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Israel, The West Bank and Gaza Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza due to ongoing hostilities.
The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens consider the deferral of non-essential travel to Israel and the West Bank and reaffirms the longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against any travel to the Gaza Strip. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on February 3, 2014.

The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the risks of travel to these areas because of the current conflict between Hamas and Israel. The Department of State continues its longstanding strong warning to U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel there. Please see the section below on the situation in the Gaza Strip. Because of the security situation, the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and its annexes are currently operating at reduced staffing and the Consular Section of the Embassy is providing only emergency consular services. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is currently maintaining normal operations, including consular services.

Long-range rockets launched from Gaza since July 8, 2014 have reached many locations in Israel – including Tel Aviv, cities farther north, and throughout the south of the country. Some rockets have reached Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank, including Bethlehem and Hebron. While many rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, there have been impacts that have caused damage and injury. In light of the ongoing rocket attacks, U.S. citizen visitors to and U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site, if available. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. Consult city municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for lists of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should follow the instructions of the Home Front Command on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks.

Travelers should avoid areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip due to the real risks presented by small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars, as attacks from Gaza can come with little or no warning. Both Embassy and Consulate General personnel are currently not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.

Ben Gurion Airport is currently open and commercial flights are operating normally, although delays and cancellations can occur. Travelers should check with their airline prior to their planned travel to verify the flight schedule. U.S. citizens seeking to depart Israel or the West Bank are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.



We are not evacuating U.S. citizens out of Israel. U.S. government-facilitated evacuations 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 valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens' ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General's ability to provide assistance.

U.S. citizens who do travel to or remain in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza should take into consideration the rules governing travel by U.S. government employees:


  • U.S. government personnel are not permitted to conduct official or personal travel to the Gaza Strip;
  • U.S. government personnel are restricted from conducting personal travel to most parts of the West Bank; travel for official business is done with special security arrangements coordinated by the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem;
  • Currently, because of the security situation, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel south of greater Tel Aviv without prior approval;
  • U.S. government personnel must notify Embassy Tel Aviv’s Regional Security Officer before traveling in the areas of the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights;
  • U.S. government personnel are not permitted to use public buses anywhere in Israel or the West Bank due to past attacks on public transportation.

Major Metropolitan Areas in Israel




Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and their surrounding regions, are comparable to or better than those in other major global cities. Please see below for specific information regarding Jerusalem. Visitors should observe appropriate personal security practices to reduce their vulnerability to crime, particularly late at night or in isolated or economically depressed areas, including in the countryside. Visitors are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and keep current with local news, which is available through numerous English language sources.



The Government of Israel has had a long-standing policy of issuing gas masks to its citizens and, starting in 2010, it began issuing replacement masks. It stopped this distribution process in early 2014 in response to regional events. Visitors and foreign residents in Israel are not issued masks and must individually procure them, if desired. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General do not provide gas masks for persons who are not U.S. government employees or their dependents. For further emergency preparedness guidance, please visit the website of the Government of Israel's Home Front Command, which provides information on how to choose a secure space in a home or apartment, as well as a list of the types of protective kits (gas masks) issued by the Government of Israel to its citizens.

Gaza Vicinity


The Department of State recommends against travel to areas of Israel in the vicinity of the Gaza Strip. Travelers should be aware of the risks presented by the current military conflict between Hamas and Israel. On July 17, 2014 Israel announced the commencement of ground operations in Gaza. Travelers in the regions immediately bordering Gaza may encounter small arms fire, anti-tank weapons, rockets, and mortars launched from inside Gaza toward Israeli cities and towns. These attacks can come with little or no warning. Visitors to these areas should remain aware of their surroundings and of the location of bomb shelters and should take note of announcements and guidance provided by the Home Front Command.

Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel's border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, such as an attack that took place in August 2013 and one on January 20, 2014. Rockets were fired from Sinai in the direction of Eilat on July 15, 2014.

Northern Israel


Rocket attacks into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Tensions have increased along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of the internal conflict occurring in Syria. Sporadic gunfire has occurred along the border region. There have been several incidents of mortar shells and light arms fire impacting on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. The Syrian conflict is sporadic and unpredictable. U.S. government personnel must notify the Embassy's Regional Security Office in advance if they plan to visit the Golan Heights and are prohibited from traveling east of Rt. 98 in the Golan Heights.

Jerusalem


U.S. citizens should be aware of the possibility of isolated street protests, particularly within the Old City and areas around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. Travelers should exercise caution at religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, including during Ramadan. U.S. government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during the month of Ramadan due to congestion and security-related access restrictions.



U.S. government employees are prohibited from transiting Independence Park in central Jerusalem during the hours of darkness due to reports of criminal activity.



The Consulate General notes that recent demonstrations and clashes in several East Jerusalem areas, such as Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Abu Deis, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, inside the Old City (near Lions Gate), Issawiyeh, and Tsur Baher appear to have diminished, although the possibility exists of renewed clashes in the same areas during evenings. We note that the clashes and demonstrations have not been anti-American in nature. The Israel National Police (INP) continues to have a heavy presence in many of the neighborhoods that have had clashes and may restrict vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. We advise citizens not to enter any neighborhoods restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations that have active clashes ongoing.

The Shufat neighborhood of Jerusalem remains off-limits for official U.S. personnel and their families at night until further notice. The Old City of Jerusalem is also off-limits every day after dark for official U.S. personnel and their families until further notice. Official U.S. personnel are restricted from the Old City of Jerusalem at all times on Fridays during Ramadan. The Friday restriction is part of our standard policy, due to overall congestion and large crowds, and is not related to recent events.

The West Bank


The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning, and vehicles are regularly targeted by rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. U.S citizens have been killed in such attacks. There have also been an increasing number of violent incidents involving Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers in the corridor stretching from Ramallah to Nablus, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages in which U.S. citizens have suffered injury or property damage, and attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens, for their own safety, avoid all demonstrations. During periods of unrest, the Israeli Government may restrict access to the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.



Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel and their families is permitted to the towns of Bethlehem and Jericho and on Routes 1, 443, and 90. Personal travel is also permitted to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea, as are stops at roadside facilities along Routes 1 and 90. All other personal travel by U.S. government personnel in the West Bank is prohibited. U.S. government personnel routinely travel to the West Bank for official business, but do so with special security arrangements.

The Gaza Strip


The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. U.S. citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. Exchanges of fire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place regularly, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past. Although the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt normally allows for some passenger travel, prior coordination with local authorities -- which could take days or weeks to process -- is generally required, and crossing points may be closed for days or weeks. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing must also exit through the Rafah crossing, and those entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays in doing so. Furthermore, the schedule and requirements for exiting through the Rafah crossing are unpredictable and can involve significant expense. Because U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. government are not allowed to enter the Gaza Strip or have contact with Hamas, the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, including assistance departing Gaza, is extremely limited.

Entry/Exit Difficulties




Some U.S. citizens holding Israeli nationality, possessing a Palestinian identity card, or who are of Arab or Muslim origin have experienced significant difficulties in entering or exiting Israel or the West Bank. U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should consult the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in the Country Specific Information.



Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy for information and assistance in Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. An embassy officer can be contacted at (972) (3) 519-7575 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (3) 519-7551.



Contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for information and assistance in Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, at (972) (2) 630-4000 from Monday through Friday during working hours. The after-hours emergency number is (972) (2) 622-7250.

For More Information




The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who live in or travel to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to obtain the most current information on travel and security within Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Enrollment in STEP makes it easier for the Embassy or Consulate General to contact U.S. citizens in case of emergency.

For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Emergencies and Crisis link at www.travel.state.gov

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor theDepartment of State’s Internet websitewhere the Worldwide Caution,Country Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,Travel Warnings, andTravel Alertscan be found, including the currentTravel Warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs onTwitterand onFacebook. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed athttp://israel.usembassy.gov,http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov or onthe Embassy and Consulate General Facebook pages.

Up-to-date information on travel and security in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in 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. 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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Yemen Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest.
The Department urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Yemen and those U.S. citizens currently living in Yemen to depart. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen issued on January 29, 2014.

The U.S. Embassy in Sana'a remains a restricted staffing post. This limits the Embassy’s ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services. Embassy Officers are restricted in their movements and cannot travel outside of Sana’a. In addition, movements within Sana’a are severely constrained and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation.

The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high. The Embassy is subject to frequent unannounced closures. In May 2014, the Embassy was closed for almost five weeks because of heightened security threats.



Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration.



Terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), continue to be active throughout Yemen. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Yemen), and U.S. facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. An ongoing risk of kidnapping exists throughout Yemen. In the last year, international and local media have reported several kidnappings of Westerners. Violent crime is also a growing problem; local media reported the murder of two U.S. citizens in Taiz and Aden in 2013. In addition, piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean is a security threat to maritime activities in the region. See our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations 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 valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens' ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy's ability to provide assistance. U.S. citizens in Yemen should ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. For more information, see"What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis"on the Department's Internet website. Evacuation options from Yemen are extremely limited due to the lack of infrastructure, geographic constraints, and other security concerns. The U.S. government typically evacuates U.S. citizens to a safe haven, and travelers are responsible for making their own onward travel plans. Travelers should not expect to be evacuated to the United States.



U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen despite this Travel Warning should limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Yemen through theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information. If you wish to depart Yemen, you should make plans and depart as soon as possible. The airport is open and commercial flights are operating. There are no current plans for U.S. government-sponsored evacuations.U.S. citizens seeking to depart Yemen are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.



The U.S. Embassy in Sana'a 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. For after-hours emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please call (967)(1)755-2000 (press zero for extension) or (967) 733-213-509. 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.



For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the State Department'sBureau of Consular Affairs websitewhere the currentWorldwide Caution,Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings, andCountry Specific Informationfor Yemen 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 in other countries, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to reviewthe Traveler's Checklistwhich includes valuable security information for those living and traveling abroad. Follow us onTwitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page onFacebookas well.




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Chad Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Chad and recommends citizens avoid travel to eastern Chad and all border regions.
The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid public gathering spaces and locations frequented by expatriates, including markets, restaurants, bars, and places of worship. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Chad dated April 15, 2014 to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Chad.

The U.S. Embassy in Chad reviews all proposed travel by official U.S. government personnel and U.S. government-funded program-related travel to Chad. All U.S. government personnel require authorization to travel to areas outside of the capital, N'Djamena, and may be subject to restrictions within the capital. As security situations warrant, the U.S. Embassy may periodically impose further travel restrictions, including curfews, on U.S. government personnel. While private U.S. citizens are not required to follow these practices, the Embassy will communicate them to U.S. citizens within the country. Private U.S. citizens are encouraged to carefully consider those restrictions and take similar precautions when making travel plans. All U.S. citizens should review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime and other threats. U.S. citizens residing in Chad should exercise caution throughout the country, especially at night.

While there are presently no known specific threats against U.S. citizens in Chad, there are violent extremist organizations in the region, such as Boko Haram and al-Qai’da in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which are intent on harming westerners and western interests and are able to cross borders easily. Despite recent stability, Chad’s historically volatile security environment could deteriorate unexpectedly, particularly in border areas. The U.S. Embassy, therefore, advises all U.S. citizens to exercise caution and be prepared to implement their personal evacuation or safe haven plans on short notice should the situation warrant. U.S. citizens in Chad should closely monitor news media, enroll in the Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and especially monitor Security and Emergency Messages posted on the Embassy website.

Incidents of robbery, carjacking at gunpoint, and murder have been reported throughout the country and recently in N’Djamena. While there are no reports of kidnapping for ransom in Chad since 2010, regional trends suggest this remains a potential threat. Violence is occasionally associated with car accidents and other events that have caused injury to Chadian nationals. Robbery victims have been beaten or killed, and law enforcement and military personnel have been implicated in violent crime. In addition, armed groups may reemerge with little warning. The Government of Chad has limited means to guarantee the safety of visitors in rural Chad.

U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in rural Chad are strongly urged to adhere closely to the policies and procedures of their host organizations to mitigate risks from violent crime. The Government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in areas hosting refugee populations in Chad to obtain movement permits (autorisation de circuler) from the Ministry of Interior and Public Security in N'Djamena. U.S. citizens intending to enter Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, or Sudan from Chad should consult the Department's Travel Warnings for those countries and obtain any requisite visas or travel permits prior to traveling.

The U.S. Embassy communicates with U.S. citizens in Chad through its warden system; however, in the case of an emergency, including an evacuation, the support that can be offered to those in remote and rural areas is limited. All U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad should have an evacuation plan developed with the United Nations agency coordinating their work.

Medical services in Chad are limited. U.S. citizens entering Chad are strongly encouraged to verify their coverage extends to traveling within Chad – including medical evacuation – prior to arrival.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in (Country) enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Travelers should remember to keep all of their information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important to include a current phone number and e-mail address in order to receive the Embassy's emergency messages.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, (including the Travel Warning for Chad), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Chad. For additional information, refer to the Traveler's Checklist on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 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). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenue Felix Eboué in N’Djamena; the Embassy's mailing address is BP 413 N’Djamena Chad. Embassy telephone numbers are +(235) 2251-62-11, 2251-70-09, 2251-77-59, 2251-90-52, 2251-92-18, and 2251-92-33. The Embassy fax number is 235 2251-56-54. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens in Chad should call +235 6662-2100 and ask to speak with the duty officer.


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Honduras Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that the level of crime and violence in Honduras remains critically high.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated December 24, 2013, and includes additional information on crime and security in Honduras, as well as updated contact information.

Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens visit Honduras each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work without incident. However, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country, and the Government of Honduras lacks the resources to address these issues. Since 2010, Honduras has had the highest murder rate in the world. The Honduran Ministry of Security recorded a homicide rate of 75.6 per 100,000 people in 2013, while the National Violence Observatory, an academic research institution based out of Honduras’ National Public University, reports that the 2013 murder rate was 79 murders per 100,000 people.

U.S. citizens are victims of crime at levels similar to those of the local population, and do not appear to be targeted based on their nationality. Although Roatan/Bay Islands, Copan Mayan ruins, and other tourist destinations and resorts have a lower crime rate than other parts of the country, thefts, break-ins, assaults, and murders do occur and are still high by international standards. In 2012, the Government of Honduras increased police presence and established special police forces in areas frequented by tourists, such as the Copan Mayan ruins and Roatan. The Honduran government is evaluating similar options for other locations, and major hotels and other tourist installations have increased private and police security.

Tourists traveling with group tours also report fewer criminal incidents. However, the San Pedro Sula area has seen armed robberies against tourist vans, minibuses, and cars traveling from the airport to area hotels, and there have also been armed robberies along the road to Copan. Visitors are strongly urged to exercise caution in discussing travel plans in public.

Several U.S. citizens have reported being robbed while walking on isolated beaches. All visitors should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times, avoid unfamiliar or isolated areas, and take care to book only with reputable tour companies during their visit to Honduras. The vast majority of cruise line passengers in Honduras experience no problems, but incidents of armed robbery and carjacking have been reported. Coxen Hole on the island of Roatan should be avoided after dark. The vast majority of serious crimes in Honduras, including those against U.S. citizens, are never solved.

Members of the Honduran National Police have been known to engage in criminal activity, including murder and car theft. The government of Honduras lacks sufficient resources to properly investigate and prosecute cases, and police often lack vehicles or fuel to respond to calls for assistance.In practice, this means police may take hours to arrive at the scene of a violent crime, or may not respond at all. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout Honduras. The Honduran government is still in the early stages of substantial reforms to its criminal justice institutions.

Transnational criminal organizations also conduct narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout the country, using violence to control drug trafficking routes and carry out criminal activity. Other criminals, acting both individually and in gangs in Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and other large cities, are known to commit crimes such as murder, kidnapping, extortion, carjacking, armed robbery, rape, and other aggravated assaults.

Kidnappings remain a concern and are believed to be underreported. Since January 1, 2012, four cases of kidnapped U.S. citizens were reported to the U.S. Embassy. The kidnapping victims were all subsequently released, sometimes paying large ransoms to their captors.

U.S. citizens should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times and in all locations, especially when entering or exiting their homes, hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, U.S. citizens should travel in groups of two or more. It is also advisable to avoid wearing jewelry and carrying large sums of money or displaying cash, ATM/credit cards, or other valuables. U.S. citizens should avoid walking at night in most areas of Honduras or walking alone on beaches, historic ruins, and trails. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked and windows up to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested downtown streets.

The location and timing of criminal activity is unpredictable in Honduras. The U.S. Embassy recommends that all travelers exercise caution when traveling anywhere in the country; however, certain areas of the country demonstrate higher levels of criminal activity than others. Most of Honduras’ major cities (Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, and others), as well as several Honduran “departments” (a geographic designation similar to U.S. states) have homicide rates higher than the national average for 2013, including:

DEPARTMENT CAPITAL
Atlántida               La Ceiba
Colón                 Trujillo
Cortés                San Pedro Sula
Ocotepeque            Ocotepeque
Yoro                  Yoro

There are no reliable statistics for the department of Gracias a Dios; however, travelers to the area should note that it is a remote location where narcotics trafficking is frequent, infrastructure is weak, government services are limited, and police or military presence is scarce.

For more detailed information regarding personal security, please see the State Department's Country Specific Information for Honduras.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Web site, where the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found.

The Embassy strongly encourages U.S. citizens living or traveling in Honduras to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to obtain updated information on travel and security within Honduras. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or outside the United States and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. Stay up to date by bookmarking the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site, which contains Travel Warnings and Travel Alertsas well as the Worldwide Caution.

If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime in Honduras, you should contact the local police and the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa. If you are in the two major cities of Tegucigalpa or San Pedro Sula, you can reach the local police by dialing 911; other smaller cities or rural areas have their own local police assistance numbers.

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenida La Paz in Tegucigalpa, and can be reached at:

Telephone:   (504) 2236-9320/2238-5114
Fax:        (504) 2236-9037
After Hours: (504) 2236-8497
Website:honduras.usembassy.gov

The Embassy's American Citizens Services Unit is open to walk-in services Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 11:30 am, and can be reached directly at:

Telephone:   (504) 2238-5114 ext. 4400
After Hours: (504) 2238-5114 / 2236-9320 ext.4100
Fax:        (504) 2238-4357
Email:usahonduras@state.gov
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/acstegucigalpa

The U.S. Consular Agency in San Pedro Sula is located on the eleventh floor of the Banco Atlantida building (across from Central Park). The agency is open to walk-in services on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 pm, and can be reached at Telephone: (504) 2558-1580.


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Kenya Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya.
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya. U.S. citizens in Kenya, and those considering travel to Kenya, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorismand the high rate of violent crime in some areas. Due to the terrorist attack on June 15 in Mpeketoni, in Lamu County, the U.S. Embassy instituted restrictions on U.S. government personnel travel to all coastal counties – Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, and the coastal portion only of Tana River County.











Based on the recent changes in Kenya’s security situation, the Embassy is also relocating some staff to other countries. However, the Embassy will remain open for normal operations. This replaces the Travel Warning of May 17, 2014, to update information about embassy staffing and current travel recommendations.



The U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya, including the Nairobi area and the coastal cities of Mombasa and Diani. Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings – to include car bombings - kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Although the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities continues, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region. Travelers should consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.

In the past year and a half, there have been numerous attacks involving shootings, grenades, or other explosive devices in Kenya in addition to the attacks described above. In total, over 100 people have been killed in these attacks and hundreds have been injured. Approximately 53 of these attacks occurred in northeastern Kenya, mainly in Dadaab, Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera counties. Several attacks also occurred along the Kenyan coast. From June 15 through June 17, there were at least two terrorist attacks that occurred in Lamu County with death tolls estimated at over 50. One of the terrorist attacks occurred in the town of Mpeketoni on June 15. On May 3, two separate IEDs detonated in the Mombasa area. One occurred at the central stop of a local bus company in which four people were killed. The other occurred at a local resort frequented by Westerners; one was injured at that location. On March 23, three unknown gunmen opened fire on a church service in Mombasa’s Likoni district, killing six people and wounding 18 others. On January 2, 10 people were wounded in a grenade attack on a night club in Diani, a popular resort area on Kenya’s south coast near Mombasa.

Twenty grenade and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks have occurred in Nairobi, illustrating an increase in the number and an advance in the sophistication of these attacks. On May 16, two IEDs exploded at the Gikomba market in Nairobi killing 10 people and injuring 70. On May 4, two IEDs exploded on two separate buses traveling along Thika Highway in northern Nairobi, killing four people. On April 24, two terrorists detonated an IED inside their vehicle as police escorted it to the Pangani police station in Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood; the two police officers as well as the attackers were killed. On March 31, six people were killed in Eastleigh in a grenade attack. An attack also occurred on January 16 at a restaurant at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport; no injuries were reported. Other targets in the past have included police stations and police vehicles, nightclubs and bars, churches, a mosque, a religious gathering, a downtown building of small shops, and a bus station. On December 14, 2013, an IED exploded on a passenger bus near the Eastleigh neighborhood, killing six people and injuring 30.

Kenyan law enforcement has disrupted several terrorist plots throughout the country. On March 17, 2014, police discovered a large and sophisticated car bomb in the Mombasa area, as reported in the local media. The intended target remains unclear.

Kenya initiated military action against al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab by crossing into Somalia on October 16, 2011, and on June 2, 2012, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) whereby it formally joined the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Kenyan troops within AMISOM are now actively pursuing al-Shabaab in southeastern Somalia. In response to the Kenyan intervention, al-Shabaab and its sympathizers have conducted retaliatory attacks against civilian and government targets in Kenya.

On September 21, 2013, suspected members of the al-Shabaab terrorist organization, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, killing scores of innocent people, both Kenyan and non-Kenyan nationals, and wounding many others. The siege at the mall continued for several days and five U.S. citizens were confirmed injured in the attack.

Ethnic clashes sometimes occur in areas of northern Kenya. In Marsabit in northern Kenya, more than 50 people have been killed and 50,000 displaced by ongoing ethnic clashes that began in July 2013. In October 2013, a local Muslim cleric with alleged ties to al-Shabaab was killed in a drive-by shooting in Mombasa, prompting a day of rioting in Mombasa, which resulted in the deaths of four persons and an arson attack that damaged a church. While this violence is not directed at foreigners, protests and ethnic clashes are unpredictable. U.S. citizens are advised to check conditions and monitor local media reports before traveling to these areas.

Multiple kidnappings of Westerners have occurred in Kenya. On June 29, 2012, four international aid workers (from Canada, Pakistan, Norway, and the Philippines) were kidnapped in the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Kenya. All were rescued on July 1, 2012. In October 2011, two Spanish nationals working for a non-governmental organization (NGO) were also kidnapped in Dadaab. They were released on July 18, 2013. On April 23, 2014, gunmen ambushed a convoy vehicle and attempted to kidnap an international humanitarian staff member at the Dadaab refugee complex. While the kidnapping attempt was unsuccessful, one national staff member was injured in the attack.

The Government of Kenya directive of December 2012 ordering all urban refugees to relocate to refugee camps was overturned by court order in July 2013. Nevertheless, as part of a wide-ranging security operation that began in April, refugees, primarily Somalis, in Nairobi and other cities have been ordered to report to established refugee camps. U.S. citizens of Somali descent should be aware that they may encounter interruptions in their travel due to increased police scrutiny based on the encampment policy. It is very important to carry at all times proof of identity and legal status in Kenya (i.e., valid visa). If you are detained by police or immigration officials, you should request to speak to someone from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

As a result of these recent events and threats, the U.S. Embassy has restrictions on travel for U.S. government personnel to the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh and to all coastal counties – Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, and the coastal portion only of Tana River County. Travel for all U.S. Embassy personnel must be pre-approved by appropriate Embassy offices. U.S. Embassy personnel are also prohibited from traveling to northeastern Kenya, including the cities of El Wak, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, and Liboi. U.S. Embassy personnel are also restricted from traveling to the coastal area north of Pate Island, including Kiwavu and north to Kiunga on the Kenya-Somalia border. The Embassy has also instituted a policy of restricting U.S. government-sponsored regional conferences and trainings in Nairobi and reviewing the numbers of TDY personnel coming to the country for official purposes.

Although these restrictions do not apply to travelers not associated with the U.S. government, U.S. citizens in Kenya should take these restrictions into account when planning travel. The Embassy regularly reviews the security of these areas for possible modification. Travelers should keep informed of local developments by following local press, radio, and television reports prior to their visits. Visitors should also consult their hosts, including U.S. and Kenyan business contacts, hotels, tour guides, and travel organizers.

Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings, grenade attacks, home invasions and burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time and in any location, particularly in Nairobi. U.S. citizens, including U.S. Embassy employees, have been victims of such crimes within the past year.

U.S. citizens in Kenya should be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in crowded public places such as clubs, hotels, resorts, shopping centers, restaurants, bus stations, and places of worship. U.S. citizens should also remain alert in residential areas, at schools, and at outdoor recreational events. U.S. citizens should use commonsense precautions at all times, to include the following practices: avoid crowded transportation venues; visit only legitimate businesses and tourist areas only during daylight hours; use well-marked taxis and be sure to lock vehicle doors and keep windows up; lock all lodging doors and windows; carry minimal amounts of cash and credit cards; do not wear jewelry which attracts undue attention; know emergency phone numbers; do not resist or antagonize armed criminals; and always be aware of your surroundings. These measures can help ensure your travel to Kenya is safe and enjoyable.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Kenya are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi 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) 363-6000. Travelers may also consult the U.S. Embassy Nairobi website for more information.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Kenya, as well as Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, which are all available on the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website. The most recent security and emergency messages can be found on U.S. Embassys Nairobi’s website. 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 on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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Iraq Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Iraq.
Travel within Iraq remains dangerous given the security situation. On June 16, the Department of State began relocating some staff members from the Embassy to the Consulates General in Basrah and Erbil and Iraq Support Unit in Amman. The Embassy remains open and is operating. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 11, 2014, to update information on security incidents and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Iraq, including kidnapping and terrorist violence. The ability of the Embassy to respond to situations in which U.S. citizens face difficulty, including arrests, is extremely limited.

U.S. citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for kidnapping and terrorist violence. Methods of attack have included roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including explosively formed penetrators (EFPs); magnetic IEDs placed on vehicles; human and vehicle-borne IEDs; mines placed on or concealed near roads; mortars and rockets; and shootings using various direct fire weapons. These and other attacks frequently occur in public gathering places, such as cafes, markets and other public venues. Numerous insurgent groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), previously known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq, remain active and terrorist activity and violence persist in many areas of the country at levels unseen since 2007. Iraqi forces are conducting military operations in Ninewah and Anbar Provinces against insurgent and terrorist organizations that have occupied territory and cities within those provinces.Fighting has been especially intense in the Northern Iraq city of Mosul with ISIL reportedly taking control of sections of Mosul including government facilities. Baghdad International Airport has been struck by mortar rounds and rockets, and the Mosul International Airport has been the target of militant assault. Due to the potential of political protests and demonstrations to become violent, U.S. citizens in Iraq are strongly urged to avoid protests and large gatherings.

The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. government personnel in Iraq to be serious enough to require them to live and work under strict security guidelines. All U.S. government employees under the authority of the U.S. Chief of Mission must follow strict safety and security procedures when traveling outside the Embassy. State Department guidance to U.S. businesses in Iraq advises the use of protective security details. Detailed security information is available at the U.S. Embassy website.

The U.S. Embassy is located in the International Zone (IZ) in Baghdad. The IZ is a restricted access area. Iraqi authorities are responsible for control of the IZ. Travelers to the IZ should be aware that Iraqi authorities may require special identification to enter the IZ or may issue IZ-specific access badges. Individuals residing and traveling within the IZ should continue to exercise good personal safety precautions.

Increasingly, many U.S. and third-country business people travel throughout much of Iraq; however, they do so under restricted movement conditions and often with security advisors and protective security teams.

Some regions within Iraq have experienced fewer violent incidents than others in recent years, in particular the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR). The security situation in the IKR, which includes the provinces of Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Dohuk, has been more stable relative to the rest of Iraq in recent years, but threats remain. U.S. government personnel in northern Iraq are required to be accompanied by a protective security escort when traveling outside secure facilities.

The Government of Iraq strictly enforces requirements regarding visas and stamps for entry and exit, vehicle registration, authorizations for weapons, and movements through checkpoints. The Embassy highly recommends that all U.S. citizens in Iraq carefully review the status of their travel documents and any necessary licenses and government authorizations to ensure that they are current and valid. U.S. citizens are urged to immediately correct any deficiencies in their travel documents. U.S. citizens are strongly advised against traveling throughout the country with deficient or invalid documents. For more information about entry/exit requirements for U.S. citizens, please see our Country Specific Information page for Iraq.

U.S. citizens should avoid areas near the Syrian, Turkish, or Iranian borders, which are especially dangerous and not always clearly defined. The Governments of Turkey and Iran continue to carry out military operations against insurgent groups in the mountain regions bordering Iraq. These operations have included troop movements and both aerial and artillery bombardments. Extensive unmarked minefields also remain along these borders. Border skirmishes with smugglers have become commonplace. Unrest in Syria has resulted in large numbers of people seeking refuge in the area. Iranian authorities previously detained, for an extended period, U.S. citizens who were hiking in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) in the vicinity of the Iranian border. The resources available to the U.S. Embassy to assist U.S. citizens who venture close to or cross the border with Iran are extremely limited.The Department of State discourages travel in close proximity to the Iranian border.

The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services to U.S. citizens throughout Iraq, including Baghdad, is particularly limited given the security environment. The U.S. Consulates in Basrah and Kirkuk cannot provide routine services such as passport applications, extra visa pages, and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad. U.S. citizens in need of these services in Erbil must make an appointment with the Consulate on-line, either through the Embassy’s website or the website for the Consulate in Erbil. The Embassy's website includes consular information and the most recent messages to U.S. citizens inIraq. U.S. citizens in Iraq who need emergency assistance should call 0770-443-1286 or 0770-030-4888.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis,” please visit theBureau of Consular Affairs' Emergencies and Crisis link. 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 Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. 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) and to avoid crowds, especially rallies or demonstrations. U.S. citizens who choose to travel in Iraq should be aware that Iraqi authorities have arrested or detained U.S. citizens whose purpose of travel is not readily apparent. Persons also have been detained for taking photographs of buildings, monuments, or other sites, especially in the IZ in Baghdad.

All U.S. citizens in Iraq, including those working on contract for the U.S. government, are urged to inform the U.S. Embassy of their presence in Iraq by enrolling in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)in order to obtain updated travel information. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to provide updated security information or to contact them in emergencies. The Embassy also offers SMS text alerts delivered to your mobile phone when new security and emergency messages are released.

U.S. citizens may obtain the latest security information or other information about Iraq by contacting the U.S. Embassy, located in the International Zone,via email, or by accessingU.S. Embassy Baghdad's website. The after-hours emergency numbers are 011-964-770-443-1286 or 011-964-770-030-4888 (from the United States) or 0770-443-1286 or 0770-030-4888 (within Iraq). As cell phone service is unreliable in Iraq, emergency calls may also be placed through the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747.

Stay up to date by bookmarking ourBureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains currentTravel Warnings and Travel Alertsas well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us onTwitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebookas well.


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Republic of South Sudan Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to the Republic of South Sudan.
After review of our security conditions, the U.S. Department of State lifted the ordered departure status for the U.S. Embassy in Juba on June 12, 2014. However, as a result of continued instability and a poor security situation resulting from the civil conflict which erupted in the country in December 2013, the U.S. Embassy will continue operating at reduced staffing levels for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Embassy is therefore only able to offer very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Republic of South Sudan. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on April 23, 2014.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi [Tel.: +(254) (20) 363-6451 or +(254) (20) 363-6170, e-mail:Kenya_acs@state.gov] is available to assist U.S. citizens in South Sudan who need assistance; in an emergency, contact the U.S. Embassy in Juba(Daytime: +(211) 912-105-188; After Hours: +(211) 912-105-107).

The South Sudanese government is currently engaged in an armed conflict with a rebel group led by the former vice president Riek Machar. The conflict began with an outbreak of violence in Juba in December 2013, and several states continue to experience active fighting. Instability persists across the country. Please note that the U.S. Embassy can provide only limited consular assistance to detainees in Juba, and consular assistance to detainees outside the capital may well be limited to over-the-phone contact. The U.S. Embassy is rarely informed in a timely manner of the arrest of U.S. citizens.

Health care in South Sudan is extremely limited and poor. U.S. citizens with medical conditions should not travel to South Sudan, and all travelers should ensure their travel to the country is covered by overseas medical insurance, including medical evacuation. Medical evacuation from South Sudan is very expensive, often costing tens of thousands of dollars or more.

The Government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers anywhere in the country.

In addition to instability related to the current civil conflict, the risk of violent crime is high in Juba. The U.S. Embassy in Juba has imposed a curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. in an effort to ensure the safety of its personnel. In addition to the curfew, the Embassy has implemented other measures to protect U.S. government personnel living and working in South Sudan. These include requiring personnel to travel in armored government vehicles at all times and to obtain advance permission for any travel outside of Juba. Due to security concerns, spouses and family members of U.S. government personnel are not permitted to reside in South Sudan.

If you are currently working on humanitarian relief or development efforts in Juba, or anywhere in South Sudan, you should take measures to reduce your exposure to violent crime, and should closely follow the security policies and procedures of your organization.

There are likely to be disruptions or long delays in services provided by the Government of South Sudan, including health care and sanitation.

If you seek information about U.S. citizens services in South Sudan from the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, please email:SouthSudanEmergencyUSC@state.gov.

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who decide to travel to or remain in South Sudan despite this Travel Warning to provide their current contact information and next-of-kin information through theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP).

For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular AffairsEmergencies and Crisespage. 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 Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For further information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information forSouth Sudan. Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the currentWorldwide Caution,Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, andCountry Specific Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebookas well.


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Djibouti Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Djibouti. U.S. citizens in Djibouti should evaluate their personal security situation in light of specific threats from terrorism.
The U.S. Government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at Western (including U.S.) and Djiboutianinterests in Djibouti. Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings (to include car bombings), kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Djiboutian ports. Attacks may target official government facilities, including Embassies and military installations, as well as soft targets such as restaurants, clubs, and commercial entities. While Djiboutian officials continue the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region. Travelers should consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.

On May 24, 2014, two suicide bombers attacked a restaurant popular with Westerners in Djibouti’s city center. One victim was killed and others were severely injured. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for this attack, and renewed its previously stated intent to conduct similar attacks in Djibouti against both Djiboutian and Western targets. These threats have been regularly repeated since 2011, following Djibouti’s commitment to contribute forces to the African Union Mission in Somali (AMISOM).

The U.S. Embassy presently has travel restrictions in place for its employees. The area around Menelik Square is off-limits for Embassy personnel until further notice. Embassy personnel are also advised to avoid large gatherings at restaurants and other public places. While these restrictions do not apply to non-U.S. government personnel, we encourage U.S. citizens to take similar precautions.

Citizens should stay abreast of local developments by following local press, radio, and television reports prior to undertaking travel. Visitors should also consult their hosts, including U.S. and Djibouti business contacts, and hotels. We also encourage U.S. citizens to carefully evaluate the security of places they visit in Djibouti, particularly public places such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs/bars, and restaurants.

U.S. citizens already in Djibouti should be extremely vigilant about their personal security, particularly in crowded public places such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs/bars, restaurants, bus stations, and places of worship. U.S. citizens should remain alert in residential areas, at schools, and at outdoor recreational events. Adopt the following good practices: avoid crowded transportation venues; visit only legitimate businesses and tourist areas, preferably during daylight hours; lock all lodging doors and windows; carry minimal amounts of cash and credit cards; do not wear jewelry which attracts attention; know emergency phone numbers; do not resist or antagonize armed criminals; and always be aware of your surroundings.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Djibouti despite this Travel Warning are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti. U.S. citizens are also advised to monitor the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, and local and international news outlets.

The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti is located at Lotissement Haramous Lot # 350B, tel. +(253) 21-45-30-00. You can contact the Consular Section of the Embassy via email at ConsularDjibouti@State.gov. For after-hours emergencies, please call +(253) 77-87-72-29 or 21-45-30-00.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Djibouti, as well as the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, which are all available on the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website. 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 on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.


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Ukraine Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ukraine due to ongoing violence and political instability.
Violent clashes continue between pro-Russian groups and Ukrainian forces in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. In addition, Russian military forces continue to occupy the Crimean Peninsula and are present on the eastern border of Ukraine.This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated May 8 to provide updated information on the security situation in southern and eastern Ukraine.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Armed separatist groups continue to control areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. These groups have established illegal checkpoints and have threatened, detained, or kidnapped individuals, including U.S. citizens, for hours or days. Violent clashes between separatists and Ukrainian forces in eastern Ukraine have escalated over the past month and have resulted in hundreds of injuries and deaths. Some of these clashes have included the use of armored vehicles, aircraft, and other military weapons. Widespread disorder and looting has been reported in the separatist controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Additionally, groups advocating closer ties to Russia have taken on a more strident anti-American tone, especially in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. U.S. citizens who choose to remain in conflict areas should maintain a low profile and avoid large crowds and gatherings.

The Department of State also warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula, and exercise caution in the southern city of Odesa. Russian forces have occupied the Crimean Peninsula in support of the Russian Federation's claim of Crimean annexation and these forces are 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.The Russian Federation maintains an extensive military presence in Crimea and along the border of eastern Ukraine.

The situation in Ukraine is unpredictable and could change quickly. U.S. citizens throughout Ukraine should avoid large crowds and be prepared to remain indoors and shelter in place for extended periods of time should clashes occur in their vicinity.

Peace Corps Volunteers departed Ukraine onFebruary 25, and remain out of the country at this time. U.S. Embassy Kyiv's Consular Section is open for all public services; however, in light of the ongoing political unrest, the Embassy has restricted Embassy personnel from traveling to areas in eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula. As a result, the Embassy's ability to respond to emergencies involving U.S. citizens outside of Kyiv, especially in southern and eastern Ukraine, is extremely limited.

Ground transportation may be disrupted throughout the country. Drivers may encounter roadblocks that restrict access on certain roads. Commercial air travel, especially to and from the eastern regions of Ukraine, may be delayed or suspended with little or no notice. Commercial air travel out of the Crimean Peninsula is limited to travel to and from the Russian Federation. Travelers should check with their airlines for possible flight delays or cancellations prior to travel.

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. Embassyis 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 AlertsandTravel Warnings, and Country Specific Information can be found. Follow us onTwitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page onFacebook 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).

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Venezuela Travel Warning The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Venezuela.
Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Venezuela each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work. However, violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. Moreover, since February 2014, frequent demonstrations have taken place throughout Venezuela, and may pose a security risk. This Travel Warning updates the Travel Warning issued on November 22, 2013, to include information on the ongoing demonstrations and additions to the movement policy for U.S. Embassy personnel and their families.

Demonstrations have occurred throughout Venezuela since mid-February. Demonstrations and counter-demonstrations are expected to continue, and the majority of protests are not advertised in advance. There have been reports of firearms being used during protests. U.S. citizens should attempt to avoid demonstrations and leave the area if a protest moves closer to their location. Since February 2014, there have been at least 42 fatalities in connection with demonstrations, counter-demonstrations, and measures taken by the security forces.

Violent crime in Venezuela is pervasive, both in the capital, Caracas, and in the interior. According to the non-governmental organization Venezuelan Violence Observatory (VVO), there were 24,763 homicides in Venezuela in 2013, amounting to a rate of 79 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, among the highest in the world. In Caracas, the homicide rate is even higher at 134 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Kidnappings are also a serious concern throughout the country. In 2013, 625 kidnappings were reported to the authorities. It is estimated that roughly 80 percent of kidnappings go unreported; the actual number of kidnappings in 2013 is likely much higher. Common criminals are increasingly involved in kidnappings, either dealing with victims’ families directly or selling the victims to terrorist groups. In addition, there is cross-border violence, kidnappings, drug trafficking, and smuggling along Venezuela’s western border.

The Department of State considers the criminal threat to U.S. government personnel in Venezuela sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. All U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to U.S. Embassy Caracas are subject to an embassy movement policy for their safety and well-being. The details of the policy are found in our Country Specific Information on Venezuela. These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, access by U.S. Embassy officials to certain areas of Caracas and the interior of the country.

In addition, all U.S. direct-hire personnel and their family members who are assigned to U.S. Embassy Caracas are required to take an armored vehicle when traveling to and from the Maiquetia Airport.

U.S. citizens in Venezuela should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times and in all locations, especially when entering or exiting their homes, hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, U.S. citizens should travel in groups of two or more persons; avoid wearing jewelry and carrying large sums of money or displaying cash, ATM/credit cards, mobile phones, or other valuables; and avoid walking at night in most areas of Venezuela or walking alone on beaches, historic ruins, and trails. Incidents of crime along inter-city roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Venezuela. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested city streets.

For more detailed information on staying safe in Venezuela, please see the State Department'sCountry Specific Information. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs'internet website, where the currentWorldwide Caution,Travel Warnings and Travel Alertscan be found. Follow us onTwitterand theBureau of Consular Affairs pageon 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, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). U.S. citizens living or traveling in Venezuela are encouraged to enroll with theState Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Programto obtain updated information on travel and security within Venezuela. For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Venezuela, please contact the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy in Caracas is located on Calle F con Calle Suapure, Lomas de Valle Arriba. The telephone number during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) is (011) 58-212-975-6411. For after-hours emergencies use (011) 58-212-907-8400. The fax is (011) 58-212-907-8199. Please check theEmbassy websitefor additional information.


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Libya Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Libya and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Libya depart immediately.
Due to security concerns, the Department of State has limited staffing at Embassy Tripoli and is only able to offer very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on December 12, 2013.

The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. In addition to the threat of crime, various groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya. Extremist groups in Libya have made several specific threats this year against U.S. government officials, citizens, and interests in Libya. Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death. U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately.

Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country and attacks by armed groups can occur in many different areas; hotels frequented by westerners have been caught in the crossfire. Checkpoints controlled by militias are common outside of Tripoli, and at times inside the capital. Closures or threats of closures of international airports occur regularly, whether for maintenance, labor, or security-related incidents.

The status of the country’s interim government and the General National Congress both remain uncertain. Heavy clashes between rival factions erupted in May 2014 in Benghazi and other eastern cities. In Tripoli, armed groups attacked the General National Congress (GNC) May 18 as part of a campaign to influence and intimidate institutions of government. Heavy fighting flared for a day, resulting in deaths and injuries, followed by tense posturing between rival militia groups. This posturing has the potential to continue and reignite fighting at any time. State security institutions lack basic capabilities to prevent conflict. As a result, the potential for political violence continues, centered around specific events, including elections for a new General National Congress and appointment of a new government, both anticipated for as early as June.

U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations, as even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens traveling to or remaining in Libya, despite this Travel Warning, should use caution and limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, and maintain security awareness at all times.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Libya enroll in the Department of State'sSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

TheEmbassy’s websiteincludes consular information and the most recent messages for U.S. citizensinLibya. U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance should call 091-220-5203 within Libya or 218-91-220-5203 if dialing from outside of Libya.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis,” please visit theBureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis link. 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 Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For further information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information. Stay up to date by bookmarking ourBureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the currentTravel WarningsandTravel Alertsas well as theWorldwide Caution. Follow us onTwitterand theBureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebookas well.


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Iran Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran.
Dual national Iranian-American citizens may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. This Travel Warning updates without change the Travel Warning for Iran issued November 21, 2013.

Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. As a result, U.S. citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran. Since 2009, Iranian authorities have prevented the departure, in some cases for several months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens, including journalists and academics, who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons. Iranian authorities also have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security. U.S. citizens of Iranian origin should consider the risk of being targeted by authorities before planning travel to Iran. Iranian authorities deny the U.S. Interests Section in Tehran access to imprisoned dual national Iranian-American citizens because Iranian authorities consider them to be solely Iranian citizens; access to U.S. citizens without dual nationality is often denied as well.

The Iranian government continues to repress some minority religious and ethnic groups, including Christians, Baha'i, 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. Iranian authorities have detained and harassed U.S. citizens of Iranian origin. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions, religious activists, and persons who encourage Muslims to convert are subject to arrest and prosecution.

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 U.S. citizens in Iran. The Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as protecting power for U.S. interests in Iran. The range of consular services provided by the U.S. Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy is limited and may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates. 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.

Our ability to assist U.S. citizens in Iran in the event of an emergency is extremely limited. U.S. citizens in Iran should ensure that they have updated travel documentation at all times and make their own plans in the event of an emergency. For more information, see "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis" at the Department's website. U.S. citizens who travel or reside in Iran are strongly encouraged to enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. U.S. citizens may also enroll in person at the U.S. Interests Section at the Swiss Embassy, located at No. 39, Shahid Mousavi (Golestan 5th), Pasdaran, Tehran. The telephone numbers for the U.S. Interests Section are +(98)(21) 2279-3912, +(98)(21) 2279-3697,+(98)(21) 2254-2178, and +(98)(21) 2256-5273; fax +(98)(21) 2258-0432; email: tie.vertretung@eda.admin.ch, andwebsite.

U.S. citizens should also review the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Iran and stay up to date by bookmarking the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. You may follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well; however, both Twitter and Facebook are filtered in Iran and will not be accessible without a virtual private network (VPN). If you don't have internet access, 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, for callers from other countries, 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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North Korea Travel Warning The Department of State strongly recommends against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK).
This replaces the Travel Warning for North Korea of November 19, 2013, to update information on the risk of arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens in North Korea.

Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizen tourists have been subject to arbitrary arrest and long-term detention. North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the DPRK legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally crossed into DPRK territory. The Department of State has also received reports of DPRK authorities arbitrarily detaining U.S. citizens without charges and not allowing them to depart the country. In the past 18 months, North Korea detained several U.S. citizens who were part of organized tours. Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities. Efforts by private tour operators to prevent or resolve past detentions of U.S. citizens in the DPRK have not succeeded in gaining their release.

The Government of North Korea has detained, arrested, and imposed heavy fines on persons who violated DPRK laws, such as entering the country illegally or attempting to contact private DPRK citizens without government authorization. Travelers to North Korea must enter the DPRK with a valid passport and valid DPRK visa. Foreign visitors to North Korea may be arrested, detained, or expelled for activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea, including involvement in unsanctioned religious and/or political activities (whether those activities took place inside or outside North Korea), unauthorized travel, or unauthorized interaction with the local population.

North Korean security personnel may regard as espionage unauthorized or unescorted travel inside North Korea and unauthorized attempts to speak directly to North Korean citizens. North Korean authorities may fine or arrest travelers for exchanging currency with an unauthorized vendor, for taking unauthorized photographs, or for shopping at stores not designated for foreigners. It is a criminal act in North Korea to show disrespect to the country's former leaders, Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung, or to the current leader, Kim Jong Un.

If DPRK authorities permit you to keep your cell phone upon entry into the country, please keep in mind that you have no right to privacy in North Korea and should assume your communications are monitored. It is a criminal act to bring printed or electronic media criticizing the DPRK government into the country. If you bring electronic media, including USB drives, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or laptops, into the country, you must assume that North Korean authorities will review the information on those devices. Please be sure that the information contained on those devices does not violate the laws or regulations of the DPRK, as penalties for knowingly or unknowingly violating North Korea's laws are much harsher than U.S. penalties for similar offenses. Sentences for crimes can include years of detention in hard labor camps or death.

Since the United States does not maintain diplomatic or consular relations with the DPRK, the U.S. government has no means to provide normal consular services to U.S. citizens in North Korea. The Embassy of Sweden, the U.S. Protecting Power in the DPRK capital of Pyongyang, provides limited consular services to U.S. citizens traveling in North Korea who are ill, injured, arrested, or who have died while there. The U.S.-DPRK Interim Consular Agreement provides that North Korea will notify the Embassy of Sweden within four days of an arrest or detention of a U.S. citizen and will allow consular visits by the Swedish Embassy within two days after a request is made. However, the DPRK government routinely delays or denies consular access.

U.S. citizens who plan to travel to North Korea are strongly encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, about their trip by enrolling in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. If you enroll in this program, the State Department can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements via email messages (though you may not have access to email while in the DPRK). Enrollment also makes it easier for friends and family to get in touch with you in an emergency via the U.S. Embassy. U.S. citizens residing in China can contact the U.S. Embassy in Beijing directly. The Embassy is located next to the Ladies' Street (Nuren Jie) and Laitai Flower Market, near the Kempinski Hotel and Lufthansa shopping Center on Tianze Road near the Liangmaqiao subway stop:

U.S. Embassy Beijing
American Citizens Services Unit
No. 55 An Jia Lou Road
Chaoyang District
Beijing, China 100600
Telephone: (86-10) 8531-4000
Facsimile: (86-10) 8531-3300
Email: amcitbeijing@state.gov
Emergency after-hours telephone: (86-10) 8531-4000

U.S. citizens traveling to North Korea are also strongly encouraged to contact the Embassy of Sweden by telephone or email prior to travel. Please provide the Embassy of Sweden with your name, date of birth, dates of your trip, and emergency contact information:

The Embassy of Sweden Pyongyang (U.S. Protecting Power in North Korea)
Munsu-Dong District
Pyongyang, DPRK
Telephone: (850-2) 3817 485 (reception)
Telephone: (850-2) 3817 904, (850-2) 3817 907 (Deputy)
Telephone: (850-2) 3817 908, (850-2) 3817 905 (Ambassador)
Facsimile: (850-2) 3817 663
Email: ambassaden.pyongyang@gov.se

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for North Korea and the current Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department's travel website at travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens can obtain current information on safety 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. 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 Alertsas well the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebookas well.

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Philippines Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu Archipelago, the island of Mindanao, and in the southern Sulu Sea area.
This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated January 10, 2014, and reflects continuing threats in those areas due to terrorist and insurgent activities.

U.S. citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago, due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there.

Over the past nine months, there have been kidnappings and attempted kidnappings of foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia and in the southern Sulu Sea area by terrorist or insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines. U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution if considering travel in the southern Sulu Sea region between Balabac Island and Palawan, in the Philippines; Sabah, Malaysia; and east to Zamboanga City, Mindanao, in the Philippines.

U.S. citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. In 2013, separatist and terrorist groups increased the tempo and scale of their activities and confrontations with Philippine security forces, with increased bombings, attacks on civilians and political leaders, and battles with security forces. In September 2013, elements of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) occupied portions of the city of Zamboanga and engaged in a lengthy battle with security forces which reduced large parts of the city to rubble. The Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) remain active in the Cotabato City area, and in the Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat provinces, where the government maintains a state of emergency and a greater police presence.

The Embassy has imposed a strict restriction on all but the most essential travel to Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago, and Embassy employees must receive special authorization from Embassy security officials to travel to any location in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago, including urban centers.

U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Philippines should review the Department of State's Country Specific Information for the Philippines, which contains additional information about conditions throughout the country.

The Department of State remains concerned about the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. The Department's current message recommending Worldwide Caution reminds U.S. citizens that terrorism can occur anywhere.

We encourage all U.S. citizens in the Philippines to enroll with the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program or at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. By enrolling, you can receive the Embassy's most recent security and safety updates during your trip. Enrolling also ensures that we can reach you, or your designated emergency points of contact, during an emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at: 1201 Roxas Boulevard, Manila, Philippines, tel. 63-2-301-2000. The American Citizens Services (ACS) section's fax number is 63-2-301-2017, and you may reach the ACS Section by email at ACSinfoManila@state.gov. The ACS Section's website includes consular information and the most recent messages to the U.S. citizen community in the Philippines.

U.S. citizens traveling in the region are encouraged to stay up to date on conditions across the globe by bookmarking the 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 become a fan of the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers from other countries, 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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Central African Republic Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) and recommends that those who remain in CAR depart immediately by taking advantage of existing commercial flights.
The Government of Chad closed its border with CAR May 12, 2014. Only citizens of Chad returning home will be able to cross the Chad-CAR border. U.S. citizens who have decided to stay in CAR despite this warning should review their personal security situation and seriously consider departing. This replaces the Travel Warning of November 14, 2013, to reflect the risk of remaining in CAR and continued lack of security.

U.S. Embassy Banguisuspended operations in December 2012, and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in CAR. The Government of the Republic of France, acting through its Embassy in Bangui, serves as Protecting Power for U.S. interests in CAR. The range of consular services the French Republic provides to U.S. citizens is extremely limited, and those services may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates outside of CAR. U.S. citizens in CAR who seek consular services should contact the Embassy of the Republic of France in Bangui by calling 236 21 61 30 00.

U.S. citizens in CAR who are in need of emergency assistance and are unable to reach the Embassy of the Republic of France, or must make contact outside business hours, should contact the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon; Telephone: +(237) 2220-1500 ext. 4341/4023 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. local time) Emergencies: +(237)2220-1500, ext. 4531 or +(237) 2222-25-89; E-mail:YaoundeACS@state.gov.

If you seek information about U.S. citizen services in CAR from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, please e-mail: CARemergencyUSC@state.gov.

If you are going to live in or travel to the Central African Republic despite this Travel Warning, please take the time to enroll in theSmart 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 us 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 in order to receive emergency messages.

For information on general crime and security issues, you should also consult the Department of State Country Specific Information for the Central African Republic; as well asthe Worldwide Caution; located on theBureau of Consular Affairswebsite. Follow us onTwitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips. 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 from other countries on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.


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Nigeria Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states because of the May 14, 2013 state of emergency proclamation for those three states by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The security situation in the country remains fluid and unpredictable. The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens in Nigeria to keep personal safety and health in the forefront of their planning. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated January 8, 2014.

The ability of the Mission to provide assistance to U.S. citizens remains severely limited. The Department continues to recommend against all but essential travel to the following states due to the risk of kidnappings, robberies, and other armed attacks: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, and Yobe States. The Department also advises travelers to exercise additional caution while traveling in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Zamfara States. Based on safety and security risk assessments, the Embassy maintains restrictions for travel by U.S. officials to those states listed above; officials must receive advance clearance by the U.S. Mission for any travel deemed as mission-essential. U.S. citizens should be aware that extremist groups could expand their operations beyond northern Nigeria to other areas of the country.

The U.S. Mission advises all U.S. citizens to be particularly vigilant around government security facilities; churches, mosques, and other places of worship; locations where large crowds may gather, such as hotels, clubs, beer parlors, restaurants, markets, shopping malls; and other areas frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers. Security measures in Nigeria remain heightened due to threats posed by extremist groups, and U.S. citizens may encounter police and military checkpoints, additional security, and possible road blocks throughout the country.

Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast Nigeria and designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State, has claimed responsibility for many attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria. This includes two recent vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices detonated in Nyanya, a suburb of the capital of Abuja, that resulted in approximately 100 combined deaths in April and May of 2014. The first months of 2014 have seen a continued increase in Boko Haram attacks and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram has also targeted women and children for kidnapping, reportedly kidnapping women in northern states for marriage as “slave brides,” and kidnapping more than 200 school girls from a private school in Borno state. Boko Haram is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes. In 2013, extremists also targeted both Nigerians and foreign nationals involved in polio eradication efforts in northern Nigeria, leaving several U.S. government partner agencies working on public health development activities in northern Nigeria to curtail their vaccination efforts. Furthermore, U.S. citizen missionaries in northern Nigeria have received specific written threats to their safety and well-being.

Various curfews are intermittently in effect in several states in the North. All U.S. citizens should remain aware of current situations including curfews, travel restrictions, and states of emergency in the areas you are in or plan to visit. This information is commonly announced via the news media, but at times it can change with very little notice. Please take the time to find out this information for your area.

Kidnappings remain a security concern throughout the country. Since the beginning of 2013, there have been multiple reports of kidnappings involving U.S. citizens. Kidnappings of foreign nationals and attacks against Nigerian police forces in Lagos State and the Niger Delta region continue to affect personal security for those traveling in these areas. Criminals or militants have abducted foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from off-shore and land-based oil facilities and maritime vessels, residential compounds, and public roadways. Ansaru, an offshoot of Boko Haram, has specifically targeted foreigners in the north for kidnap in the past few years with lethal outcomes.

Violent crimes occur throughout the country. U.S. citizen visitors and residents have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglaries, armed robberies, car-jackings, rapes, kidnappings, and extortion. Home invasions also remain a serious threat, with armed robbers accessing even guarded compounds by scaling perimeter walls, accessing waterfront compounds by boat, following residents or visitors, or subduing guards to gain entry to homes or apartments. Law enforcement authorities usually respond slowly or not at all and provide little or no investigative support to victims. U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals, and Nigerians have experienced harassment and shakedowns at checkpoints and during encounters with Nigerian law enforcement officials. The Department advises against traveling outside of major cities after dark because of crime and road safety concerns.

Cell phone service has, at times, been disrupted in Nigeria, particularly in areas where a State of Emergency has been declared. Extremists have also been known to attack cellular telephone towers, leading to further disruptions. U.S. citizens should attempt to arrange for multiple means of communication in case of need during emergencies.

The Embassy is not able to offer medical treatment to travelers; however, it can provide a list of medical facilities that may be able to treat U.S. citizens with medical emergencies. As of April 22, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that there are cases of Ebola virus in Guinea and Liberia. There have been NO confirmed cases in Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, The Gambia, or Nigeria to date; however, U.S. citizens are advised to monitor the WHO website.

The Department strongly advises U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Nigeria to enroll in the State Department'sSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is located at:
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, and can be reached by telephone, including after-hours for emergencies, at 234(9)461-4000. The Embassy 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 located at: 2 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, and can be reached by telephone, including after-hours for emergencies, at 234(1)460-3600 or 234 (1) 460-3400. The Consulate 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. 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.


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 if calling 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). You can also stay up to date by bookmarking ourBureau of Consular Affairswebsite, which contains the currentTravel WarningsandTravel Alertsas well as theWorldwide Caution. Follow us onTwitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page onFacebookas well.


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Syria Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Syria and strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Syria depart immediately.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated October 7, 2013, to remind U.S. citizens that the security situation remains volatile and unpredictable as a civil war between government and armed anti-government groups continues throughout the country, along with an increased risk of kidnappings, bombings, murder, and terrorism.

No part of Syria should be considered safe from violence, and the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, including kidnappings and the use of chemical warfare against civilian populations. Indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment, including of densely populated urban areas across the country, have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury. The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, power and water utilities has also increased hardships inside the country.

There is a threat from terrorism, including groups like the al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) affiliated al-Nusrah Front as well as other extremist groups. Tactics for these groups include the use of suicide bombers, kidnapping, use of small and heavy arms, and improvised explosive devices in major city centers, including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. Public places, such as government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces, have been targeted.

Communications in Syria are difficult as phone and internet connections have become increasingly unreliable. The Department of State has received reports that U.S. citizens are experiencing difficulty and facing dangers traveling within the country and when trying to leave Syria via land borders, given the diminishing availability of commercial air travel out of Syria as fierce clashes between pro-government and opposition forces continue in the vicinity of the Damascus and Aleppo airports. Land border checkpoints held by opposition forces should not be considered safe, as they are targeted by regime attacks and some armed groups have sought to fund themselves through kidnappings for ransom. Border areas are frequent targets of shelling and other armed conflict and are crowded because of internally-displaced refugees. Errant attacks will occasionally hit border towns just outside the borders as well.

The U.S. Embassy in Damascus suspended its operations in February 2012 and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Syria. The Government of the Czech Republic, acting through its Embassy in Damascus, serves as Protecting Power for U.S. interests in Syria. The range of consular services the Czech Republic provides to U.S. citizens is extremely limited, and those services, including for U.S. passports and Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, may require significantly more processing time than at U.S. embassies or consulates outside of Syria. U.S. citizens in Syria who seek consular services should leave the country and contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in a neighboring country if at all possible. U.S. citizens in Syria who seek consular services in Syria may contact the U.S. Interests Section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Damascus at USIS_damascus@embassy.mzv.cz.

U.S. citizens in Syria who are in need of emergency assistance in Syria, and are unable to reach the U.S. Interests Section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic or must make contact outside business hours, should contact the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan:

 Telephone: +962 (6) 590-6950 (Daily 2-3:30 local time)
 Emergencies: +962 (6) 590-6500
 E-mail: Amman-ACS@state.gov

If you seek information about U.S. citizens' services in Syria from the Office of Overseas Citizens' Services in Washington, please e-mail: SyriaEmergencyUSC@state.gov.

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who decide to remain in Syria despite this Travel Warning to provide their current contact information and next-of-kin information through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Emergencies and Crisis link at www.travel.state.gov. 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 Daylight Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

For additional information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Syria. 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.


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El Salvador Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that crime and violence levels in El Salvador remain critically high.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated August 9, 2013, and includes updated information on crime and security in El Salvador.

Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit El Salvador each year for study, tourism, business, and volunteer work. There is no information to suggest that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted by criminals; however, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country. Although Salvadoran police statistics show a decrease in annual homicides during 2012 and 2013, the homicide rate has been rising steadily since August 2013. From mid-February through April 2014, El Salvador has experienced an average of almost 10 people killed per day - the highest homicide rate since 2011. Since January 2010, 31 U.S. citizens have been murdered in El Salvador including a 9-year-old child in December 2013. During the same time period, 335 U.S. citizens reported having their passports stolen, while many others were victims of violent crimes.

Typical crimes in El Salvador include extortion, mugging, highway assault, home invasion, and car theft. Recently, there have also been more cases reported in which criminals observe and follow customers making withdrawals at ATMs and banks, then rob them on the road or at a residence. Some victims unwittingly wander into gang-controlled territory and are killed, normally at night. Assaults against police officers have risen, and public shootouts are not uncommon. Armed robberies of climbers and hikers in El Salvador’s national parks are regular occurrences, and the Embassy strongly recommends engaging the services of a local guide certified by the national or local tourist authority when hiking in back country areas - even within the national parks. The National Civilian Police (PNC) has a special tourist police force (POLITUR) to provide security and assistance to visitors. It has officers located in 19 tourist destinations.

A majority of serious crimes are never solved; only 6 of the 31 murders committed against U.S. citizens since January 2010 have resulted in convictions. The Government of El Salvador lacks sufficient resources to properly investigate and prosecute cases and to deter violent crime. El Salvador’s current criminal conviction rate is five percent. While several of the PNC’s investigative units have shown great promise, routine street-level patrol techniques, anti-gang, and crime suppression efforts are limited. Equipment shortages (particularly radios, vehicles, and fuel) further limit their ability to deter or respond to crimes effectively.

El Salvador, a country of roughly 6 million people, has, according to Government of El Salvador statistics, thousands of known gang members from several gangs including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Eighteenth Street (M18), and gang members are quick to engage in violence or use deadly force if resisted. These “maras” concentrate on narcotics and arms trafficking, murder for hire, carjacking, extortion, and violent street crime. In 2013, the number of people reported as missing in El Salvador increased by 93 percent. Authorities believe a significant number of disappearances are related to gang activity, since many of the missing were in gangs or were friends or family members of gang members. Police sources claim that the families of gang members often face the same risks of being killed or disappearing as the gang members themselves.

Extortion is a particularly serious and very common crime in El Salvador. Some extortion attempts are no more than random cold calls that originate from imprisoned gang members using cellular telephones, and the subsequent threats against the victim are made through social engineering and/or through information obtained about the victim’s family. U.S. citizens who are visiting El Salvador for extended periods are at higher risk for extortion demands. Hitting its peak a few years ago, extortion rates have dropped in the last two years. However, recent reports show an increase in the level of violence associated with extortion cases. Many extortions are not reported by victims for fear of reprisal and lack of faith in the ability of the government to protect the victims.

U.S. citizens should remain alert to their surroundings, especially when entering or exiting their homes or hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, travel in groups of two or more persons. U.S. Embassy security officials advise all U.S. government personnel not to walk, run, or cycle in the unguarded streets and parks of El Salvador, even in groups, and recommend exercising only in gyms and fitness centers. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry, and do not carry large sums of money or display cash, ATM/credit cards, or other valuables. Avoid walking at night in most areas of El Salvador, and do not walk alone near beaches, historic ruins, or trails. Incidents of crime along roads, including carjacking, are common in El Salvador. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested downtown streets. Travel on public transportation, especially buses, both within and outside the capital, is risky and not recommended. The Embassy advises official visitors and personnel to avoid using mini-buses and regular buses and to use only radio-dispatched taxis or those stationed in front of major hotels.


The location and timing of criminal activity is unpredictable. We recommend that all travelers exercise caution when traveling anywhere in El Salvador. However, certain areas of the country demonstrate higher levels of criminal activity than others. Salvadoran "departments" (a geographic designation similar to U.S. states) with homicide rates higher than the national average include:

Cuscatlan
La Libertad
La Paz
La Union
Santa Ana
San Miguel
San Salvador
Sonsonate
Usulutan

In addition, of the 262 municipalities in El Salvador, the following are experiencing chronic, high levels of reported criminal activity:

Apopa
Conchagua
Ilobasco
Ilopango
La Libertad
La Union/Tamarindo Beaches
Lourdes-Colon
Mejicanos
San Martin
San Miguel
San Salvador
Santa Ana
Sonsonate
Soyopango
Usulutan
Zacatecoluca

For more detailed information regarding personal security, please see the State Department's Country Specific Information for El Salvador. U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us onTwitterand theBureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebookas well.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in El Salvador are strongly encouraged to sign up for the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to obtain updated information on travel and security within El Salvador. Travelers may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or on a regular toll line at 202-501-4444.

The U.S. Embassy is located on Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur, Urbanización Santa Elena, Antiguo Cuscatlán, La Libertad, and can be reached at:



Telephone: 503-2501-2999
Fax: 503-2278-5522 / 503-2278-6020
Email: ACSSanSal@state.gov
Website: sansalvador.usembassy.gov
Facebook: www.facebook.com/embajadaamericanaelsalvador
Twitter: twitter.com/USCitSV

For after-hours emergencies, please call 503-2501-2253


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Cameroon Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risk of travel to Cameroon and cautions U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Far North region of Cameroon.
The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the Far North, and has actively targeted foreign expatriates resident in Cameroon and tourists. Eleven expatriates have been kidnapped since 2013. The most recent kidnapping was on April 4, 2014, when attackers kidnapped two Italian priests and a Canadian nun during the night from their residences in Tchere, near the city of Maroua, located approximately 60 kilometers from the Nigerian border. A French priest was kidnapped from the town of Nguetchewe in November 2013, and a French family of seven (three adults and four children) was kidnapped while travelling near Waza National Park in February 2013. Boko Haram and an affiliated group, Ansaru, were responsible for the kidnappings of the French victims, and are believed to be responsible for the latest kidnappings in April 2014. Boko Haram’s leaders have stated and demonstrated through their actions over the past year that they are actively seeking to kidnap “Westerners” and U.S. citizens travelling to or living in the Far North and North regions of Cameroon. In November 2013, the State Department designated Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Several large weapons caches attributed to Boko Haram were discovered in Cameroon and confiscated by authorities in 2013 and 2014, signaling the active presence of the group and pointing to the likelihood of additional attacks. All areas in the Far North region of Cameroon are affected by this warning.

The U.S. Embassy also urges extreme caution when travelling in the North and Adamaoua regions of Cameroon, especially within areas 100 kilometers of Cameroon’s border with Adamaoua state, Nigeria and north of Ngaoundere in the Adamaoua region of Cameroon.

The U.S. Embassy has placed restrictions on travel by U.S. officials to the North and Far North regions of Cameroon, as well as any travel north of Ngaoundere in the Adamaoua region. All U.S. officials must receive advance clearance from the U.S. Embassy to travel to these regions.

Travel Warnings are in place for countries bordering Cameroon on the west, north and east: Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic. The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to consult travel warnings for these countries as well when considering travel in areas of Cameroon bordering these countries, as violence and banditry in border areas can quickly spill over into Cameroon. In March 2013, the Seleka rebel group overthrew the government of the Central African Republic in violent clashes with the CAR military and foreign troops. Despite an on-going peace process and the creation of a transitional government, the security situation remains highly unstable. The U.S. Embassy in Bangui, CAR suspended operations on Dec 28, 2012. Violence in CAR spilled over into the Adamaoua and East regions of Cameroon in isolated incidents over the past year.

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. For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Cameroon.

If you don't have internet access, you may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 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). You may also follow U.S. Embassy Yaounde's Twitter feed for information for U.S. citizens.

The U.S. Embassy in Yaounde encourages U.S. citizens to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Programfor the most up-to-date security information. Keep all of your information in STEP up to date by maintaining your current phone numbers and email addresses where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy in Yaoundéis located at Avenue Rosa Parks close to the Mont Febe Golf Club. The telephone number is +(237) 2220-1500 ext. 4341/4023. The number for after-hours emergencies is +(237) 2220-1500 ext. 4531. The fax number is +(237) 2220-1572. The Embassy's e-mail address is yaoundeacs@state.gov.


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Democratic Republic of the Congo Travel Warning 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 U.S. citizens avoid all but essential travel to the provinces of North Kivu and 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 October 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, and were eventually defeated by DRC military forces supported by a MONUSCO intervention brigade in November 2013, instability in the eastern DRC persists due to ongoing military operations and the presence of numerous militias and armed groups. 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 theCenters 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. Malariais 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.

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While every care has been taken in preparing this travel information for travelers, neither ineedahotel.com nor its agents or employees including any member of the ineedahotel.com staff, can accept liability for injury, loss or damage arising in respect of any statement contained therein.
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