals in the regions of Kidal and Gao that are traditionally held between December and February.  It should be noted that in addition to the potential terrorist and criminal threats, these celebrations are located in some of the most remote destinations on earth and the Embassy would have extreme difficulty rendering assistance should an emergency occur there.

All U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Mali are urged to register with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy in Bamako through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located at ACI 2000 at Rue 243, Porte 297.  The Embassy’s mailing address is B.P. 34, Bamako, Mali.  The telephone number is (223) 2070-2300.  The consular fax number is (223) 2070-2340.  The Embassy webpage is http://mali.usembassy.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Mali may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Mali and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:05:58 2010.

 

SRI LANKA

November 19, 2009 The Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risks of travel to Sri Lanka due to continued security concerns, especially in the northernmost areas and most of its Eastern Province, as there are still uncleared landmines and potential for incidents by remnant members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  Stability in the southern and western areas of the country has improved with the cessation of hostilities.  The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain vigilant while traveling in Sri Lanka.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Sri Lanka dated June 26, 2009 to update information on safety concerns in specific regions of the country, and potential problems for U.S. citizen travelers. On May 19, 2009, after more than 25 years of conflict, the Sri Lankan government defeated the LTTE, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.  The Sri Lankan government still restricts travel in the Northern Province.  The U.S. Embassy restricts travel for its employees to the northernmost areas as well as most parts of the Eastern Province for other than official business.  Consular services to U.S. citizens in these areas will be delayed.  Both regions were previously the primary areas under LTTE control, and remnants of LTTE may still exist.  Areas to the north also contain uncleared landmines and demining activity continues.  Other post-conflict hazards may be present as well.  A large number of Internally Displaced Persons camps are located throughout the northern area and are a sensitive concern to the local authorities.  U.S. citizens are advised to defer all travel to the Northern Province and the northernmost areas of the North Central Province, as defined by the A14 road, Medawachiya town, and the road from Medawachchiya to Horowupatna.  The U.S. Embassy restricts non-official travel by U.S. government personnel to the Eastern Province, other than the A6 road corridor and Trincomalee Town (including as far north as Nilaveli and as far south as China Bay) and areas in Ampara District south of the A4 road and west of Maha Oya. While no LTTE incidents have occurred since the end of the war, the Sri Lankan government’s security posture remains heightened with increased armed checkpoints throughout the country.  Sri Lankan authorities continue to find hidden caches of military grade weapons in the formerly disputed areas.  U.S. citizens are advised against travel on public buses in Sri Lanka, as they were previously targets of LTTE bomb attacks and remain targets of criminal activity; U.S. embassy personnel in Sri Lanka are currently prohibited from traveling by public bus.  Demonstrations at or near Western embassies have also increased in frequency, often with inadequate police response for crowd control.  U.S. citizens of Sri Lankan origin may be subject to additional scrutiny upon arrival and while in the country.  In some cases, foreigners of Sri Lankan origin may be detained without their embassies being notified.  The activities of journalists, researchers, aid workers, and volunteers receive particular attention.  U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sri Lanka should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow prudent security practices.  There is no indication that U.S. citizens or institutions were, or currently are, specific targets, but U.S. citizens risk becoming victims by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  They should particularly avoid political rallies, military bases, military or police convoys, and high security zones.  U.S. citizens, including those of Sri Lankan origin, are urged to register with the Embassy via the State Department travel registration page.  The Embassy’s contact information is: U.S. Embassy Colombo 210 Galle Road Colombo 03 Sri Lanka Telephone: +94 11 249 8500 Emergency after-hours telephone: +94 11 249 8888 Fax: +94 11 249 8590 American Citizens Services email: ColomboACS@state.gov As the State Department develops information on potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information documents, including Country Specific Information reports and the Worldwide Caution, available on the Internet. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada on a toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays), from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:03:07 2010.

NEPAL

November 19, 2009

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Nepal, and urges caution when traveling in that country.  The Department of State remains concerned about the security situation in Nepal, and urges American citizens to obtain updated security information before they travel and to be prepared to change their plans on short notice.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Nepal dated May 22, 2009 and updates safety and security information.

Political violence remains a problem in Nepal.  Protests, demonstrations and disruptions continue to occur, often without advance notice.  During demonstrations, protestors have used violence, including forcibly closing businesses, damaging vehicles, throwing rocks, and burning tires to block traffic.  Given the nature, intensity, and unpredictability of disturbances, American citizens are urged to exercise special caution during times when demonstrations are announced, avoid areas where demonstrations are occurring or crowds are forming, avoid road travel, and maintain a low profile.  Curfews can be announced with little or no advance notice.  American citizens are urged to consult media sources and to register with the Embassy (see instructions below) for current security information.

The Young Communist League (YCL), a Maoist Party affiliate, and several other armed groups continue to engage in extortion, abuse, and threats of violence, particularly in rural areas and the Terai (the border region with India).  Youth groups from the other two main political parties, the Nepali Congress (NC) and the United Marxist-Leninist Party (UML), have also formed and clashes continue to take place among these political rivals.  In some instances, this has caused local authorities to impose curfews without prior notice.  Violent actions by multiple armed splinter groups in the Terai region along the southern border with India remain a significant concern.

Crime in the Kathmandu Valley and in the major cities of Nepal continues and includes violent crime, robberies by armed gangs and the harassment of female travelers. Police resources to combat such crime are limited.  Theft and muggings occasionally occur in popular tourist and trekking areas such as Chitwan, Pokhara and the Annapurna region and the Thamel area of Kathmandu.  Trekkers have been robbed by small groups of young men, even on popular trails.  Visitors to Nepal should practice good personal security when moving about and avoid walking alone after dark, carrying large sums of cash, or wearing expensive jewelry.  Women are advised to pay attention to local customs and dress appropriately in public.  In several reported incidents, tourists have had their belongings stolen from their rooms while they slept. There has been an increase in the number of fraudulent schemes perpetrated against tourists.  These schemes involve requesting the traveler’s assistance, particularly financial help, in establishing shipping routes, or business contacts with the United States or other countries, involving jewelry, antiquities, or carpets, promising huge returns.

Travel via road in areas outside of the Kathmandu Valley is hazardous due to erratic drivers, poor road conditions, and frequent road accidents.  Public transportation, such as microbuses and tuk tuks, should be avoided because they are often overfilled, driven unsafely, and mechanically unsound.  American citizens should use taxis with meters or negotiate a price with the taxi driver before starting a trip.  However, there have also been instances of taxi drivers tampering with the meters in order to charge higher fares.

Most U.S. official travel outside the Kathmandu Valley, including by air, requires specific clearance by the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Security Officer.  Active duty U.S. military and Department of Defense contractors must obtain U.S. Embassy clearance in advance for official and personal travel to Nepal.

The U.S. Government’s designation of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” organization under Executive Order 13224 and its inclusion on the “Terrorist Exclusion List” pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act remain in effect.  These two designations make Maoists excludable from entry into the United States without a waiver and bar U.S. citizens from transactions such as contribution of funds, goods, or services to, or for the benefit of, the Maoists.

For additional information, please refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad“.   Americans living or traveling in Nepal are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State State Department’s travel registration website or in person at the Consular Section between 1:30 PM and 4:30 PM, Monday to Friday, when the American Citizen Services section is open to the public.  The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu is located at Maharajgunj.  The telephone number is 977-1-400-7200, 400-7201.  The number for after-hours emergencies is 977-1-400-7266, 400-7269.  The fax number is 977-1-400-7281.  The Consulate’s e-mail address is consktm@state.gov and its Internet web page is http://nepal.usembassy.gov.  U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s latest Country Specific Information for Nepal and the Worldwide Caution.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:00:20 2010.

 

COLOMBIA

November 10, 2009 The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Colombia.  While security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, violence by narco-terrorist groups continues to affect some rural areas as well as large cities.  The potential for violence by terrorists and other criminal elements exists in all parts of the country.  This updates and replaces the Travel Warning for Colombia issued March 25, 2009 to update information on recent security incidents and criminal activity. In recent months, there has been an increase in violent crime, including kidnapping and homicide, in many of the major cities.  Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can still be extremely dangerous due to the presence of narco-terrorists.  Common crime also remains a significant problem in many urban and rural areas.  For additional details about the general criminal threat, please see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Colombia. Extortion-related bombings have occurred recently in Bogota, Cali, and several smaller cities.  On January 27, 2009, an explosion in a commercial building in Bogota resulted in two fatalities.  On August 9, 2008, a bomb detonated in northern Bogota injuring eight persons, including one American.  Many expatriates live in and frequent the neighborhoods where these explosions occurred.  The incidence of kidnapping in Colombia has diminished significantly from its peak at the beginning of this decade.  Nevertheless, terrorist groups such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the National Liberation Army (ELN), and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians for ransom or as political bargaining chips.  No one is immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors.  Kidnapping in rural areas is of particular concern.  On July 2, 2008, the Government of Colombia rescued 15 hostages, including three Americans, who had been held for more than five years.  Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped Americans, it is U.S. policy not to make concessions to or strike deals with kidnappers. Consequently, the U.S. government’s ability to assist kidnapping victims is limited. U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia are permitted to travel to major cities in the country, but normally only by air.  They may not use inter- or intra-city bus transportation, or travel by road outside urban areas at night.  All Americans in Colombia are urged to follow these precautions. Americans living or traveling in Colombia are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website (https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/index.aspx ) to obtain updated information on travel and security within Colombia. The U.S. Embassy is located at Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50 Bogota, D.C. Colombia.  Mailing address:  Carrera 45 No. 24B-27 Bogota, D.C. Colombia.  In case of a serious emergency that jeopardizes the health or safety of an American citizen in Colombia, please call the Embassy at (571) 315-0811; Embassy fax: (571) 315-2197; Consular Section phone: (571) 315-1566. The Embassy’s American Citizens Services office provides routine information at http://bogota.usembassy.gov.  For questions not answered there, inquiries may be sent by email to ACSBogota@state.gov . The U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla, which accepts passport applications and performs notarial services, is located at Calle 77B, No. 57-141, Piso 5, Centro Empresarial Las Americas, Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia; telephone (575) 353-2001; fax (011-57-5) 353-5216.  The Consular Agency is not staffed to respond to after-hours emergencies; in case of an emergency in the Barranquilla/north coast area, please contact the Embassy in Bogota at (571) 315-0811. As the Department develops information on potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threats through its Consular Information Program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens should consult warden messages for Colombia at http://bogota.usembassy.gov/acs_wardenmessage.html , as well as the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Colombia and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada or, for overseas callers, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520

 


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 11:01:58 2010.

ALGERIA

November 16, 2009

The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Algeria.  This Travel Warning updates information on the current security situation in Algeria and the continuing threat posed by terrorism.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated March 3, 2009.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks posed to their personal safety.  Terrorist attacks, including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie region of the country.  Since early 2007, the use of suicide bomb attacks, particularly vehicle-borne attacks, has emerged as a terrorist tactic in Algeria, including in the capital.  The group that claimed credit for the December 11, 2007, suicide car-bomb attacks in Algiers has pledged more attacks against foreign targets, and specifically against American targets.

The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid overland travel in Algeria.  Americans who reside or travel in Algeria should take prudent security measures while in the country, including making provisions for reliable and experienced logistical support.  Visitors to Algeria are advised to stay only in hotels where adequate security is provided.  All visitors to Algeria should remain alert and adhere to prudent security practices such as avoiding predictable travel patterns and maintaining a low profile.

The U.S. Government considers the potential threat to U.S. Embassy personnel assigned to Algiers sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under significant security restrictions.  These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, the movement of U.S. Embassy officials and the provision of consular services in certain areas of the country.  The Government of Algeria requires U.S. Embassy personnel to seek permission to travel to the Casbah within Algiers or outside the province of Algiers and to have a security escort.  Travel to the military zone established around the Hassi Messaoud oil center requires Government of Algeria authorization.  Daily movement of Embassy personnel in Algiers is limited, and prudent security practices are required at all times.  Travel by Embassy personnel within the city requires prior coordination with the Embassy’s Regional Security Office.  American visitors are encouraged to contact the Embassy’s Consular Section for the most recent safety and security information concerning travel in the city of Algiers.

Americans living or traveling in Algeria are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Algiers through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Algeria.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy Algiers.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located at 5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi in the El Biar district of Algiers.  The telephone number is [213] 770 08 20 00, which can also be reached after hours in the event of emergencies. The fax number is [213] 21 98 22 99.

Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

For further information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information on Algeria as well as the Worldwide Caution, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 10:58:39 2010.

 

GUINEA

October 17, 2009 The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Guinea as the political situation there remains highly volatile, and urges all Americans still in Guinea to depart the country.  Although Guinea has been relatively calm since October 5, 2009, the potential for violence remains high.  U.S. citizens are advised that the Embassy further reduced the number of remaining personnel, after non-emergency U.S. staff and all dependents of U.S. employees left Guinea.  The U.S. Embassy in Guinea remains closed until further notice.  The Embassy’s consular section will, however, continue to provide emergency services for U.S. citizens.  Nevertheless, citizens should be aware that the Embassy may be forced to suspend operations entirely, including emergency services, without advance notice due to an ongoing security situation.  The international airport in Conakry is operating normally at this time, but flights may be suspended if the current security situation worsens.  Land borders are also open, but may close without warning.  U.S. citizens who remain in Guinea despite this Travel Warning are urged to stay in their homes until the security situation returns to normal, to closely monitor media reports, and to follow all official instructions.  U.S. citizens who must leave their homes for any reason are urged to exercise extreme caution, to be particularly alert to their surroundings, and to avoid crowds, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering.  Visitors to Guinea should be familiar with their hotel evacuation plans, policies, or procedures.  U.S. citizens in Guinea should carry their travel documents (i.e., passport, birth certificate, picture ID’s, etc.) with them at all times.  Additionally, U.S. citizens in the area are reminded to stay in contact with friends and family in the United States to keep them apprised of their current welfare and whereabouts.  All U.S. citizens traveling to or remaining in Guinea despite this Travel Warning are urged to register with the Department of State through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Department of State or the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located on the Transversale No. 2, Centre Administratif de Koloma, opposite the New Radio Station in Ratoma, Conakry, Guinea.  You can call the Embassy switchboard at +224-65-10-4000, or reach the consular section directly by calling +224-67-10-4444.  For after-hours emergencies, please call +224-67-10-4311.  Updated information on travel and security in Guinea may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Guinea and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Sun Jan 10 10:56:18 2010.

LEBANON

September 29, 2009

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to current safety and security concerns.  Americans living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks.  This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on May 13, 2009 and updates information on security threats and special circumstances in Lebanon.

While Lebanon enjoys periods of relative calm, the potential for a spontaneous upsurge in violence is real.  Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly.  Access to borders and ports can be interrupted with little or no warning.  Public demonstrations occur frequently.  Under such circumstances, the ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services may at times be severely limited.

Americans have been the targets of numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past, and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity continues to exist in Lebanon.  On January 15, 2008, a U.S. Embassy vehicle was targeted in a bomb attack that killed three Lebanese bystanders.   U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should keep a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel.  Americans should also pay close attention to their personal security at locations where Westerners are generally known to congregate, and should avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

On May 7, 2008, Hizballah militants blocked the road to Rafiq Hariri International Airport in Beirut.  The action rendered the airport inaccessible and travelers were unable to enter or leave the country via commercial air carriers.  Armed Hizballah and other opposition members proceeded to enter areas of Lebanon not traditionally under their control, resulting in heavy fighting and a number of casualties.  Full access to the airport was restored on May 21, 2008, when hostilities subsided.  Access to the airport is considered vulnerable and could be cut off with little warning in the event of new hostilities.

Rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel continue to occur, most recently on September 11, 2009.  These attacks frequently provoke a military response from Israel.  The rocket attacks and responses occur with no warning.

Landmines and unexploded ordnance continually pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River, as well as in areas of the country where civil war fighting was intense. More than 40 civilians have been killed and more than 300 injured by unexploded ordnance remaining from the armed conflict in July-August 2006.  Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.

U.S. citizens traveling or resident in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should be aware that the U.S. Embassy’s ability to reach all areas of Lebanon is limited.  The Embassy cannot guarantee that Embassy employees will be able to render assistance to U.S. citizens in many areas of the country.

In the event that the security climate in the country worsens, Americans should be aware that they will bear the responsibility of arranging their own travel out of Lebanon.  Americans with special medical or other needs should be aware of the risks of remaining given their condition, and should be prepared to seek treatment in Lebanon if they cannot arrange for travel out of the country.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations, such as the evacuation that took place from Lebanon in 2006, occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist.  Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs.  The lack of a current U.S. passport will slow the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide assistance.  U.S. citizens remaining in Lebanon should therefore ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times.  U.S. Legal Permanent Residents should consult with the Department of Homeland Security before they depart the United States to ensure they have proper documentation to re-enter.  Further information on the Department’s role during emergencies is provided at http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html.

The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions.  These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, access by U.S. Embassy officials to certain areas of the country.  Because of security concerns, unofficial travel to Lebanon by U.S. Government employees and their family members is discouraged and strictly limited and requires prior approval by the Department of State.

Americans living or traveling in Lebanon are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs.  Americans are strongly encouraged to update their registration information if it is no longer current.

Travelers arriving at a Lebanese port of entry with an Israeli stamp in their passport may be detained, arrested or refused entry.  Penalties are particularly harsh for dual nationals and those of Arab descent.  Immigration officers also will refuse entry to anyone who previously entered Lebanon illegally.  Travelers with questions about their legal status in Lebanon should contact a Lebanese embassy or consulate in the United States prior to their travel to Lebanon.

American citizens who come to work in Lebanon should ensure that their Lebanese employer arranges for proper documentation to remain in the country; this includes professional athletes, who should ensure that their sponsoring club/team arranges for them to receive the correct visas valid for the duration of their stay.

Americans planning to travel between Lebanon and Syria should consult the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for Syria.  Americans planning to travel to Syria from Lebanon are strongly advised to obtain a Syrian visa before leaving the United States.

The Embassy is located in Awkar, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon.  Public access hours for American citizens are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; however, American citizens who require emergency services outside of these hours may contact the Embassy by telephone at any time.  The telephone numbers are (961-4) 542-600, 543-600, and fax 544-209.

Information on consular services and registration can also be found at http://lebanon.usembassy.gov  or by phone at the above telephone numbers between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday and Friday local time.  Inquiries may also be sent via email to BeirutACS@state.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Lebanon may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444.  Additional details can be found in the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for Lebanon and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Department’s Internet website at http://travel.state.gov

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


 

This information is current as of today,Wed Sep 02 07:23:53 2009.

CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE

September 01, 2009 The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa).  This notice replaces the Travel Warning dated February 5, 2009, to reflect continued instability in North Kivu province and the surrounding area, as well as a critical crime threat in Kinshasa. The Rwandan government forces that entered the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in January at the invitation of the DRC government have withdrawn, and all U.S. Government personnel working in the region have returned.  Still, government soldiers, as well as rebel fighters, remain a security concern.  These armed groups, located especially in North Kivu, South Kivu, Orientale, northern Katanga, and Bas-Congo, are known to pillage, steal vehicles, kidnap, rape, kill, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians are indiscriminately targeted.  Travelers are frequently detained and questioned by poorly disciplined security forces at numerous roadblocks and border crossings throughout the country.  Requests for bribes in such instances are extremely common, and security forces have occasionally injured or killed people refusing to pay.  In the last six months, the Embassy has recorded a number of serious instances where U.S. citizens were detained illegally by government forces.  The isolation of the area makes the provision of consular services difficult.   Kinshasa remains a critical crime threat area, and U.S. citizens continue to be the victims of serious crime, including armed robbery by groups posing as law enforcement.  Public health concerns pose a hazard to U.S. citizen travelers due to outbreaks of deadly viruses and other diseases, which can occur without warning and often are not rapidly reported by local health authorities.  In January, in the province of Western Kasai, an Ebola fever outbreak occurred in which 11 people died and more than 120 were exposed to the virus.  Information on personal protection for international travelers, including children, can be found at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/. Enforcement of aviation safety standards in the DRC is uneven, with frequent incidents and accidents.  The U.S. Embassy has prohibited official travel by U.S. government employees and contractors on all DRC-owned and -operated commercial airlines due to safety and maintenance concerns.  International flights on foreign-owned and operated carriers are not affected by this prohibition. U.S. citizens should avoid all public demonstrations and areas where crowds have gathered, exercise caution, and closely monitor local and international news from reliable sources.  Radio Okapi broadcasts in French on 103.5 FM at 0700, 0800, 1200, and 1800 and provides updates throughout the day. English-language news can be found on BBC at 92.7 FM.  In times of emergency, the Belgian Embassy operates a French-language radio broadcast system at FM 98.8.  Changes in security conditions may occasionally restrict the travel of U.S. Mission personnel.  U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in the DRC despite this Travel Warning are strongly urged to register with the Embassy in Kinshasa or through the State Department’s travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs; the Consular Section entrance is located on Avenue Dumi, opposite Saint Anne’s church.  The Embassy’s telephone number, including for after-hours emergencies, is 243-81-225-5872; callers within the DRC should dial 081-225-5872. All Embassy telephone numbers are cellular phones as landlines are unreliable.  The Embassy website is http://kinshasa.usembassy.gov/. 8. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Consular Information Sheet for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Worldwide Caution, both located on the Department’s Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.  Up-to-date information on safety and security is available toll-free at 1-888-407-4747 from within the United States and Canada, or at regular toll rates at 1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).   ___________________________ Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Wed Sep 02 07:22:31 2009.

MALI

August 31, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risk of travel to Mali and that Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) may use the Islamic month of Ramadan as an opportunity to conduct further attacks against Americans and other foreign nationals.  Faith-based organizations, regardless of location, may be particularly targeted.  The Department of State also continues to recommend against all travel to the north of the country due to the kidnapping threats against Westerners.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Mali dated June 2, 2009, to update security and threat information.

As noted in the Department of State’s Worldwide Caution dated July 29, 2009, the Islamic extremist group Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has been designated as a terrorist organization by both the United States and the European Union, and has declared its intention to attack Western targets.  AQIM has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of two Canadian diplomats in Niger in December 2008, the kidnapping of four European tourists in January 2009 on the Mali-Niger border, the murder of a British hostage in Mali in June 2009, the murder of an American citizen in Mauritania in June 2009, and, most recently, the suicide-bombing of the French Embassy in Mauritania on August 8, 2009.

In addition to threats posed by AQIM and potential hostage takers, confrontations between the Malian military and Tuareg rebel groups occurred in Nampala along Mali’s frontier with Mauritania in December 2008 and in the region of Kidal in January 2009.  The threat posed by AQIM, continued Tuareg unrest, sporadic banditry, and the porous nature of Mali’s northern borders with Algeria, Niger, and Mauritania all reinforce longstanding security concerns affecting travel to northern Mali.

The Department of State notes that the U.S. Embassy in Bamako has designated northern regions of Mali as “restricted without prior authorization” for purposes of travel by U.S. Government employees, contractors, grantees and their dependents.  Prior to traveling to these areas U.S. Government employees in Mali are required to have the written approval of the U.S. Ambassador to Mali.  This designation is based on the presence of AQIM as well as Tuareg rebel activity.  This restriction does not apply to travelers not associated with the U.S. Government, but should be taken into account when planning travel.  The restriction is in effect for the following areas:

  • The region of Kidal;
  • Areas north and east of the town of Gao, including along the road to Ansongo;
  • Timbuktu and all points further north.

All U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Mali are urged to register with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located at ACI 2000 at Rue 243, Porte 297.  The Embassy’s mailing address is B.P. 34, Bamako, Mali.  The telephone number is (223) 2070-2300.  The consular fax number is (223) 2070-2340.  The Embassy webpage is http://mali.usembassy.gov.

Updated information on travel and security in Mali may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

___________________________

 

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


 

This information is current as of today, Wed Sep 02 07:20:06 2009.

ERITREA

August 28, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and recommends that U.S. citizens defer all travel there because of Eritrean government restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara, an increased number of Americans arrested without clear justification, and heightened tensions along Eritrea’s borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated February 18, 2009.

The Eritrean government continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats.  These restrictions require all visitors and residents to apply 10 days in advance for permission to travel outside the Asmara city limits.  As a result, the U.S. Embassy cannot provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara.

There also have been an increased number of Eritrean-U.S. dual citizens arrested without apparent cause. U.S. citizens are cautioned that once arrested, one may be held for a long time without being charged before being released.  Recently incarcerated Americans report harsh prison conditions, with little or no food and water, and unsanitary surroundings.   The Eritrean government does not inform the U.S. Embassy when U.S. citizens, including those who are not dual nationals,  have been arrested or detained.

U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and to the Southern Red Sea region, including the port of Assab.

U.S. citizens considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political tensions between the two countries.  In March 2008, Eritrean restrictions on diesel fuel supplies caused the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea’s detachments to withdraw from the Temporary Security Zone, leaving no international observers monitoring the border.

Since April 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops have been deployed along the Eritrea-Djibouti border.  The Djiboutian government claims Eritrean troops have crossed into its territory and on June 10, 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops exchanged fire along their shared border.

U.S. citizens currently living or traveling in Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State Department’s travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Eritrea.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency and provide updates on the security situation.  The U.S. Embassy is located at 179 Alaa Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-04, available 24 hours in case of emergency; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site http://asmara.usembassy.gov/.

For additional information, consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov.  American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

__________________________

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


 

This information is current as of today,Wed Sep 02 07:18:40 2009.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

August 19, 2009 The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) and recommends against all but essential travel outside the capital, Bangui.  Travelers in the CAR should exercise extreme caution.  This replaces the Travel Warning of April 1, 2009, to make note of the recent incursion of the Lord’s Resistance Army in southeastern CAR between Zemio and the border with Sudan. Armed rebel groups, bandits, and poachers present real dangers, and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country.  Northwestern and northeastern CAR, especially the areas bordering Chad, are particularly dangerous due to clashes between government and rebel forces.  There have been repeated attacks on Central African and expatriate travelers throughout CAR, including in and around the Parc National de Bamingui-Bangoran.  In August 2009, the Lord’s Resistance Army conducted incursions into southeastern CAR between Zemio and the border with Sudan.    U.S. government employees may only visit the northwestern or northeastern CAR prefectures on a case-by-case basis and with specific authorization of the embassy’s Chief of Mission. Bangui itself, though safer, suffers from elevated crime rates, as well as severely limited transport and medical options.  CAR military and civilian security forces (and people posing as such) staff checkpoints throughout the city, frequently harassing local and expatriate travelers for bribes.  The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens against travel outside of the capital Bangui. American citizens should avoid public demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. The small U.S. Embassy staff in Bangui can provide only limited services to U.S. citizens at this time. American citizens may register with the embassy online by visiting https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs.  Americans without internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Bangui.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy in the CAR is located at Avenue David Dacko, B.P. 924, Bangui; tel. (236) 2161-0200; fax (236) 2161-4494.  Americans may also obtain updated information from the U.S. Embassy in N’djamena, Chad, at telephone (235) 51-70-09, 51-92-33 or 51-90-52; fax (235) 51-56-54. For additional information on travel to the CAR, see the Department of State’s most recent Country Specific Information Sheet for Central African Republic.  Up-to-date information on safety and security is also available at 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers from other countries, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). ___________________________ Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today,Wed Sep 02 07:14:51 2009.

ISRAEL, THE WEST BANK AND GAZA

August 14, 2009

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to U.S. interests in those locations.  The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to remain mindful of security factors when planning travel to Israel and the West Bank and to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip.  This warning replaces the Travel Warning issued January 15, 2009, to update information on the general security environment in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

———————————————-
The Gaza Strip and Southern Israel
———————————————-

The State Department strongly urges that American citizens refrain from all travel to the Gaza Strip.  This recommendation has been in effect since the deadly roadside bombing of a U.S. Embassy convoy in Gaza in October 2003.  It applies to all Americans, including journalists and aid workers.  American citizens should be aware that as a consequence of a longstanding prohibition on travel by U.S. Government employees into the Gaza Strip, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens there is extremely limited.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) strictly controls travel within the area of the crossing points between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and has essentially sealed the border.  The security environment within Gaza and along its borders, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and can change at any time.

From December 27, 2008, through January 17, 2009, the IDF conducted a major military operation in Gaza that included aerial and naval strikes, followed by large-scale ground operations.  Israel and Hamas, a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization that violently seized power in Gaza in June 2007, declared separate truces to end the fighting.  Occasional small clashes continue to occur along the border.  Rockets and mortars are still being fired into Israel from Gaza, and the IDF continues to conduct military operations inside Gaza, including airstrikes.  The IDF has also declared an exclusion zone along the border with Israel and has taken lethal measures against individuals who enter it.

In the past, some rockets have travelled more than 40 km and landed as far north as Yavne and Gadera and as far east as Beersheva.  As a result of possible IDF military operations in Gaza and the ever-present risk of rocket and mortar attacks into Israel from Gaza, U.S. Government personnel travelling in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip border, to include the city of Sderot, require approval from the Embassy’s Regional Security Office.

——————–
The West Bank
——————–

The security environment in the West Bank has improved markedly since June 2007, with a significant increase in the number of trained Palestinian Authority security forces deployed to urban areas such as Jericho, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jenin.  Nonetheless, demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning.  Vehicles have also been the target of rocks, Molotov cocktails and gunfire on West Bank roads.  The Department of State urges Americans to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank.

The IDF continues to carry out security operations in the West Bank.  Israeli security operations can occur at any time, including arrest raids to arrest terrorist suspects that lead to disturbances and violence.  Americans can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations.  Some Americans involved in demonstrations and other such activities in the West Bank have become involved in confrontations with Israeli settlers and the IDF.  The State Department recommends that Americans, for their own safety, avoid demonstrations.

All those who pass through the West Bank should exercise particular care when approaching and transiting Israeli military checkpoints.  Travelers should be aware that they might encounter delays and difficulties, and might even be denied passage through a checkpoint.  American citizens should be aware that the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens in the West Bank is limited.

——————————————————————-
Travel Restrictions for U.S. Government Personnel
——————————————————————-

American U.S. Government personnel travel extensively throughout the West Bank to carry out their official duties.  USG personnel on official business travel more freely in the cities of Jericho, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jenin due to the improved security situation there.  Personal travel in the West Bank for U.S. Government personnel and their dependents is not allowed except for limited mission-approved purposes and in the areas described below.  U.S. government personnel and family members are permitted to travel to Jericho, or to transit through the West Bank by using routes 1 and 90 to reach the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, or the Dead Sea coast near Ein Gedi and Masada.  They are also permitted to travel north on Route 90 from the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge to the Sea of Galilee.  Use of these routes is approved for transit purposes during daylight hours, with stops permitted at only Qumran National Park off Route 90 by the Dead Sea.  Each transit requires prior notification to the Consulate General’s security office.  Personal travel by U.S. Government personnel and family members to Jericho takes place only on certain designated days and requires prior notification.

U.S. Government personnel and family members are permitted both official and personal travel on Route 443 between Modi’in and Jerusalem without prior notification, during daylight hours only.

————————————-
General Safety and Security
————————————-

Israeli authorities remain concerned about the continuing threat of terrorist attacks.  Two fatal bulldozer attacks on civilians in July 2008 and a March 2008 shooting, all in Jerusalem, and a February 2008 bombing in Dimona are reminders of the ongoing precariousness of the security environment.

In early January 2009, short-range rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel.

American citizens are cautioned that a greater danger may exist around restaurants, businesses, and other places associated with U.S. interests and/or located near U.S. official buildings, such as the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem.  American citizens are also urged to exercise a high degree of caution and to use common sense when patronizing restaurants, nightclubs, cafes, malls, places of worship, and theaters, especially during peak hours.  Large crowds and public gatherings have been targeted by terrorists in the past and should be avoided to the extent practicable.  American citizens should take into consideration that public buses, trains, and their respective terminals are “off-limits” to U.S. Government personnel.  U.S. Government personnel have been directed to avoid protests and demonstrations.  Personnel have also been urged to maintain a high level of vigilance and situational awareness at all times.

The State Department urges American citizens to remain vigilant while traveling throughout Jerusalem, especially within the commercial and downtown areas of West Jerusalem and the city center.  Spontaneous or planned protests within the Old City are possible, especially after Friday prayers.  Some of these protests have led to violent clashes.  The Old City of Jerusalem is off-limits to U.S. Government personnel and their family members after dark during the entire week and between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Fridays.

—————————
Entry/Exit Difficulties
—————————

The Government of Israel considers American citizens who also hold Israeli citizenship or have a claim to such dual nationality to be Israeli citizens for immigration and other legal purposes.  For example, an American citizen child of an Israeli parent will be considered an Israeli citizen by Israeli immigration officials and Israeli law will apply to the child’s travel to, and departure from, Israel.

American citizens whom Israeli authorities suspect of being of Arab or Muslim origin are likely to face additional, often time-consuming, and probing questioning by immigration and border authorities, or may even be denied entry into Israel.  If they are determined by Israeli authorities to have a claim to residency status in the West Bank or Gaza, or to have a claim to a Palestinian identification number, such American citizens may be required by the Government of Israel to use a Palestinian Authority travel document to transit Israel to enter the West Bank or Gaza.  Such a determination could be made for American citizens if they or their immediate family members or grandparents were born in the West Bank or Gaza, currently reside there, or lived there for any appreciable amount of time.

American citizens who hold a Palestinian Authority ID, as well as persons judged by the Israeli authorities to have claim to a Palestinian Authority ID, will be considered subject to Israeli law and to regulations that Israel applies to residents of the West Bank and Gaza, regardless of the fact that they hold U.S. citizenship.  A Palestinian ID number might be active or inactive.  If active, the Government of Israel may stamp the Palestinian Identification Number in the U.S. passport, and the American citizen may be required to obtain Palestinian Authority travel documents prior to departing Israel.  In addition, American citizens having or eligible for a Palestinian Authority ID who entered Israel via Ben Gurion Airport might be required to depart via the Allenby Bridge to Jordan.  Upon arrival, such persons may wish to consider asking Israeli immigration authorities from where they will be required to depart.  Additionally, American citizens who have (or who are eligible to receive) a Palestinian Authority Identification Number are likely to be refused entry to Israel via Ben Gurion Airport and told that they must enter Israel from Jordan via the Allenby (also known as King Hussein) Bridge.

In June 2009, the Israeli government began selectively limiting certain travelers to either the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza, or to Israel and Jerusalem.  To date, the Israeli government has not provided information about which categories of travelers can expect to be subject to these restrictions.  Nonetheless, Israeli border officials at Ben Gurion Airport began requiring certain travelers to sign a form that states s/he is not allowed to enter territories controlled by the Palestinian Authority unless s/he obtains advance authorization from the Israeli “Territory Actions Coordinator,” and that violating this restriction may result in the traveler being deported from Israel and barred from entry for up to 10 years.  At the Allenby Bridge crossing, as well as at Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli border officials also began using a new entry stamp for certain travelers that states “Palestinian Authority Only.”  Since travelers entering via the Allenby crossing must transit Israeli checkpoints and Israeli-controlled territory to reach Jerusalem or Gaza, this restriction effectively limits travelers who receive this stamp at Allenby to destinations in the West Bank only.  This stamp has been known to be used even with travelers who have no Palestinian or other Arab ancestry, and who would not seem to have any claim to a Palestinian Authority ID.

The United States Government seeks equal treatment for all American citizens regardless of national origin or ethnicity.  American citizens who encounter difficulties are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem at the telephone numbers below.

Americans in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are strongly encouraged to register with the Consular Sections of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv or the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.  U.S. citizens who require emergency services may telephone the Consulate General in Jerusalem at (972) (2) 628-7137, after hours (for emergencies): (972) (2) 622-7250, or the Embassy in Tel Aviv at (972) (3) 519-7575, after hours (for emergencies): (972) (3) 519-7551.

Current information on travel and security in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada, or, from overseas, 1-202-501-4444.  For additional and more in-depth information about specific aspects of travel to these areas, U.S. citizens should consult:  the Country Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza; and the Worldwide Caution .  These along with other Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts and Country Specific Information  are available on the Department’s Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.  Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed at http://usembassy-israel.org.il or http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov.  Additionally, Americans are encouraged to sign up to receive security-related information from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv via email at the following link: http://telaviv.usembassy.gov/consular/acs/index.aspx.

______________________________________________________

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


 

This information is current as of today,Sat Aug 08 08:10:10 2009.

KENYA

July 24, 2009 The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya.  American citizens in Kenya and those considering travel to Kenya should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime.  This replaces the Travel Warning of November 14th, 2008, to note increased security concerns in northeast Kenya near the Somali and Ethiopian borders. The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of potential terrorist threats aimed at American, Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya.  Terrorist acts could include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation as evidenced by the 2002 attacks on an Israeli airliner, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports.  Travelers should consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.  Many of those responsible for the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in 1998 and on a hotel in Mombasa in 2002 remain at large and continue to operate in the region.  In July 2009, three NGO workers were kidnapped and taken into Somalia by suspected members of a terrorist group that operates out of Somalia.  In November 2008, armed groups based in Somalia crossed into Kenya near the town of El Wak and kidnapped two Westerners.  The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has designated a small portion of Kenya bordering Somalia and Ethiopia as “restricted without prior authorization” for purposes of travel by U.S. Government employees, contractors, grantees and their dependents.  This designation is based on reports of Somali-based armed groups that have on occasion crossed into Kenya to stage attacks or to commit crimes.  This restriction does not apply to travelers not associated with the U.S. Government, but should be taken into account when planning travel.  The restriction is in effect for the following areas:

      • All of Mandera District.

 

    • The entire area north and east of the town of Wajir, including travel on Highway C80 and areas east of C80 and an 80-kilometer wide band contiguous with the Somalia border.  Travel to and within the towns of Wajir and Moyale remains unrestricted.

 

 

    • Within Garissa District, an 80-kilometer wide band contiguous with the Somalia border.  Travel to and within the town of Dadaab remains unrestricted.

 

 

    • Within Ijara District, an 80-kilometer wide band contiguous with the Somalia border; Boni National Reserve.

 

 

    • Within Lamu District, a 60-kilometer wide band contiguous with the Somalia border. Travel to and within the limits of towns within/contiguous to the Kiunga Marine Reserve remains unrestricted.

 

    Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings and home invasions/burglaries, can occur at any time and in any location, particularly in Nairobi.  As recently as June 2008, U.S. Embassy personnel were victims of carjackings.  In the short-term, the continued displacement of thousands of people by the recent civil unrest combined with endemic poverty and the availability of weapons could result in an increase in crime, both petty and violent.  Kenyan authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate such acts or prosecute perpetrators. American citizens in Kenya should be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship.  Americans should also remain alert in residential areas, at schools, and at outdoor recreational events, and should avoid demonstrations and large crowds. Americans who travel to or reside in Kenya are encouraged to register through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.  The U.S. Embassy is located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254) (20) 363-6410.  In the event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170.  The Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov . Updated information on travel and security in Kenya may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  In conjunction with this Travel Warning, American citizens traveling to Kenya should also consult the Country Specific Information for Kenya and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov. ___________________________________________________________ Travel Warning United States Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs Washington, DC 20520


This information is current as of today, Sat Aug 08 08:08:42 2009.  

AFGHANISTAN

July 23, 2009 The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan.  The security threat to all American citizens in Afghanistan remains critical.   This supersedes the Travel Warning for Afghanistan issued September 10, 2008, to remind U.S. citizens of the security risks, including kidnapping. No part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against American and other Western nationals at any time.  Remnants of the former Taliban regime and the al-Qa’ida terrorist network, and other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/NATO military operations, remain active.  There is an ongoing threat to kidnap and assassinate U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) workers throughout the country.  Afghan authorities have a limited ability to maintain order and ensure the security of citizens and visitors.  Travel in all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe due to military operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, including attacks using vehicular or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs).  The security environment remains volatile and unpredictable. Kabul is still considered at high risk for militant attacks, including rocket attacks, vehicle borne IEDs, and suicide bombings.  The number of attacks in the south and southeastern areas of the country continues to be high as a result of insurgent and drug-related activity, but no part of the country is immune from attacks.  More than 100 attacks were reported in Kabul over the past year, although many additional attacks were thwarted by Afghan and coalition forces.  An additional 4,400 attacks occurred nationwide during the same timeframe. Incidents have occurred with some frequency on the Kabul-Jalalabad Road (commonly called Jalalabad Road) and Kabul to Bagram Road.  These roads are highly restricted for Embassy employees and, if the security situation warrants, sometimes prohibited completely. Foreigners throughout the country continue to be targeted for violent attacks and kidnappings, whether motivated by terrorism or criminal activity.  In January 2008, gunmen attacked the Serena Hotel and killed eight people, including an American contractor and a Norwegian journalist.  In April 2008, an assassination attempt against Afghan President Karzai showed the continued desire of the insurgency to destabilize the Afghan government.  The July 2008 bombing of the Indian Embassy in downtown Kabul, near many Western embassies and Afghan Government institutions, demonstrated the ability of the insurgents to undertake assaults within Kabul itself.  In February 2009, insurgents launched a complex attack on multiple government buildings in Kabul.  Rocket fire and rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attacks have occurred frequently.  In August 2008, three female Western non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, along with their male Afghan driver, were gunned down as they traveled south of Kabul.  Several American citizens were kidnapped in the six-month period between October 2008 and April 2009. Riots and incidents of civil disturbance can and do occur, often without warning.  American citizens should avoid rallies and demonstrations; even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Carjackings, robberies and violent crime remain a problem.  American citizens involved in property disputes — a common legal problem — have reported that their adversaries in the disputes have threatened their lives.  Americans who find themselves in such situations cannot assume that either local law enforcement or the U.S. Embassy will be able to assist them. From time to time, depending on current security conditions, the U.S. Embassy places areas frequented by foreigners off limits to its personnel.  Potential target areas include key national or international government establishments, international organizations and other locations with expatriate personnel, and public areas popular with the expatriate community.  Private U.S. citizens are strongly urged to heed these restrictions as well and may obtain the latest information by consulting the embassy Web site below. The United States Embassy’s ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is limited, particularly for those persons outside the capital.  U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Afghanistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration Web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Afghanistan.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy.  Registering makes it easier for the Embassy to contact Americans in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located at Great Masood Road between Radio Afghanistan and the Ministry of Public Health (the road is also known as Bebe Mahro or Airport Road), Kabul.  The phone number is +93-700-108-001 or +93-700-108-002; the Consular Section can be reached for after-hours emergencies at +93-700-201-908.  The Embassy website is http://afghanistan.usembassy.gov. Updated information on travel and security in Afghanistan may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Afghanistan and the current Worldwide Caution , which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet Web site at http://travel.state.gov. ___________________________

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520

 


This information is current as of today,Sat Aug 08 08:06:03 2009.

BURUNDI

July 22, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Burundi and continues to caution Americans that travel outside the capital, Bujumbura, presents significant risks, especially after nightfall.  The U.S. Embassy restricts travel of its personnel in Burundi, and certain areas of Bujumbura are off-limits to U.S. government personnel after daylight hours.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Burundi dated January 8, 2009, to provide information regarding demobilization of rebel forces after the cease-fire agreement between these groups and the government, as well as revised information on security restrictions for Embassy personnel.

From 1993 to 2006, Burundi was plagued by a civil war that often involved non-governmental and non-combatant targets.  In September 2006, the government and the last rebel group not yet party to peace accords, the PALIPEHUTU–FNL (FNL), signed a cease-fire agreement.  The FNL leaders agreed to discontinue hostilities and to implement fully the cease-fire agreement.  FNL rebels have since begun to demobilize as the group transitions into an officially-recognized political party.  However, their presence in demobilization camps has been marked by several disturbances in the camps and surrounding communities.

Crime and banditry are still prevalent in the province of Bujumbura Rural despite the general demobilization.
Crime, often committed by groups of street children or armed bandits, poses the highest risk for foreign visitors to both Bujumbura and Burundi.  Common crimes include muggings, burglaries, robberies and carjackings.  Visitors should keep car doors locked, windows up, and be careful when stopped in heavy traffic due to the threat of robbery.  The U.S. Embassy has received reports of armed criminals ambushing vehicles, particularly on the roads leading out of Bujumbura.  Due to the lack of resources, local authorities in any part of Burundi often are unable to provide timely assistance during an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy restricts the travel of Embassy personnel in Burundi, and certain areas of the capital are off-limits to U.S. government personnel after nightfall.  U.S. Government personnel are prohibited from walking on the streets after dark and from using local public transportation at any time.  The Embassy’s Regional Security Officer (RSO) must pre-approve all travel outside a 30 km radius of Bujumbura, and employees must travel on an approved itinerary in two-vehicle convoys equipped with satellite phones and emergency equipment.  The RSO may also place further restrictions on employee movement due to changing security conditions, such as requiring alternate routing or a security escort.  Within 30 km of the city, employees may travel in single vehicles, but must check in and out with the Embassy.  All employee movement outside the city after dark is forbidden.  The Embassy recommends that American citizens not travel on national highways from dusk to dawn.

American citizens who travel to or remain in Burundi despite this Travel Warning are urged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura for information on the latest Embassy security guidelines, and to register at the State Department’s travel registration website.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  Americans without internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura at Avenue des Etats-Unis.  The hours for non-emergency American Citizen Services are 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Fridays.  The Embassy Consular section can be reached by telephone, including for after hours emergencies, at (257) 22-20-7000, or by fax at (257) 22-22-2926.  Security information for American citizens in Burundi is posted at the Embassy’s website.

For further information, consult the Country Specific Information for Burundi and the current Worldwide Caution, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.  Updated information on travel and security in Burundi is available at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line at 202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays)

____________________________

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


 

This information is current as of today,Sat Aug 08 08:04:37 2009.

NIGERIA

July 17, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and recommends avoiding all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers.  Violent crime is a problem in Lagos and other large cities as well as on the roads between cities.  Tension between some Muslim and Christian communities, and between ethnic groups, occasionally results in violence, but is not directed specifically against American citizens.  This replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated December 2, 2008, to note additional areas of military operations, violent activity, and crime in Nigeria.

American citizens should defer all but essential travel to the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers because of the continued risks of kidnapping, robbery, and other armed attacks in these areas, especially against oil-related facilities and other infrastructure.  A loose alliance of militant groups has conducted a number of attacks, mostly in Rivers state, against oil installations and posts of the Nigerian military’s Joint Task Force (JTF), which is attempting to close the militant camps.   Since January 2008, over 54 foreign national oil workers or business people in parts of the Niger Delta region have been kidnapped from off-shore and land-based oil facilities, residential compounds, and public roadways, and similar incidents have occurred in several other parts of Nigeria.  The Nigerian government considers militant camps and surrounding areas in the Delta region states of Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, and Rivers to be conflict areas.  In May 2009, the JTF began conducting larger-scale military activities against militant camps in Delta State that further heightened security concerns in the state.  JTF operations could also begin in other parts of the Delta region as determined by the Nigerian Government.  Travel by foreigners to these areas without prior consultation and coordination with local security authorities is not recommended, as the Nigerian Government may see this activity as inappropriate and potentially illegal.  Nigerian authorities detained six American citizens, including journalists, on six separate occasions, in this same region in 2008.  The Nigerian government interrogated these Americans for lengthy periods without bringing formal charges, and ultimately deported them.  Journalists are required to obtain a special accreditation from the Ministry of Information prior to traveling to conflict areas in the Niger Delta region states.  This special accreditation is in addition to the general press accreditation and valid Nigerian visa required to conduct such activities elsewhere in Nigeria.

Many foreign oil companies operating in the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers have implemented “essential travel only” policies for their personnel.  The U.S. Mission currently requires advance permission for U.S. Government travel to these states, as well as the states of Abia, Edo and Imo, given the safety and security risk assessments, and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s limited ability to provide assistance to people detained by Nigerian authorities in these states.  The incidence of kidnappings and other armed attacks is on the rise in Abia and Imo states.  American citizens who are resident in these Niger Delta and southeastern states are advised to review their personal security in light of the information contained in this Travel Warning.

Violent crime committed by individuals and gangs, as well as by some persons wearing police and military uniforms, is an ongoing problem, especially at night.  Crime is particularly acute in Lagos.  Traveling outside of major cities during hours of darkness is not recommended due to both crime and road safety concerns.  Visitors to Nigeria, including American citizens, have been victims of armed robbery on the airport roads from Lagos and Abuja during both daylight and nighttime hours.  Some visitors and resident Americans have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglary, kidnappings, and extortion, often involving violence, as well as carjackings, roadblock robberies, and armed break-ins.

Religious tension between some Muslim and Christian communities occasionally results in acts of isolated communal violence that could erupt quickly and without warning.  So far, American citizens have not been directly targeted.  The states of Kano, Kaduna and Plateau are particularly volatile.  Rival ethnic groups have clashed violently in Delta state around Warri city and in North-Central Plateau state.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Nigeria are strongly advised to register through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs.  Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja or the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos for up-to-date information on any restrictions.  The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be contacted by phone at [234](9)461-4000.  American citizens may contact the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos at [234(1)460-3600].  You may also visit the U.S. Mission’s website at http://nigeria.usembassy.gov/.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s most recent Country Specific Information for Nigeria and the Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department’s web site at http://www.travel.state.gov.  Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or by calling a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays)

_____________________________________________________

Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520


 

This information is current as of today, Sat Aug 08 08:02:16 2009.

HAITI

July 17, 2009

The State Department warns U.S. citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when traveling to Haiti.  While the overall security situation has improved, political tensions remain, and the potential for politically-motivated violence persists.  This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated January 28, 2009, and is being issued to provide updated information on country conditions, and to alert Americans to ongoing security concerns and on contacting and registering with the U.S. Embassy in Haiti.

Haiti, like most Caribbean countries, can be affected by hurricanes and other storms.  Hurricane season runs from approximately June 1 – November 30 each year.  The lack of infrastructure and rescue services, combined with impassable roads and bridges, have severely hindered rescue and relief efforts.  During the 2008 hurricane season, four tropical storms struck Haiti, causing torrential rains, extensive flooding and mudslides, and hundreds of reported casualties.  Most transport infrastructure damaged by the 2008 storms has been repaired, although in many cases repairs are temporary pending the construction of more permanent structures.  Haiti has few secondary roads that are in good condition.  Drivers traveling on Haiti’s roads must be aware that there will be frequent deviations, stoppages and obstructions due to ongoing road construction and repairs. For additional details concerning traffic safety and road conditions, please see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Haiti.

There were violent confrontations between opposing candidates’ supporters and armed attacks on polling stations in a handful of Haitian towns during the April 19, 2009, Senate elections.  There was less violence in the second round of voting on June 21.  International monitors described the elections as generally well-organized and orderly.  The absence of an effective police force in many areas of Haiti means that, when protests take place, there is potential for looting, the erection of intermittent roadblocks by armed protestors or by the police, and the possibility of random crime, including kidnapping, carjacking, home invasion, armed robbery and assault.  Although the Haitian National Police are more visible and are gradually contributing to improving public security, especially in the metropolitan area of the capital, Americans in Haiti should practice good personal security, take commonsense precautions and avoid any event where crowds may congregate.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful occasionally turn violent.  Americans should closely monitor news media and the U.S. Embassy’s website at: http://haiti.usembassy.gov/warden_information.html.

U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Haiti despite this warning are reminded that there also is persistent danger of violent crime, especially kidnappings.  Most kidnappings are criminal in nature, and the kidnappers make no distinctions of nationality, race, gender, or age.  The incidence of kidnapping in Haiti has diminished from its peak in 2006 when 60 Americans were reported kidnapped.  As of July 2009, one American had been reported kidnapped this year.  In 2008, 27 Americans were reported kidnapped. Most of the Americans were abducted in Haiti’s two largest cities, Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien.  Some kidnap victims have been killed, shot, sexually assaulted, or physically abused.  While the capacity and capabilities of the Haitian National Police have improved since 2006, the presence of UN stabilization force (MINUSTAH) peacekeeping troops and UN-formed police units remain critical to maintaining an adequate level of security throughout the country.  The lack of civil protections in Haiti, as well as the limited capability of local law enforcement to resolve crime, further compounds the security threat to American citizens.

While MINUSTAH remains fully deployed and is assisting the government of Haiti in providing security, travel is always hazardous within Port-au-Prince.  U.S. Embassy personnel are under an Embassy-imposed curfew and must remain in their homes or in U.S. government facilities during the curfew.  Some areas are off-limits to Embassy staff after dark, including downtown Port-au-Prince.  The Embassy restricts travel by its staff to some areas outside of Port-au-Prince because of the prevailing road, weather, or security conditions.  This may constrain our ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside Port-au-Prince.  Demonstrations and violence may occasionally limit Embassy operations to emergency services, even within Port-au-Prince.

The Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Haiti to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince.  The Consular Section can be reached at (509) (2)229-8000 or e-mail address acspap@state.gov.  Travelers should also consult the Department of State’s latest Country Specific Information for Haiti and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov .  American citizens also may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States.

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This information is current as of today, Mon Jul 06 09:09:36 2009.

IRAN
July 01, 2009

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran. Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider non-essential travel. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Iran issued September 15, 2008.
Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. As a result, American citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while travelling or residing in Iran. In 2009, Iranian authorities prevented a number of Iranian-American citizens, including journalists, who travelled to Iran for personal or professional reasons from leaving, in some cases for several months. Iranian authorities also detained or imprisoned Iranian-American citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Americans of Iranian origin should consider the risk of being targeted by authorities before planning travel to Iran. Iranian authorities may deny dual nationals access to the United States Interests Section in Tehran, because they are considered to be solely Iranian citizens.

 

The Iranian Government continues to repress some minority religious and ethnic groups, including Bahai, Arabs, Kurds, Azeris, and others. Consequently, some areas within the country where these minorities reside, including the Baluchistan border area near Pakistan and Afghanistan, the Kurdish northwest of the country, and areas near the Iraqi border, remain unsafe.

 

Large-scale demonstrations with sometimes violent outbreaks have taken place in various regions throughout Iran, in particular over the past weeks as a result of a volatile political climate following the June 12, 2009 presidential elections. U.S. citizens who travel to Iran should exercise caution.
The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to American citizens in Iran. The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran. Neither U.S. passports nor visas to the United States are issued in Tehran. The Iranian Government does not recognize dual citizenship and will not allow the Swiss to provide protective services for U.S. citizens who are also Iranian nationals. U.S. citizens of Iranian origin who are considered by Iran to be Iranian citizens have been detained and harassed by Iranian authorities. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, as well as persons who encourage Muslims to convert, are subject to arrest and prosecution.
Americans who travel or reside in Iran are strongly encouraged to register through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. If they are in Tehran, American citizens may also register in person at the Foreign Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy currently located at No. 39, Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th), Pasdaran, Tehran. The telephone numbers for the Foreign Interests Section are (+98)(21) 2254-2178 and (+98)(21) 2256-5273, fax (+98)(21) 225-2258-0432, email: tie.vertretung@eda.admin.ch, website: http://www.eda.admin.ch/tehran.
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Iran, and the current Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain updated information on travel and security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada, +1-202-501-4444.

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Travel Warning
United States Department of State

 

Bureau of Consular Affairs

 

Washington, DC 20520
 
 

 

 

 

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This information is current as of today, Mon Jun 29 06:22:22 2009.

 

SRI LANKA
June 26, 2009
The Department of State warns American citizens traveling to or living in Sri Lanka about the potential for continued instability, including possible terrorist attacks. This replaces the Travel Warning for Sri Lanka dated December 22, 2008, to update information on security incidents, safety concerns in specific regions of the country, and potential problems for U.S. citizen travelers.
On May 19, 2009, the Sri Lankan government announced that it had achieved victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an armed insurgent group, after more than 25 years of civil conflict. Despite the conclusion of hostilities, remnants of the insurgency group remain. The Government of Sri Lanka’s security posture remains heightened.

The Department of State urges American citizens to evaluate carefully the risks of travel to Sri Lanka and specifically warns Americans against travel to the Northern Province and most of the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka due to the presence of uncleared land mines and the possibility of renewed insurgency. Armed paramilitaries remain active in the Eastern Province. Consular assistance to American citizens detained in the north and east may be significantly delayed. Travel to all of the Northern Province remains potentially unsafe, in particular travel to the following areas: Anuradhapura District of the North Central Province; the areas north of Medawachchiya; the A14 road; and the road from Medawachchiya and Horowupatna. Non-official travel by U.S. Government personnel to the Eastern Province, other than the A6 road corridor and Trincomalee Town in Trincomalee District and areas in Ampara District south of the A4 road and west of Maha Oya, is prohibited. Travel in some parts of the country remains highly restricted by the Sri Lankan government, with particular sensitivity concerning the large number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in camps.

American citizens of Sri Lankan origin may be subject to additional scrutiny upon arrival and while in the country. In some cases, foreigners of Sri Lankan origin may be detained without their embassy being notified. The activities of journalists, researchers, aid workers, and volunteers receive particular attention. The Government of Sri Lanka encourages Sri Lankan citizens to report foreigners who are suspected of carrying out activities not consistent with the national interest and/or their visa category.

Although no terrorist incidents have taken place since the government’s declaration of military victory over the LTTE in May 2009, there remains the possibility that remnants of the organization may attempt to carry out attacks. In 2008 and early 2009, bomb explosions in densely populated areas killed dozens of civilians, including some areas frequented by foreign tourists. Although there is no specific indication that American citizens or institutions have been targeted, American citizens risk becoming victims of violence by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. American citizens who decide to travel to Sri Lanka should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow prudent security practices. Americans should avoid large crowds and public gatherings and should particularly avoid political rallies, military bases, government and military vehicle convoys, and high security zones, which have been frequent targets of LTTE attacks. Americans are also advised against traveling by bus within Sri Lanka, as civilian buses have often been the target of past terrorist bomb attacks. American personnel in the U.S. Mission are currently prohibited from traveling by public bus.

Recent incidents include a suicide bomb attack on January 2, 2009, near the Air Force Headquarters in Colombo which killed two and injured 32. On October 9, 2008, a suicide bomb attack on the convoy of a government minister killed one and injured six in the suburbs of Colombo. On October 6, 2008, 28 civilians were killed and 80 injured in a suicide attack on the opening of a political party office in Anuradhapura. Foreign tourists were not specifically targeted in these attacks and none were injured.

Americans should comply with all instructions from security forces and police when traveling in Sri Lanka. American citizens, including those of Sri Lankan origin, whether living in Sri Lanka or traveling there for only a few days, are strongly urged to register with the Embassy online via the Department of State travel registration page or in person. Embassy contact information is as follows:

U.S. Embassy Colombo

210 Galle Road

Colombo 03

Sri Lanka

Telephone: +94 11 249 8500

Emergency after-hours telephone: +94 11 249 8888

Facsimile: +94 11 249 8590

Email (American Citizens Services issues): ColomboACS@state.gov

Email (general Consular inquiries): ConsularColombo@state.gov

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information documents, including the Country Specific Information for Sri Lanka and the Worldwide Caution, available on the Internet athttp://travel.state.gov.

Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (except U.S. federal holidays).

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Travel Warning
United States Department of State

 

Bureau of Consular Affairs

 

Washington, DC 20520
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This information is current as of today, Mon Jun 29 06:27:48 2009.
YEMEN

June 26, 2009

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities. The Department recommends that American citizens defer non-essential travel to Yemen. American citizens remaining in Yemen despite this warning should monitor the U.S. Embassy website and should make contingency emergency plans. This replaces the Travel Warning for Yemen issued April 24, 2009, to update information on attacks against foreigners in the Northern governorate of Saada.

The security threat level remains high due to terrorist activities in Yemen. On the morning of September 17, 2008, armed terrorists attacked the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. A number of explosions occurred in the vicinity of the Embassy’s main gate. Several Yemeni security personnel and one Embassy security guard were killed, as were a few individuals waiting to gain entry to the Embassy, one of whom was a U.S. citizen.

U.S. Embassy employees have been advised to exercise caution when choosing restaurants, hotels or visiting tourist areas in Sanaa in order to avoid large gatherings of foreigners and expatriates. Only limited travel outside of the capital is authorized at this time.

U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Yemen despite this warning should exercise caution and take prudent security measures, including maintaining a high level of vigilance, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all travel, and ensuring travel documents are current. American citizens in Yemen are advised to exercise particular caution at locations frequented by foreigners countrywide, including restaurants and hotels frequented by expatriates. From time to time, the Embassy may restrict official Americans from restaurants, hotels, or shopping areas. The Department of State strongly encourages American citizens to consult the most recent Warden Messages on the U.S. Embassy website to get up-to-date information on security conditions. Americans who believe they are being followed or threatened while driving in urban centers should proceed as quickly as possible to the nearest police station or major intersection and request assistance from the officers in the blue-and-white police cars stationed there.

The Department remains concerned about possible attacks by extremist individuals or groups against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived interests. On March 15, 2009, four South Korean tourists were killed in a suicide bomb attack in the city of Shibam in southern Hadramout province. On March 18, 2009, a South Korean motorcade was attacked by a suicide bomber near Sana’a International Airport. On January 17, 2008, suspected al-Qa’ida operatives ambushed a tourist convoy in the eastern Hadramout Governorate, killing two Belgians. On July 2, 2007, suspected al-Qa’ida operatives carried out a vehicle-borne explosive device attack on tourists at the Belquis Temple in Marib, which resulted in the deaths of eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis. The targeting of tourist sites by al-Qa’ida may represent an escalation in terror tactics in Yemen. On February 3, 2006, 23 convicts, including known affiliates of al-Qa’ida, escaped from a high-security prison in Sanaa, some of whom remain at large. Two of the escapees were killed in vehicle-based suicide attacks on oil facilities near Mukalla and Marib on September 15, 2006. Those attacks were followed by the arrest the next day in Sanaa of four suspected al Qa’ida operatives, who had stockpiled explosives and weapons.

The Government of Yemen has been battling al Houthi rebels in and around the northern governorate of Saada intermittently since 2004. In June 2009, a group of foreigners was attacked in Saada, resulting in three confirmed deaths. There have been no claims of responsibility in this incident and the investigation is ongoing.

U.S. citizens traveling in Yemen should be aware that local authorities occasionally place restrictions on the travel of foreigners to parts of the country experiencing unrest. In addition, the U.S. Embassy itself often restricts travel of official personnel to the tribal areas north and east of Sanaa, such as the governorates of Amran, Al Jawf, Hajja, Marib, Saada, and Shabwa. Travelers should be in contact with the Embassy for up-to-date information on such restrictions.

Travel by boat through the Red Sea or near the Socotra Islands in the Gulf of Aden presents the risk of pirate attacks. Since the beginning of 2009, 40 vessels reportedly have been attacked and 23 vessels seized in the area. In some cases, crew members were held for ransom. Following the April 2009 hijacking of a U.S. cargo vessel and the subsequent rescue of the vessel’s captain, resulting in the deaths of three pirates, Somali pirates threatened to retaliate against American citizens transiting the region. The threat of piracy extends into the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa as well. See our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet. If travel to any of these areas is unavoidable, travelers may reduce the risk to personal security if such travel is undertaken by air or with an armed escort provided by a local tour company.

U.S. citizens should register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) to obtain updated information on travel and security in Yemen. This can be done online prior to arrival in Yemen at State Department’s registration web page.

The U.S. Embassy is located at Dhahr Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, P.O. Box 22347. The telephone number of the Consular Section is (967) (1) 755-2000, extension 2153 or 2266. The fax number is (967) (1) 303-175. The after-hours emergency number is (967) (1) 755-2000 (press zero for extension) or (967) 733213509. From time to time the Embassy may temporarily close or suspend public services for security reasons. Emergency assistance to U.S. citizens during non-business hours (or when public access is restricted) is available through Embassy duty personnel.

Current information on travel and security in Yemen may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada, 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays.) U.S. citizens should consult the Country Specific Information for Yemen and the Worldwide Caution on the State Department’s Internet site. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be viewed at U.S. Embassy Sanaa’s American citizens services web page.

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Travel Warning

United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Washington, DC 20520

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This information is current as of today, Mon Jun 29 06:36:19 2009.

SAUDI ARABIA

June 26, 2009

The Department of State warns American citizens about the security situation in Saudi Arabia and reminds U.S. citizens of recommended security precautions. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to consider carefully the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia. There is an ongoing security threat due to the continued presence of terrorist groups, some affiliated with al Qaida, who may target Western interests, housing compounds, hotels, shopping areas and other facilities where Westerners congregate. These terrorist groups may employ a wide variety of tactics and also may target Saudi Government facilities and economic/commercial targets within the Kingdom. This updates and replaces the Travel Warning issued March 4, 2009, to note revised U.S. Embassy policy governing employee security and to explain Embassy policy on security updates for American citizens in Saudi Arabia.

The last major terrorist attack directed against the civilian population was an attack against French nationals in 2007. Significant improvements in the capacity and capability of Saudi security and intelligence forces have greatly improved the security environment. Although much improved, the improvements remain fragil and reversible.

The Department of State has authorized the return of all family members to the U.S. Consulate General Dhahran and the return of adult family members and non-school age children to the U.S. Embassy Riyadh. The U.S. Consulate General Jeddah remains an unaccompanied post. While these changes reflect the continued improvement in the security climate in Saudi Arabia, particularly in the Eastern Province and Riyadh, it is important to note that there remains an ongoing security threat due to the continued presence of terrorist groups, some affiliated with al Qaida, who may target Western interests, housing compounds, hotels, shopping areas and other facilities where Westerners congregate. These terrorist groups may employ a wide variety of tactics and also may target Saudi Government facilities and economic/commercial targets within the Kingdom. American citizens who choose to visit Saudi Arabia are strongly urged to avoid staying in hotels or housing compounds that do not apply stringent security measures and also are advised to be aware of their surroundings when visiting commercial establishments frequented by Westerners. American citizens also are advised to keep a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, exercise caution while driving, entering or exiting vehicles, and ensure that travel documents and visas are current and valid.

American citizens who choose to visit Saudi Arabia are strongly urged to avoid staying in hotels or housing compounds that do not apply stringent security measures and also are advised to be aware of their surroundings when visiting commercial establishments frequented by Westerners. American citizens also are advised to keep a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, exercise caution while driving, entering or exiting vehicles, and ensure that travel documents and visas are current and valid.

From time to time, the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Saudi Arabia may restrict travel of official Americans or suspend public services for security reasons. Whenever threat information is specific, credible, and non-counterable, this threat information will be made available to the American public. In those instances, the Embassy and Consulates will keep the local American citizen community apprised through the Warden system and make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. Warden messages can be found on the U.S. Embassy Riyadh website..

All travelers are encouraged to register their trip online through the Department of State’s Internet Based Registration Service. Updated information on travel and security in Saudi Arabia may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 from within the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays.) For additional information, consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Saudi Arabia, and Worldwide Caution. U.S. citizens who require emergency services may telephone the Embassy in Riyadh at (966) (1) 488-3800, the Consulate in Jeddah at (966) (2) 667-0080, or the Consulate in Dhahran at (966) (3) 330-3200.

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Travel Warning

United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Washington, DC 20520

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This information is current as of today, Mon Jun 29 06:37:36 2009.

UZBEKISTAN

June 16, 2009

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens that the potential for a terrorist attack or localized civil disturbance still exists in Uzbekistan. The Department of State continues to urge Americans in Uzbekistan to exercise caution when traveling in the region. This supersedes the Travel Warning dated July 3, 2008.

The U.S. Government continues to receive information that indicates terrorist groups may be planning attacks, possibly against U.S. interests, in Uzbekistan. Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement are active in the region. Members of these groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and have attacked U.S. Government interests in the past, including the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, and may attempt to target U.S. Government or private American interests in Uzbekistan. In the past, these groups have conducted kidnappings, assassinations, and suicide bombings.

High security at official U.S. facilities may lead terrorists and their sympathizers to seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, and resorts. The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent continues to employ heightened security precautions. U.S. citizens should report any unusual activity to local authorities and then inform the Embassy.

Uzbekistan experienced a wave of terrorist violence in 2004 and a number of incidents have occurred since then. In July 2004, there were three suicide bombings in Tashkent, including one outside the U.S. Embassy. The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) claimed responsibility for the attacks. The IJU also used suicide bombers in multiple attacks focused on police and Uzbek private and commercial facilities in Tashkent and Bukhara in late March and early April 2004. In May 2005, armed militants stormed a prison in Andijon, released its prisoners, and then took control of the regional administration and other government buildings in Andijon Province. Fighting broke out between government forces and the militants, and reports indicated that several hundred civilians died in the ensuing violence. In May 2009, there were attacks on a border post in Khonobod and a suicide bombing at a police station in the city of Andijon.

The Uzbek Government tightly controls all official border crossings. Travel within Uzbekistan by rail or land sometimes requires brief exit into neighboring countries. Travelers should have multiple-entry Uzbek visas and a proper visa for the neighboring country in order to avoid delays in travel. Furthermore, American citizens affiliated with nongovernmental organizations that have been closed in Uzbekistan may be denied entry, even with a valid visa.

Americans traveling to or remaining in Uzbekistan are strongly urged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Uzbekistan. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent. The U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan is located at # 3, Moyqorghon Street, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, Tashkent-700093, Uzbekistan. The telephone number is 998-71-120-5450 and can be reached after hours as well in the event of an emergency. The Consular fax number is 998-71-120-5448. The website is http://uzbekistan.usembassy.gov.

As the Department continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information documents, including the Country Specific Information for Uzbekistan and the Worldwide Caution, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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Travel Warning

United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Washington, DC 20520

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This information is current as of today, Mon Jun 29 06:39:17 2009.

IRAQ

June 15, 2009

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers inherent in travel to Iraq and recommends against all but essential travel in country given the fluid security situation. Numerous insurgent groups remain active throughout Iraq. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)-led military operations continue, and attacks persist against the ISF and U.S. forces in many areas of the country. Turkish government forces have carried out operations against elements of the Kongra-Gel terrorist group (KGK, formerly Kurdistan Worker’s Party or PKK) located along Iraq’s northern border. This Travel Warning warns U.S. citizens of the current security situation and reiterates the dangers of the use of civilian aircraft and of road travel within Iraq. This replaces the Travel Warning of June 13, 2008, to provide an update on security incidents and additional concerns about travel within Iraq.

Iraq Remains Dangerous and Unpredictable

While the security environment has shown significant improvement over the past year, Iraq remains dangerous and unpredictable. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue, including in the International (or “Green”) Zone. Methods of attack have included roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mortars and rockets, and human- and vehicle-borne IEDs. Kidnappings still occur; the most recent confirmed kidnapping of an American citizen reported to the U.S. Embassy occurred during July 2008 in Nassariya. In addition to terrorist and criminal attacks, sectarian violence occurs often. U.S. Government personnel require special permission and a security detail at all times when traveling outside of secure facilities and are prohibited from traveling to certain areas of Iraq depending on prevailing security conditions. Detailed security information is available on the Embassy’s web site at http://iraq.usembassy.gov and at http://www.centcom.mil.

Transportation to/from and within Iraq

Travelers choosing to utilize commercial carriers to enter or depart Iraq should be aware that, although there have been no recent attacks on civilian aircraft, the potential threat still exists, as does the high risk to road transportation as described above. U.S. Government personnel, with limited exceptions, are generally required to use U.S. military or other official aircraft when entering or departing Iraq. There have been no recent security-related incidents associated with civilian airport operations. Embassy employees, including those resident in northern Iraq, may seek authorization, and under special limited circumstances, have obtained permission to use commercial airlines and civilian airports when entering or departing Iraq. Civilians, including tourists, business people, and temporary residents should recognize the risks associated with air travel to Iraq and must be guided by the security policies of their agencies, companies and sponsors.

Northern Iraq

The security situation in Sulymaniya, Erbil, and Dohuk Governorates in northern Iraq has been relatively more stable than the rest of Iraq in recent years, but violence persists and conditions could deteriorate quickly. Even though there have been fewer terrorist attacks and lower levels of insurgent violence in Sulymaniya, Erbil, and Dohuk than in other parts of Iraq, the security situation throughout the country remains fluid. Violence associated with the status of Kirkuk is likely to continue, at least within Kirkuk. Insurgent groups continue to operate across the north. In 2008, multiple incidents occurred in Sulymaniya, Erbil, and Dohuk involving IEDs, rocket and mortar fire, vehicle bombs, and shootings, though none resulted in U.S. casualties. While many parts of northern Iraq have become more stable, Mosul continues to experience intense violence and instability.

International Zone Restrictions

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone (IZ) in Baghdad. The IZ is a restricted access area. The U.S. Government considers the potential threat to U.S. Government personnel assigned to Iraq to be sufficiently serious so as to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines.

Limited Emergency Support to American Citizens

The U.S. Embassy provides limited visa services to the general public and provides restricted emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq, particularly those located outside of Baghdad. American citizens who choose to visit or reside in Iraq despite this Travel Warning are urged to take responsibility for their own personal security and belongings (including their U.S. passports), avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations, and to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq. All Americans in Iraq are asked to register with the Embassy at the following website: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs.

Contact Information

American citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by contacting the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone, via landline at 1-240-553-0581, via e-mail to baghdadacs@state.gov, or by accessing the U.S. Embassy’s website at http://iraq.usembassy.gov. The after-hours numbers in cases of extreme emergency are 011-964-770-443-2594 (from the US) or 964 0770-443-2594(within Iraq).

Updated information on travel and security in Iraq may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Iraq, as well as the Worldwide Caution, both of which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov/.

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Travel Warning

United States Department of State

Bureau of Consular Affairs

Washington, DC 20520

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This information is current as of today, Mon Jun 29 06:41:06 2009.

PAKISTAN

June 12, 2009

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Pakistan in light of the threat of terrorist activity. This replaces the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2009, updates information on security incidents and reminds U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan.

Pakistani military forces are currently engaged in a campaign against extremist elements across many areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and parts of the Northwest Frontier Province, including the Swat Valley. In response to this campaign, militants have vowed to step up attacks against both civilian and government targets in Pakistan’s cities.

The presence of Al-Qaida, Taliban elements, and indigenous militant sectarian groups poses a potential danger to American citizens throughout Pakistan, especially in the western border regions of the country. Continuing tensions in the Middle East also increase the possibility of violence against Westerners. Terrorists and their sympathizers have successfully attacked civilian and government targets. The Pakistan government has heightened security measures, particularly in the major cities. Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where Americans and Westerners are known to congregate or visit, such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs and restaurants, places of worship, schools, or outdoor recreation events.

Visits by U.S. government personnel to Peshawar and Karachi are limited and movements by U.S. government personnel assigned to the Consulates in those cities are severely restricted. American officials in Lahore and Islamabad are instructed to restrict the frequency and to minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other locations. Only a limited number of official visitors are placed in hotels, for limited stays. Depending on ongoing security assessments, the U.S. Embassy places areas such as hotels, markets, and/or restaurants off limits to official personnel. American citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures and to maintain good situational awareness, particularly when visiting locations frequented by Westerners.

On November 12, 2008, an American government contractor and his driver in Peshawar were shot and killed in their car. In September 2008, over fifty people, including three Americans, were killed and hundreds were injured when a suicide bomber set off a truck filled with explosives outside a major international hotel in Islamabad. In August 2008, gunmen stopped and shot at the vehicle of an American diplomat in Peshawar. In March 2008, a restaurant frequented by Westerners in Islamabad was bombed, killing one patron and seriously injuring several others, including four American diplomats. On March 2, 2006, an American diplomat, a Consulate employee, and three others were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives alongside the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi. Fifty-two others were wounded.

Extremist and sectarian violence has resulted in fatal bomb attacks in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, and other Pakistani cities in 2008 and 2009. According to media reports, in the last 14 months, there have been more than 1,800 incidents of terrorism across the country resulting in more than 1,300 deaths and scores of injuries. Some of the attacks have occurred outside major hotels, in market areas and other locations frequented by Americans. Other recent targets have included restaurants, Pakistani government officials and buildings, police and security forces, mosques, and international NGOs. Since late 2007, occasional rockets have targeted areas in and around Peshawar.

7. Since 2007, several American citizens throughout Pakistan have been kidnapped for ransom or for personal reasons. Kidnappings of foreigners are particularly common in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and Baluchistan. In 2008, one Iranian and two Afghan diplomats, two Chinese engineers, and a Polish engineer were kidnapped in NWFP. In February 2009, an American UNHCR official was kidnapped in Baluchistan. Kidnappings of Pakistanis also increased dramatically across the country, usually for ransom.

Access to many areas of Pakistan, including the FATA along the Afghan border, and the area adjacent to the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed territory of Kashmir, is restricted by local government authorities for non-Pakistanis. Travel to any restricted region requires official permission by the Government of Pakistan. Failure to obtain such permission in advance can result in arrest and detention by Pakistani authorities. Due to security concerns the U.S. Government currently allows only essential travel within the FATA by American officials. Travel to much of the Northwest Frontier Province and Balochistan is also restricted.

Rallies, demonstrations, and processions occur regularly throughout Pakistan on very short notice. In the aftermath of the December 2007 death of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, widespread rioting in Karachi led to multiple deaths and injuries as well as widespread property damage. Demonstrations have often taken on an anti-American or anti-western character, and Americans are urged to avoid large gatherings.

U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to register with the Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulates in Karachi, Lahore, or Peshawar. This registration can be completed online through the Department of State’s travel registration website. Alternatively, Americans without Internet access should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for information on registering in person. Registration enables citizens to obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan via the emergency alert system (Warden network).

Americans in country should take measures for their safety and security. These measures include maintaining good situational awareness, avoiding crowds and demonstrations and keeping a low profile. Avoid setting patterns by varying times and routes for all required travel. Ensure that travel documents and visas are valid at all times. Official Americans are instructed to avoid use of public transportation and restrict their use of personal vehicles in response to security concerns.

Security threats may on short notice temporarily restrict the ability of U.S. Missions, particularly in Peshawar, to provide routine consular services. All American citizens are encouraged to apply for renewal of travel documents at least three months prior to expiration.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5; telephone: (92-51) 208-0000, including after hours emergency assistance; Consular Section telephone: (92-51) 208-2700; fax: (92-51) 282-2632; website: http://islamabad.usembassy.gov.

The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi is located at 8 Abdullah Haroon Road; telephone: (92-21) 520-4200 or (92-21) 520-4400 for after hours emergency assistance; fax: (92-21) 568-0496; website: http://karachi.usconsulate.gov.

The U.S. Consulate in Lahore is located on 50 Sharah-E-Abdul Hamid Bin Badees (Old Empress Road), near Shimla Hill Rotary; telephone: (92-42) 603-4000, including after hours emergency assistance; fax: (92-42) 603-4200; website: http://lahore.usconsulate.gov.

The U.S. Consulate in Peshawar is located at 11 Hospital Road, Cantonment, Peshawar; telephone: (92-91) 526-8800, including after hours emergency assistance; fax: (92-91) 528-4171; website: http://Peshawar.usconsulate.gov.

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the Worldwide Caution and the Pakistan Country Specific Information can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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