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Pakistan Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all non-essential travel to Pakistan.
This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated February 24, 2015, to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi continue to provide consular services for all U.S. citizens in Pakistan.The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar no longer offers consular services, and consular services at the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore remain temporarily suspended.

The presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups continues to pose a danger to U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan. Across the country, terrorist attacks frequently occur against civilian, government, and foreign targets. Attacks range from targeted killings and kidnappings, to armed assaults against heavily guarded facilities, including Pakistani military installations and airports. The Government of Pakistan maintains heightened security measures, particularly in the major cities, and these measures may vary from day to day. Threat reporting indicates terrorist groups continue to seek opportunities to attack locations where U.S. citizens and Westerners are known to congregate or visit. Terrorists and criminal groups regularly resort to kidnapping for ransom.

Protests due to domestic events and against the United States are not uncommon in Pakistan and have the potential to turn violent. Even when violent protests do not target U.S. citizens, they may result in harm to bystanders. U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly advised to avoid all protests and large gatherings. Rallies, demonstrations, and processions occur regularly throughout Pakistan on very short notice. Demonstrations might take on an anti-U.S. or anti-Western character, and U.S. citizens are urged to avoid large gatherings. In January 2015, protests against the French Charlie Hebdo magazine were staged in many Pakistani cities, including outside the French Consulate in Karachi, after the magazine’s office in Paris was attacked by gunmen angered by cartoons believed to be anti-Islamic. The Mission reminds U.S. citizens that even peaceful demonstrations might become violent and advises U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations. Given multiple demands for resources, local authorities may have limited capacity to respond to requests for assistance.

RECENT ATTACKS

So far in 2015, there have been more than 200 terror-related incidents in Pakistan. On August 16, a senior Punjab state official and 18 others were killed by a suicide bomber at his political office in Attock. A Pakistani Taliban splinter group named Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility. The same group previously used suicide bombers to attack two Christian churches in Lahore on March 15, killing 15 people and injuring another 70, and a police facility in Lahore on February 17, killing 8 people and injuring another 19.

Targeted attacks against government officials, humanitarian and non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, tribal elders, and law enforcement personnel continue throughout the country. U.S.citizens have also been targeted. On April 16, 2015, a U.S. educator was seriously injured while driving her own vehicle in Karachi after being shot by two gunmen on motorbikes. Evidence obtained by local police suggests that she was targeted, in part, because she is a U.S. citizen.

Suicide bomb attacks have occurred in major cities and other locations across the country, including universities, schools, rallies, places of worship, and major marketplaces in several Pakistani cities.

Sectarian violence occurs countrywide. On May 13, 2015, gunmen attacked a bus traveling in Karachi, killing more than 40 of the passengers. Most of the victims were members of the Ismaili Shia Muslim minority community. Members of minority communities have been victims of targeted killings and accusations of blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty in Pakistan. Places of worship of various faiths have frequently been targeted for attack by terrorists. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from attending services at places of worship in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar, and outside of the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad without prior approval. Foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, on valid missionary visas have encountered increased scrutiny from local authorities since early 2011.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL

U.S. government personnel travel within Pakistan is often restricted based on security or other reasons. Movements by U.S. government personnel assigned to the Consulates General are severely restricted, and consulate staff cannot drive personally-owned vehicles.Embassy staff are permitted at times to drive personally-owned vehicles in the greater Islamabad area.

U.S. personnel in Pakistan who are under Chief of Mission (COM) authority are instructed to vary travel routes and timing, even for routine trips. They are also instructed to minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other locations, as well as to minimize the number of U.S. personnel congregating in any one location at any one time. Personnel and visitors under COM authority are not allowed to use public transportation in Pakistan and are not authorized to stay overnight in hotels in Pakistan. Depending on ongoing security assessments, the U.S. Mission sometimes places public areas such as hotels, markets, restaurants, and Pakistan government offices off-limits to official personnel.

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

GENERAL SAFETY AND SECURITY

The Mission reiterates its advice to all U.S. citizens to maintain good situational awareness, avoid large crowds, and keep a low profile, particularly when visiting locations frequented by Westerners. U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly urged to avoid hotels that do not apply stringent security measures, and to vary times and routes for all travel.

U.S. citizens in Pakistan have also been kidnapped for ransom or for personal reasons such as family disputes over property. In May 2015, a U.S. citizen was released after being kidnapped in a residential area of Karachi in February. The Mission is aware of other U.S. citizens who have been kidnapped, some released and some still being held. U.S. citizens have also been abducted by terrorists, or abducted by criminal elements and then sold to terrorists, and held hostage for multiple years. The kidnapping of Pakistani citizens and other foreign nationals, usually for ransom, continues to increase nationwide. U.S. citizens who feel they are in danger, or whose security is at risk, are strongly urged to depart Pakistan as soon as possible.

The U.S. Consulate in Karachi frequently receives reports from U.S. citizens who have been the victims of robberies at gunpoint.Many calls involve robberies during transit between Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport and the city. Some of the calls allege involvement by law enforcement.

U.S. citizens seeking services from the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi might also encounter harassment from host government officials. Citing security concerns, host-government intelligence officials frequently stop U.S. citizens outside the Consulate and obtain their personal information before allowing them to proceed. U.S. citizens might later be visited at their homes or offices and questioned about the nature of their business in Pakistan and the purpose of their visit to the Consulate.

ENTRY/EXIT DIFFICULTIES

U.S. citizens should ensure that their travel documents and visas are valid before travelling to Pakistan and at all times while in Pakistan. All U.S. citizens regardless of age must have a valid passport and visa for Pakistan, unless they have a Pakistani passport or National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP). U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan have been fined, arrested, deported, harassed, and detained for overstaying their Pakistani visas or for traveling to Pakistan without the appropriate visa classification. U.S. citizens who attempt to renew or extend their visas while in Pakistan have been left without legal status for an extended period of time and subjected to harassment or interrogation by local authorities. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General can provide very limited assistance to U.S. citizens who have overstayed their Pakistani visas. Since 2011, the number of U.S. citizens arrested, detained, and prosecuted for visa overstays has increased across the country.

U.S. citizens in Pakistan are responsible for monitoring their visa restrictions and abiding by the terms of their visas to ensure they are in compliance with Pakistani immigration regulations. U.S. citizens occasionally notify the Embassy that they are unable to depart the country because their names have been added to the Exit Control List (ECL). The U.S. Embassy is unable to assist in such cases, which must be resolved through Pakistani legal channels.

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

U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Pakistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to enroll with the Embassy in Islamabad or the Consulate General in Karachi. This enrollment can be completed online through the Department of State'sSmart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) available on the Department of Statewebsite. U.S. citizens without internet access should contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate General for information on registering in person. Enrollment enables citizens to obtain updated information on travel and security within Pakistan via the emergency alert system.

For further information:
  • Make an appointment for American Citizens Services with the Consular Section in Islamabad or Karachi.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries 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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Syria Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Syria and strongly recommends that U.S. citizens remaining in Syria depart immediately.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated March 3, 2015, to remind U.S. citizens that the security situation remains dangerous and unpredictable as a violent conflict 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. The potential for hostile acts exists throughout the country, including kidnappings and the use of chemical warfare against civilian populations. Shelling and aerial bombardment, including of densely populated urban areas, have significantly raised the risk of death or serious injury. The destruction of infrastructure, housing, medical facilities, schools, and power and water utilities has also increased hardships inside the country.

There is a terrorist threat from violent extremist groups including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (ISIL), formerly known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQ), the al-Nusrah Front, and others. 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. U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted for kidnapping, both for ransom and political purposes, and murdered by members of terrorist and violent extremist groups in Syria. U.S. citizens have disappeared within Syria. Public places, such as road checkpoints, border crossings, government buildings, shopping areas, and open spaces, have been targeted. Due to the security situation in Syria, the U.S. government’s ability to help U.S. citizens kidnapped or taken hostage is very limited.

Individuals who demonstrate an interest in groups opposing ISIL, including on social media, could open themselves to being targeted by ISIL itself if those individuals travel to Syria.Private U.S. citizens are strongly discouraged from traveling to Syria to take part in the conflict.The U.S. government does not support this activity, and our ability to provide consular assistance to individuals who are injured or kidnapped, or to the families of individuals who die as a result of taking part in the conflict is extremely limited.

U.S. citizens are reminded that fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations, including ISIL, can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a crime that can result in penalties including prison time and large fines.

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. 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 attacks and are crowded because of internally-displaced refugees. Errant attacks will occasionally hit border towns just outside the borders as well. Road checkpoints have been controlled by armed terrorist and violent extremist groups and have been utilized to conduct kidnappings of individuals, including U.S. citizens.

The U.S. Department of State is concerned about the risks to civilaviation operating in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR) because of the ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment. This FIR includes all the airspace over Syria and extends into adjacent international airspace. A number of armed extremist groups are known to be equipped with a variety of antiaircraft weapons that have the capability to threaten civil aircraft. TheFederal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prohibited U.S. civil aviationfrom flying in the Damascus FIR. In addition, U.S. government personnel in Lebanon have been prohibited from taking flights that pass through the Damascus FIR.For additional background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

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 who remain in Syria and require consular services 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.

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).

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Algeria Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to the Kabylie region and remote areas of southern and eastern Algeria.
This replaces the Travel Warning for Algeria dated February 24, 2015, to update information on the current security situation in Algeria.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks to their personal safety. There is a high threat of terrorism and kidnappings in Algeria, as noted in the Department of State's most recent Worldwide Caution. Although the major cities are heavily policed, attacks are still possible. The majority of terrorist attacks, including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, and ambushes occur in the mountainous areas to the east of Algiers (Kabylie region and eastern wilayas) and in the expansive Saharan desert regions of the south and southeast.

Although most attacks are directed towards Algerian military or police, in September 2014, the ISIL-affiliated Jund al- Khilafah (Soldiers of the Caliphate) abducted and beheaded a French citizen in the Kabylie region. In January 2013, an Al-Qaeda-linked organization, “Those Who Sign in Blood,” attacked a gas production facility near In Amenas, Algeria, near the Libyan border, holding foreign and Algerian workers hostage for four days with dozens killed, including three U.S. citizens. In addition to these attacks, there have been kidnappings for ransom by terrorist groups operating in the trans-Sahara region. Terrorist groups, including Al-Murabitoun, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and various self-proclaimed ISIL affiliates remain active in the region. There are also extremists along the Algeria/Tunisia border in the Chaambi mountains area, south of Souk Ahras, and Algerian and Tunisian security forces are conducting ongoing security operations there.

The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid overland travel to the areas east of Algiers or in the Sahara. It is prudent to be cautious when traveling outside of Algiers and to ensure reliable and experienced transportation and logistical support. The Algerian government requires all employees of foreign companies or organizations based in Algeria, who are not Algerian citizens, to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before engaging in any travel within the interior of the country; the Ministry will notify local police of the planned travel and the police may choose to assign escorts for that travel. Travelers should avoid mountainous regions located in less populated and less traveled areas where Algerian security services do not have a significant presence.

The U.S. government considers the potential threat to U.S. Embassy personnel assigned to Algiers sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under security restrictions. The U.S. Department of State permits U.S. diplomats in Algeria to be accompanied only by adult family members and children under age 12. Embassy travel restrictions limit and occasionally prevent the movement of U.S. Embassy officials and the provision of consular services in certain areas of the country. Likewise, the Government of Algeria requires U.S. Embassy personnel to seek permission to travel outside the wilaya of Algiers and provides police escorts. Travel to the military zone established around the Hassi Messaoud oil center requires Government of Algeria authorization.

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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 the Travel Warning for Iran issued January 16, 2015.

On July 14, 2015, the United States and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to address the international community's concerns over Iran's nuclear program. This deal over Iran's nuclear program does not alter the United States' assessment of the risks of travel to Iran for U.S. citizens. The United States does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the government of Iran.

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, particularly those 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 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.

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Haiti Travel Warning The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Haiti about the lack of adequate emergency medical facilities, and the security environment in Haiti.
This replaces the Travel Warning dated December 4, 2014 and provides updated information regarding the changing nature of crime involving United States citizens in Haiti.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when visiting Haiti given Haiti’s weak emergency response infrastructure. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Haiti each year, but the poor state of Haiti’s emergency response network should be carefully considered when planning travel. Travelers to Haiti are encouraged to use organizations that have solid evacuation and medical support options in place. (Please see theCountry Specific Information page for Haiti.)

Haiti's emergency management infrastructure remains in poor condition. We strongly encourage visitors to Haiti to obtain evacuation insurance. A new private air ambulance company has opened recently, representing a significant advance in response services, but its service is limited. Those traveling in rural areas of Haiti should verify service to where they are traveling. Additionally, medical facilities in Haiti, including road ambulance services, are particularly weak. Some U.S. citizens injured in accidents and others with serious health concerns have been unable to find necessary medical care in Haiti and have had to arrange and pay for medical evacuation to the United States.

Reports of kidnappings have fallen off sharply, with just one incident involving a U.S. citizen reported to the Embassy so far in 2015, continuing a dramatic decline in such crimes since 2011. While the Government of Haiti, however, has made progress in arresting and disrupting perpetrators, kidnapping for ransom can still affect anyone in Haiti, most particularly those maintaining long-term residency in the country.

We urge U.S. citizens to remain aware of the possibility of robbery, especially in the Port-au-Prince area and in particular soon after leaving the airport. While Haitian authorities have taken serious measures to improve airport security and the frequency of these crimes is down, from May to October 2014 there were 64 reported cases of U.S. citizens being robbed shortly after departing the airport, a spike associated with the busy travel period during the summer. Three of these robberies resulted in the death of U.S. citizens. In almost all cases reported to the Embassy, the victims were U.S. citizens of Haitian descent visiting family and friends. Therefore, we urge U.S. citizens to be circumspect in sharing specific travel plans, and we recommend that U.S. citizens have their host or organization meet them at the airport upon arrival and/or have pre-arranged airport transfers and hotels. The Embassy is currently monitoring the occurrence of airport robberies as we move into the busy summer travel season.

We also urge U.S. citizens to exercise caution when visiting banks in Port-au-Prince. Robbery crews have been known to surveil banks and rob customers shortly after departure.

Regions of Haiti outside the capital have reported fewer incidents of crime. The Haitian authorities' ability to respond to emergencies is limited, however, and in some areas nonexistent. Embassy employees are required to adhere to certain required security and safety measures when traveling outside of Port-au-Prince, and they have restrictions on travel in certain areas or times. Additionally, U.S. Embassy personnel are under an Embassy-imposed curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. and must remain at home or another safe facility during curfew hours. This may constrain the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Port-au-Prince. For additional details on restrictions on staff travel within Haiti, please see our Country Specific Information for Haiti.

While the United Nations’ Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) currently supports the activities of the Haitian National Police (HNP), their numbers will decrease during 2015 as mandated by the U.N. Security Council. The HNP, with assistance from MINUSTAH, is responsible for maintaining order and rendering assistance. Given the possibility and unpredictability of spontaneous protests, however, their ability to assist U.S. citizens during disturbances is very limited. U.S. government-facilitated evacuations, such as the evacuation that took place from Haiti in 2010, occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist.Please see our website for additional information on how the Department of State assists U.S. citizens during a crisis.

We urge U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Haiti to review ourCountry Specific Information page. U.S. private sector organizations with operations in Haiti can obtain additional information on the security situation in the country through the U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). OSAC’s mission is to promote security cooperation between U.S. private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. OSAC also maintains an active Country Council in Haiti to promote the exchange of security-related information. The Council is comprised of security professionals and is co-chaired by the Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince and a private sector representative. U.S. private sector entities can obtain additional information on OSAC by visiting theOSAC website.

We strongly urge U.S. citizens to enroll in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information. While the Embassy's ability to provide emergency consular services is extremely limited, travel enrollment will enable you to receive security messages via email. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States; callers outside the United States and Canada can receive the information by calling 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.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Port-au-Prince at Boulevard du 15 Octobre, Tabarre 41, Tabarre, Haiti, telephone: (509) 2229-8000, facsimile: (509) 2229-8027, email: acspap@state.govAmerican Citizens Services (ACS) Unit office hours are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Consular Section is closed on U.S. and local holidays. After hours, on weekends and on holidays, please call (509) 2229-8000 and an automated attendant will connect you with the Embassy duty officer. U.S. citizens can also stay informed about conditions in Haiti by following the Embassy and ACS on Twitter and Facebook.


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Cameroon Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high risk of traveling to Cameroon, and urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the North and Far North regions of Cameroon due to the general threat of terrorism, particularly by the extremist terrorist group Boko Haram, murder and kidnappings targeting westerners, and violent criminal activity.
Due to the security situation in country, the U.S. embassy has limited ability to provide consular services in remote and rural areas. This replaces the Travel Warning of February 4, 2015 to emphasize the continuing threat of armed attacks, bombings and kidnappings in the Far North region of Cameroon and Boko Haram’s aspirations to extend the threat to other parts of the country.

The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the Far North region, and has actively targeted foreign residents, tourists, and government leaders. Boko Haram’s leaders have stated and demonstrated through their actions that they are actively seeking to kidnap westerners, including U.S. citizens traveling to or living in the Far North and North regions of Cameroon. Twenty one foreigners have been reported kidnapped since 2013. The U.S. Embassy continues to maintain restrictions on travel by U.S. official personnel to the North and Far North regions of Cameroon, as well as any travel north of Ngaoundere in the Adamaoua region.

U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution when traveling within 60 miles/100 kilometers of the border with Nigeria’s Adamawa State in the North and Adamaoua regions of Cameroon, the border area with Chad, and the border areas with the Central African Republic (CAR). Violence, banditry, and military operations in border areas can quickly spill over into Cameroon. Note there are Travel Warnings for neighboring Nigeria, Chad, and CAR. The threat of piracy is present in the waters of the Bakassi peninsula in the Gulf of Guinea.

Criminal activity continues to be a major concern particularly in Yaounde, Douala, and other towns. Burglaries, armed robberies, theft by intimidation, and snatch-and-grab crimes are commonplace in these areas. High unemployment and an under-equipped police force exacerbate the situation. An influx of refugees fleeing conflict in CAR and Nigeria has strained Cameroon’s economy and added population to already crowded urban areas. Road banditry, especially along the eastern border with CAR, is reported periodically.

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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 the security situation in northeast Nigeria remains fluid and unpredictable.
The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens in Nigeria to consider their own personal security and to keep personal safety in the forefront of their travel planning. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Nigeria dated February 2, 2015.

The ability of the Mission to provide assistance to U.S. citizens in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states 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, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. The Department also warns against travel in the Gulf of Guinea because of the threat of piracy. 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 extremists 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, bars, 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 designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Department of State, has claimed responsibility for many attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria. Its members have killed or wounded thousands of people during the past four years. Boko Haram has targeted churches, schools, mosques, government installations, educational institutions, and entertainment venues in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Taraba, the Federal Capital Territory, and Yobe states. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have been displaced as a result of violence in the north.

2014-2015 saw an increase in attacks by Boko Haram and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram targeted men, women, and children for kidnapping. In April 2014, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of over 200 school-aged girls 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 2014, extremists also targeted several public markets and transportation hubs in northern Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja. In Abuja, two explosions occurred in separate attacks at a parking lot in April and May and a shopping center was bombed in June. Several other markets, schools, churches, mosques and bars were targeted throughout the north including an attack with heavy casualties at the central mosque in Kano in November. Boko Haram also claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Lagos that used a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device that killed four at the Apapa port facility on June 25, 2014. In January 2015, Boko Haram attacked the town of Baga in Borno state, resulting in an estimated 2,000 casualties. January - July 2015 saw attacks and suicide bombings in Adamawa, Plateau, Borno, and Kano states.

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 they 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.

Cell phone service has, at times, been disrupted in Nigeria, particularly in areas where a State of Emergency has been declared, and when extremists have attacked cellular telephone towers. U.S. citizens should attempt to arrange for multiple means of communication in case of need during emergencies.

Kidnappings remain a security concern throughout the country. Kidnappings are orchestrated by Islamic extremists, predominately in the North, and for ransom by criminal elements in the South. Several high-profile kidnappings occurred in 2014-2015 involving U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals. In September 2014, two U.S citizens were kidnapped in Port Harcourt in two separate incidents. In February 2015, a U.S. citizen was kidnapped in Kogi state. In May 2015, two U.S. citizens were kidnapped in Ondo and Anambra states in separate incidents. Kidnappings of foreign nationals and attacks against Nigerian police forces in Lagos state and the Niger Delta region continued 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, residential compounds, airports, and public roadways. Local authorities and international corporations operating in Nigeria assert that the number of kidnapping incidents throughout Nigeria remains under-reported. Attacks by pirates off the coast of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea have increased substantially in recent years. Armed gangs have boarded both commercial and private vessels to rob travelers. The Nigerian Navy has limited capacity to respond to criminal acts at sea.

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.

For further information:
  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Nigeria Country-Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, 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, located at 2Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island,is open Monday-Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The U.S. Embassy in Abuja can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(9) 461-4000, or by email atAbujaACS@state.gov. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(1) 460-3600or +234 (1) 460-3400, or by email at LagosACS@state.gov. For more information, please visit the U.S. Mission in Nigeria website.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries 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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Djibouti Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Djibouti, including the risk of attack by terrorist organizations in the region.
This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Djibouti dated November 25, 2014.

The U.S. government remains concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens, whether visiting or residing in Djibouti, and perceived U.S. and foreign interests. Attacks may target official government facilities, including embassies and military installations, as well as soft targets such as restaurants, clubs, hotels, and other commercial entities. The Government of Djibouti continues to pursue members of Al-Shabaab involved in a May 2014 terrorist attack.

On May 24, 2014, two suicide bombers attacked a restaurant popular with foreigners in Djibouti’s city center. One person was killed and several others were severely injured. Al-Shabaab claimed initial responsibility and stated that it intended to conduct similar attacks in Djibouti against both native and foreign targets in the future. Such threats have recurred repeatedly since 2011 following Djibouti’s commitment to contribute military forces to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

U.S. citizens in Djibouti should remain vigilant about their personal security, particularly in public places such as shopping areas, hotels, clubs, bars, restaurants, transportation hubs, and places of worship. In addition, they should remain alert while in the presence of large public gatherings. Adopt the following safe travel practices: avoid crowded venues; visit only legitimate businesses and tourist areas, preferably during daylight hours; lock all doors and windows; carry minimal cash and credit cards; do not wear flashy jewelry; memorize 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 maintain proper and current travel documents at all times, including a valid U.S. passport and Djibouti visa, and to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for the most up-to-date security information and for assistance in case of a personal emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti.

The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti is located at Lotissement Haramous Lot #350B and may be reached by telephone at + (253) 21-453-000. For after-hours, truly exigent medical or police emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please call + (253) 77-877-229. Any routine consular correspondence relating to U.S. citizen services may be directed toConsularDjibouti@state.gov.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Consular Affairs’ website where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information for Djibouti 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 review the Traveler's Checklist, which includes valuable security information for those living or traveling abroad.

Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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Niger Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Niger and specifically recommends citizens avoid travel to the Diffa region, particularly those areas adjacent to Niger’s southern and eastern border, and Lake Chad.
The entire Lake Chad region, not only Niger’s border with Nigeria, is especially vulnerable because of rising activities by the extremist group Boko Haram. This replaces the Travel Warning for Niger dated March 27, 2014, to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Niger.

U.S. citizens in Niger, and those considering travel to Niger, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing threats to safety and security. The ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services in remote and rural areas is limited. U.S. citizens should take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violent acts, and reduce exposure to locations routinely frequented by Westerners, including markets, restaurants, bars, and places of worship. Locations such as these have been targeted in the region by violent groups and will likely be targeted in the future.

Terrorist groups in the past have called for and executed attacks against countries that supported the intervention against terrorist groups in northern Mali, including Niger. Because of terrorist and kidnapping threats, the Embassy Travel Policy requires armed Nigerien security escorts for U.S. government employees’ official travel north of the latitude of Niamey and to the east of Maradi. The areas bordering Mali and Libya, and northern Niger continue to be of serious concern. Additionally, security operations to counter Boko Haram in northern Nigeria and southeastern Niger have resulted in security degradation along the Niger-Nigeria border, primarily east of Maradi. The border is porous, and there are frequent reports of suspected terrorists and smugglers crossing into Niger.

On February 6-7, Boko Haram used mortars and suicide bombers to attack Bosso and Diffa town in the Diffa region of Niger. On February 10, the Government of Niger declared a state of emergency in the Diffa region. A curfew has been in place in Diffa region since December 2014.

In November 2014, militants mounted a successful multi-pronged attack in the Tillabery region, killing nine Nigerien security members; an unknown number of prisoners escaped from prison in connection with the attack.

In June 2013, prisoners in Niamey's main prison staged a prison break. Of the 32 prisoners who successfully escaped, several are suspected to have ties to terrorist organizations. The majority of the escapees remain at large.

In May 2013, terrorists using suicide car bombs, explosive vests, and small arms attacked a Nigerien military compound in Agadez and a uranium mining facility operated by a French company in Arlit.

Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a group designated as a terrorist organization by the Department of State since 2002, continues its threats to kidnap Westerners in Niger, including U.S. citizens, and has kidnapped Europeans in the region. A French family of seven was kidnapped while entering a national park in Cameroon in February 2013 and in November another French citizen was taken from Cameroon. Although there have been no kidnappings of westerners in Niger since January 2011, travelers are urged to exercise extreme caution in Niger due to the seriousness of the kidnapping threats against Westerners. Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. government policy not to make concessions to kidnappers.

On January 16-17, large-scale protests occurred throughout Niger, resulting in the destruction of more than 45 churches in Niamey alone. The Embassy recommends avoiding large public gatherings, and avoiding travel within the city if you hear reports of demonstrations. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational without warning. As witnessed in the past, Nigerien security services may interrupt cell and social media connection before and during protests.

The Government of Niger continues to maintain security checkpoints in Niamey to address security concerns. Be especially careful around security checkpoints, as security forces continue to be on a heightened state of alert. Do not drive away from, or through, a checkpoint until you receive clear permission to do so. If you are uncertain, please request verbal confirmation before proceeding.

Crime in Niger is a concern. Residential crime targeting homes without guards in Niamey is commonplace. This threat is easily mitigated by having 24/7 residential guards. Most crime in Niamey is non-violent and generally manifests in the form of pick-pocketing or purse-snatching; however, car-jacking and armed robbery can occur. Outside Niamey, the potential for violent crimes increases significantly. Armed bandits target travelers on roads in all parts of the country. Armed escorts are required for all Embassy travel north of Niamey and to, or east of, Maradi. For U.S. government personnel, all travel outside Niamey must occur during daylight hours. We recommend U.S. citizens follow a similar procedure, i.e., travel no earlier than after sunrise and no later than one hour prior to sunset. Throughout Niger, U.S. government travelers stay only at hotels that have armed Nigerien government security.

As a result of safety and security concerns, some organizations, including foreign companies, NGOs, and private aid organizations, have temporarily suspended operations in Niger or withdrawn some family members and/or staff.

For further information:
  • See the State Department's public website, travel.state.gov for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Niger
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, located at 11201 Rue des Ambassades at +(227) 20-72-26-61, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(227) 20-72-31-41.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us onTwitterand Facebook.


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Ukraine Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to Crimea and the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and recommends those U.S. citizens currently living in or visiting these regions to depart.
This supersedes the Travel Warning for Ukraine dated January 5 to provide updated information on the security situation in southern and eastern Ukraine.

Russia-backed separatists continue to control areas in the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. Despite the signing of a ceasefire agreement by representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE, violent clashes between combined Russian separatist forces and Ukrainian forces continue in parts of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, resulting in thousands of injuries and deaths. The ceasefire agreement established a de facto dividing line between Ukrainian government-controlled and separatist-held areas of Ukraine, with numerous checkpoints controlled by government and separatist forces. Individuals, including U.S. citizens, have been threatened, detained or kidnapped for hours or days after being stopped at separatist checkpoints. The Government of Ukraine has stated that foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who enter Ukraine from Russia through separatist-controlled territory, will not be allowed through checkpoints into government-controlled territory.

The Department of State also warns U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the Crimean Peninsula, which is occupied by Russia. The Russian Federation is likely to take further actions in Crimea throughout the remainder of 2015 consistent with its attempted unlawful annexation and occupation of this part of Ukraine. The international community, including the United States and Ukraine, does not recognize this purported annexation. The Russian Federation maintains an extensive military presence in Crimea and along the border of eastern Ukraine. In addition, there are continuing reports of abuses against the local population by de facto authorities in Crimea, particularly against those who are seen as challenging their authority on the peninsula. The Government of Ukraine prevents foreigners, including U.S. citizens, who enter Crimea directly from any country other than Ukraine, from entering mainland Ukraine.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to be concerned about the significant threat to civil aviation operating within Ukraine’s Dnepropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Region (FIR) due to the ongoing attacks by combined Russian-backed separatist forces on Ukrainian forces in parts of the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. In addition, the FAA is concerned that civil aircraft operating in the Simferopol (UKFV) FIR may receive conflicting air traffic control instructions from both Ukrainian and Russian air traffic service providers as the result of the Russian Federation’s purported annexation of this area. As a result, as of 2014 the FAA prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Ukrainian Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk FIRS. This prohibition remains in effect. For additional background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, consult the FAA’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices web page.

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 should protests or demonstrations escalate. U.S. citizens should especially exercise extreme vigilance in public places in the regions of Odesa and Kharkiv due to a continuing increase in small scale terrorism incidents.

U.S. Embassy Kyiv's Consular Section is open for all public services; however, in light of the ongoing unrest, the Embassy has severely restricted the travel of U.S. government personnel to Donetsk, Luhansk and the Crimean Peninsula, and occasionally limits travel to other adjacent regions. As a result, the Embassy's ability to provide consular services, including responding to emergencies, to U.S. citizens in eastern Ukraine and Ukraine's Crimean region is extremely limited.

For further information:

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Nepal Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nepal and recommends that they exercise caution there following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25.
The Department of State terminated the authorized departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and dependents on June 30, 2015. This replaces the Travel Warning dated May 1, 2015.

While their frequency and severity have diminished, the possibility of earthquakes or aftershocks continues. The overall effect of the initial earthquake and its aftershocks varied greatly across the country. Areas close to the epicenters suffered significant damage, while other areas in the country were nearly unaffected.

In Kathmandu, conditions are returning to normal. Cleanup efforts have cleared most of the rubble from collapsed structures and walls, and demolition efforts continue to address unstable buildings. In the worst-affected areas outside of Kathmandu, damage is more widespread and severe. Recovery efforts in these areas are ongoing, and access to basic resources, such as food, water, fuel and communications, could be limited.

The April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks destabilized steep, mountainous areas, and severe landslides have occurred in some affected areas. With the arrival of monsoon rains, which usually begin in June and last until September, there may be a higher occurrence of landslides than in years past.

We encourage travelers to consult carefully with their travel and trekking agencies for current, location-specific information.

For more information:




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Republic of South Sudan Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to the Republic of South Sudan.
The U.S. Embassy in Juba continues to operate at reduced staffing levels due to continued armed conflict outside Juba. The U.S. Embassy has little capacity to reach U.S. citizens with emergencies outside Juba due to the poor security situation and lack of critical infrastructure. Additionally, the U.S. Embassy is rarely informed of the arrest of U.S. citizens in a timely manner and consular assistance to detainees both in Juba and outside the capital is extremely limited. U.S. citizens traveling to South Sudan despite this warning should develop contingency plans prior to arrival to ensure their safety and security.This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued January 7, 2015.

The South Sudanese government is currently engaged in an armed conflict with opposition forces led by the former vice president Riek Machar, which has led to the displacement of more than two million people. Although the conflict is primarily concentrated in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile states, other areas of the country have experienced periodic fighting.Instability persists across the country due to retaliatory attacks, intercommunal violence and cattle raiding, and economic uncertainty.

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 is covered by overseas medical insurance, including medical evacuation.

The government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers, particularly outside of Juba.In addition to instability related to the current armed conflict, the risk of violent crime is high in South Sudan. The U.S. Embassy in Juba has imposed a curfew from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. and 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 and coordinating with the host government for 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. U.S. citizens should consider those restrictions and take measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime and other threats. U.S. citizens currently working on humanitarian relief or development efforts in Juba, or elsewhere in South Sudan, should closely follow the security policies and procedures of the sponsoring organization.

Carjackings and banditry are common in South Sudan. If travel outside of Juba is necessary, it should be undertaken preferably with a minimum of two vehicles with appropriate recovery and medical equipment in case of mechanical failure or other emergency. Additionally, there are widespread fuel shortages across South Sudan, and access to gasoline and or diesel cannot be guaranteed.

For further information:
  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for South Sudan.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). 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 STEP.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in South Sudan located on Kololo Road in Tongping next to the European Union compound, at +(211) 912-105-188 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(211) 912-105-107.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries 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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El Salvador Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that crime and violence levels in El Salvador remain high, and U.S. citizens traveling to El Salvador should remain alert to their surroundings.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated November 21, 2014, 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, cruise ship visits, 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. Since January 2010, 34 U.S. citizens have been murdered in El Salvador including a nine-year-old child in December 2013. During the same time period, 419 U.S. citizens reported having their passports stolen, while others were victims of violent crimes.

Typical crimes in El Salvador include extortion, mugging, highway assault, home invasion, and car theft. There have also been 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 may be targeted, 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 known to occur, 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 six of the 34 murders of 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. 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 six 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). 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. 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 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. Many extortions and other crimes 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. U.S. Embassy security officials advise all U.S. government personnel not to walk, run, or cycle in unguarded streets and parks, 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. 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.

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


For after-hours emergencies, please call 503-2501-2999.

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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.
The ability of the Embassy to assist U.S. citizens facing difficulty, including arrest, is extremely limited. Private U.S. citizens are strongly discouraged from traveling to Iraq to join in armed conflict. The Embassy in Baghdad and the Consulates General in Basrah and Erbil are open and operating. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated April 29, 2015.

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. When such attacks occur, they frequently take place in public gathering places such as cafes, markets, and other public venues.

Numerous insurgent groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), remain active and terrorist activity and violence persist in many areas of the country. ISIL controls Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, as well as significant territory in northern, western, and central Iraq, particularly along the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, and the group continues to attack Iraqi security forces in those areas. Terrorist attacks within the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) occur less frequently than in other parts of Iraq, although the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), U.S. Government facilities, and western interests remain possible targets, as evidenced by the April 17 bombing in the public area outside U.S. Consulate General Erbil. In addition, several anti-U.S. sectarian militia groups, such as the Shia Kataib Hezbollah (KH) and Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) are operating throughout Iraq and may present a threat to U.S. citizens.

Due to the potential for 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 and Consulates. State Department guidance to U.S. businesses in Iraq advises the use of protective security details. Detailed security information is available on 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.

Some U.S. and third-country business people travel throughout much of Iraq; however, their movement is restricted, and they travel with security advisors and protective security teams.

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 entering or traveling within Iraq with invalid documents. For more information about entry/exit requirements for U.S. citizens, please see our Country Specific Information page for Iraq.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined that U.S. civil aviation flying in Iraqi airspace is at risk from ongoing combat operations involving military forces (military aerial combat operations and other militarily-related activity) and militant groups. As a result, the FAA currently prohibits U.S. civil aviation from operating in or overflying Iraqi airspace with very limited exceptions. Foreign airlines operating in Iraq may cancel their operations without warning due to the security environment or other factors. Travelers should remain vigilant and reconfirm all flight schedules with their airline prior to commencing any travel. For further background information regarding FAA prohibitions on U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices website.

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 mountainous 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 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 Iraq’s 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. Consulate General in Basrah cannot provide routine services such as passport applications, notary services, or 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 General in Erbil.

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 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 International Zone in Baghdad, where photography is forbidden.

For more information:


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Sudan Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Sudan. We urge U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Darfur region of Sudan, and to Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, and advise U.S. citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan.
This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on October 30, 2014.

While the Government of Sudan has taken steps to limit the activities of terrorist groups, elements of these groups remain in Sudan and have in the past threatened to attack Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, including tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, as well as commercial operations associated with U.S. or Western interests. The terrorist threat level throughout Sudan, and particularly in the Darfur region, remains critical, and the U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security measures to protect U.S. government personnel assigned to Sudan. These measures include requiring U.S. government personnel to travel in armored vehicles at all times, and to obtain advance permission for travel outside of Khartoum. In addition, family members of U.S. personnel under age 21 are not allowed to reside in Sudan.

U.S. citizens traveling or residing anywhere in Sudan should exercise caution at all times and closely monitor local and international news from reliable sources. Violent flare-ups break out with little notice between and among various armed groups, Sudanese security forces and militias, particularly in the Darfur region, along the border between Chad and Sudan, and in areas that border South Sudan. Inter- and intra- tribal violence and armed acts of banditry are prevalent in these areas. Near the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea, landmines and unmarked minefields are a critical threat. There are occasional clashes with local tribes, particularly those known for weapons and human trafficking, along with the threats of Ethiopian gangs crossing the border to rob people along the highway. Hostilities between Sudanese forces and armed opposition groups present real and immediate dangers to travelers in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, including the disputed area of Abyei. Government security forces may detain U.S. citizens who are in these areas without Sudanese government permission.

Demonstrations occur periodically, mostly in Khartoum and Omdurman. In September 2012, the U.S. Embassy was attacked during a violent protest demonstration and, in September 2013, Khartoum and other urban areas witnessed violent confrontations between authorities and demonstrators protesting economic austerity measures. Smaller demonstrations occur periodically in Khartoum city. Avoid all public demonstrations and political rallies, as even peaceful demonstrations can become violent with little or no warning. Keep a low profile, vary times and routes of travel, exercise care while driving, and ensure that passports and Sudanese visas are always valid and up to date.

The threat of violent crime, including kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings, is particularly high in the Darfur region of Sudan, as the Government of Sudan has taken limited action to deter crime in that region. In addition, tribal militias and armed Darfuri rebel groups are known to have carried out criminal attacks against foreigners. A number of foreign nationals have been kidnapped for ransom by criminal groups in Darfur. Due to the fluid security situation, U.S. government personnel are not authorized to travel to Darfur except to certain areas and with appropriate security precautions.

The United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) has advised that regional tensions entail the risk of maritime attacks being conducted against vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb regions.

MARAD recommends vessels at anchor, operating in restricted maneuvering environments, or at slow speeds should be especially vigilant, and report suspicious activity. U.S. flag vessels that observe suspicious activity in the area are advised to report such suspicious activity or any hostile or potentially hostile action to COMUSNAVCENT battlewatch captain at phone number 973-1785-3879. Report all suspicious activities and events to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at the following toll free telephone: 1-800-424-8802, direct telephone 202-267-2675, or TDD 202-267-4477. The complete advisory is available on the MARAD website atwww.MARAD.DOT.gov.

We recommend that all U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Sudan maintain safe haven plans, as well as plans to evacuate the country on short notice should the situation warrant. If the security situation worsens or if specific threats affecting the safety of U.S. citizens are discovered, we will make this information available through the U.S. Embassy website and by messages communicated through our warden system.Emergency and Security Messages for U.S. Citizensin Sudan can be found on ourwebsite.

The ability of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum to provide services to U.S. citizens in emergency situations outside of the Khartoum area is very limited, and dependent on security conditions. The ability to provide assistance is particularly limited in southern regions of Sudan and in Darfur.

Stay informed and get updates by checking theU.S. Embassy website. U.S. citizens can also obtain global updates from the State Department’sBureau of Consular Affairswebsite, which includes the currentWorldwide Caution,Travel Warnings,Travel Alerts, andCountry Specific Information. 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). Follow us onTwitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page onFacebookas well.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Sudan should enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, Travel.State.Gov, to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Sudan. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. Keep all information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important to include a current phone number and e-mail address. U.S. citizens in Sudan without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy by completing and submitting a registration form.

The U.S. Embassy is located at U.S. Embassy Road, Kilo 10, Soba, Khartoum. U.S. citizens may obtain the latest security information by contacting the Embassy consular section atACSKhartoum@state.gov, or by visiting the U.S. Embassy website. In the event of an emergency involving a U.S. citizen, contact the Embassy by calling 0187-022-000 (from inside Sudan) or 249 187-022-000 (from outside Sudan) and ask to be connected to the Embassy duty officer.


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Colombia Travel Warning The Department of State has issued this Travel Warning to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in Colombia.
Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies, and volunteer work. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Medellin, and Cali. However, violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural and urban areas.This Travel Warning replaces the previous travel warning released on April 14, 2014, with minor changes to the travel restrictions for U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia. It was reviewed on June 5, 2015 with no changes.

There have been no reports of U.S. citizens targeted specifically for their nationality. While the U.S. Embassy has no information regarding specific and credible threats against U.S. citizens in Colombia, both the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) terrorist groups continue to condemn any U.S. influence in Colombia. The Department of State strongly encourages U.S. citizens to exercise caution and remain vigilant as terrorist and criminal activities remain a threat throughout the country. Explosions occur throughout Colombia on a regular basis, including in Bogota. Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can be extremely dangerous due to the presence of terrorists and criminal elements, including armed gangs (referred to as "BACRIM" in Spanish), that are active throughout much of the country. Violence associated with the BACRIM has spilled over into many of Colombia's major cities. These groups are heavily involved in the drug trade, extortion, kidnapping, and robbery.

The incidence of kidnapping in Colombia has diminished significantly from its peak in 2000. However, kidnapping remains a threat. Terrorist groups and other criminal organizations continue to kidnap and hold civilians, including foreigners, for ransom. No one is immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. The U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, but it is U.S. policy not to make concessions to kidnappers.

U.S. government officials in Colombia regularly travel to the major cities of Colombia such as Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, and Cartagena without incident. U.S. government officials and their families in Colombia normally are permitted to travel to major cities only by air. They may not use inter- or intra-city bus transportation, or travel by road outside urban areas at night. U.S. government officials in Colombia and their families are restricted to traveling within certain areas. This includes using the main highways to travel between Bogota and Bucaramanga, and between Bogota and Ibague. Personnel are also allowed to drive between Manizales, Pereira, and Armenia and within the “coffee country” departments of Caldas, Risaralda, and Quindío. On the Caribbean coast, personnel are restricted to driving along Highway 90 from Cartagena, through Barranquilla to Santa Marta. Travel to all other areas of Colombia is off limits unless specific authorization is granted. All U.S. citizens in Colombia are urged to follow these precautions and exercise extra caution outside of the aforementioned areas.

For more detailed information on staying safe in Colombia, please see the State Department'sCountry Specific Informationfor Colombia. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs'internet web site, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can 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 Colombia are encouraged to enroll with theState Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Programto obtain updated information on travel and security within Colombia. For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Colombia, please contact the U.S. Embassy or the closest U.S. Consulate as listed below.

The U.S. Embassy is located at Calle 24 Bis No. 48-50 Bogota, D.C., Colombia. Mailing address: Carrera 45 No. 24B-27 Bogota, D.C., Colombia. In case of a serious emergency that jeopardizes the health or safety of a U.S. citizen in Colombia, please call the Embassy at (+57-1) 275-2000; Embassy fax: (+57-1) 275-4501; Consular Section phone: (+57-1) 275-4900. The Embassy's American Citizens Services office provides routine information at http://bogota.usembassy.gov. For questions not answered there, inquiries may be sent by email toACSBogota@state.gov.

The U.S. Consular Agency in Barranquilla, which accepts passport applications and performs notarial services, is located at Calle 77B, No. 57-141, Piso 5, Centro Empresarial Las Americas, Barranquilla, Atlantico, Colombia; telephone (+57-5) 353-2001/353-2182/369-0149. In case of an emergency in the Barranquilla/North Coast area, please contact the Embassy in Bogota at (+57-1) 275-2000 which will forward the call to our Consular Agent.


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Lebanon Travel Warning The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of ongoing safety and security concerns.
U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks. In the past two years, two U.S. citizens have died in bombings, and two have been kidnapped, according to information available to the U.S. government. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on November 26, 2014.

In August 2014, extremists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Nusrah Front (ANF) attacked the Lebanese military in the Bekaa valley town of Arsal, along the border with Syria. There have been episodic clashes between the Lebanese army and Syrian-based extremists along the border with Syria since August 2014. U.S. citizens in Lebanon should monitor ongoing political and security developments in both Lebanon and Syria. There have also been incidents of cross-border shelling and air strikes of Lebanese villages from Syria, which resulted in deaths and injuries. There have been reports of armed groups from Syria who kidnapped or attacked Lebanese citizens living in the border area. Clashes between Lebanese authorities and criminal elements occurred in areas of the Bekaa Valley and border regions. Similar incidents could occur again without warning. With the potential for violence and abductions, the U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanese-Syrian border region.

There are border tensions to the south with Israel as well. In January 2015, hostilities between Israel and Hizballah flared in the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms area, and the potential for wider conflict remains. South of the Litani River, Hizballah has stockpiled large amounts of munitions in anticipation of a future conflict with Israel. In addition, during the summer of 2014 there were sporadic rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel in connection with the violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. These attacks, normally consisting of a few unsophisticated rockets fired at northern Israel, often provoke a prompt Israeli military response in the form of artillery fire. The rocket attacks and responses can occur without warning. Landmines and unexploded ordnance pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River, as well as in areas of the country where fighting was intense during the civil war. More than 40 civilians have been killed and more than 300 injured by unexploded ordnance since the 2006 Israel-Hizballah war. Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.

Sudden outbreaks of violence can occur at any time in Lebanon, and armed clashes have occurred in major cities. After the implementation of the security plan in Tripoli, the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbanehand Jabal Mohsen remain tense. Two suicide bombers struck a café in Jabal Mohsen in January 2015, causing dozens of casualties. Armed clashes have resulted in numerous deaths and injuries in the past, and there are potentially large numbers of weapons in the hands of non-governmental elements. The Lebanese Armed Forces are routinely brought in to quell the violence in these situations. The Lebanese government cannot guarantee protection for U.S. citizens or visitors to the country in the event violence occurs suddenly. Public demonstrations occur with little warning and have become violent in some instances. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning. U.S. citizens have died in such incidents. The ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services is severely limited. Protesters have blocked major roads to gain publicity for their causes, including the primary road between downtown Beirut and Rafiq Hariri International Airport temporarily without warning. Access to the airport may be cut off if the security situation deteriorates.

Extremist groups operate in Lebanon, including Hizballah, ISIL, ANF, and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB). The U.S. government has designated all of these groups as terrorist organizations. ISIL and ANF have claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Lebanon, and these groups are active in northern Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley, and in border areas with Syria. U.S. citizens have been the target of terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past, and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity remains. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Lebanon despite this Travel Warning should keep a low profile, assess their personal security, and vary times and routes for all required travel. U.S. citizens also should pay close attention to their personal security at locations where Westerners generally are known to congregate, and should avoid demonstrations and large gatherings. They should consider avoiding areas where bombings have taken place recently. The most recent Security Messages are posted on theU.S. Embassy Beirut website.

There is potential for death or injury in Lebanon because of terrorist bombings. Many of the attacks have targeted specific individuals or venues, but nearly all cases have resulted in death and injuries to innocent bystanders. Although there is no evidence that these attacks were directed specifically at U.S. citizens, there is a real possibility of “wrong place, wrong time” harm. The last wave of bombings in Beirut began in June 2013 and ended in mid-2014 with hundreds of dead and injured, including at least two U.S. citizens killed. The security services have made great progress in improving their capacity to detect and intercept terrorist attacks, resulting in a marked decline in suicide and car bombs, but many extremist groups remain actively engaged in planning attacks. These regularly involve suicide bombers, many of whom have detonated their vests or vehicles short of their targets.

Hizballah maintains a strong presence in parts of south Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, and areas in southern Lebanon. Hizballah has been the target of attacks by other extremist groups for their support of the Asad regime in Syria. The potential for violence between Hizballah and other extremist groups throughout the country remains a strong possibility. Hizballah and other groups have at times detained and extensively interrogated U.S. citizens or other foreigners for political motivations.

Palestinian groups hostile to both the Lebanese government and the United States operate autonomously in refugee camps in different areas of the country. Intra-communal violence within the camps has resulted in shootings and explosions. U.S. citizens should avoid Palestinian refugee camps.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom or political motives, remains a problem in Lebanon, and U.S. citizens have been victims of such acts in recent years. Kidnappers have abducted business people under the guise of coming to Lebanon for meetings. Suspects in kidnappings sometimes have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations. The U.S. government’s ability to help U.S. citizens kidnapped or taken hostage is very limited. Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. policy to not make concessions to hostage takers. U.S. law also makes it illegal to provide material support to terrorist organizations.

The U.S. Department of State wishes to warn U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on airlines that fly over Syria. As we have seen in the recent past, commercial aircraft are at risk when flying over regions in conflict. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens considering air travel overseas evaluate the route that their proposed commercial flight may take and avoid any that pass through Syrian airspace. U.S. government personnel in Lebanon have been prohibited from taking flights that pass through Syrian airspace. Flight paths are subject to change, so travelers should check with their airline to verify their flight’s route before traveling.

The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice. These practices limit, and may prevent, access by U.S. Embassy officials to certain areas of the country, especially to parts of metropolitan Beirut, Tripoli, the Bekaa Valley, and southern Lebanon. Because of security concerns, unofficial travel to Lebanon by U.S. government employees and their family members is strictly limited, and requires the Department of State’s prior approval.

In the event that the security climate in Lebanon worsens, U.S. citizens will be responsible for arranging their own travel out of Lebanon. U.S. citizens should be aware that the Embassy does not offer protection services to individuals who feel unsafe. U.S. citizens with special medical or other needs should be aware of the risks of remaining given their condition, and should be prepared to seek treatment in Lebanon if they cannot arrange for travel out of the country.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations, such as the evacuation that took place from Lebanon in 2006, occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a 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 Lebanon should therefore ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. U.S. Legal Permanent Residents should consult with the Department of Homeland Security before they depart the United States to ensure they have proper documentation to re-enter. Further information on the Department’s role during emergencies is provided on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’website.

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Lebanon should enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), on the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website, Travel.State.Gov, to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Lebanon. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located in Awkar, near Antelias, Beirut, Lebanon. Public access hours for U.S. citizens are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. U.S. citizens must makeappointmentsin advance. U.S. citizens who require emergency services outside these hours may contact the Embassy by telephone at any time. The Embassy’s telephone numbers are (961-4) 542-600, (961-4) 543-600, and fax (961-4) 544-209 (Note: the (961) is only necessary when dialing from outside the country. When dialing inside the country, use ‘0’ before the number, e.g., 04 542-600).

Information on consular services and enrollment in STEP can also be found at theU.S. Embassy in Beirut's website, or by phone at the above telephone numbers between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday local time. U.S. citizens in Lebanon may also contact the consular section by email atBeirutACS@state.gov.

Up-to-date information on travel and 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 additional information, U.S. citizens should consult the Department of State’s Country Specific Information for Lebanon. Travelers can also stay up to date by bookmarking ourBureau of Consular Affairs website,Travel.State.Gov, which also contains currentTravel Warnings and Travel Alerts. Follow us onTwitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page onFacebook.




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Afghanistan Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Afghanistan.
The security situation in Afghanistan is extremely unstable, and the threat to all U.S. citizens in Afghanistan remains critical. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Afghanistan issued on September 5, 2014.

The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Afghanistan), U.S. facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and foreign interests. Attacks may target official government convoys and compounds, including Afghan and U.S. government facilities, foreign embassies and military installations, as well as restaurants, hotels, airports, non-governmental organization (NGO) offices, international organizations, religious institutions, educational centers, foreign guest houses, and other commercial entities.

Extremists associated with various Taliban networks and members of other armed opposition groups are active in every province of the country. Despite numerous security operations and checkpoints by Afghan and coalition forces in and around the capital, Kabul is at high risk for militant attacks, including vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED), direct and indirect fire, and suicide bombings.The same risks also exist in other major cities in Afghanistan, including Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Kandahar. A strong possibility for hostile acts exists throughout the country at all times, either targeted or random, against both U.S. and other foreign nationals. An ongoing risk of kidnapping exists throughout Afghanistan. Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to ongoing military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, and the possibility of insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IED).

Militant attacks throughout the country continue, with many of these attacks specifically targeting U.S. and other foreign citizens and entities. On May 17, 2015, a suicide bomber used a VBIED in Kabul to attack a European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL) convoy, killing three including one British citizen. On May 13, 2015, an attack on the Park Palace Hotel killed 14 people including ten foreigners, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. In that incident, several other foreigners, including U.S. citizens, were held hostage at the hotel until the situation was resolved. On April 10, 2015, a suicide bomber used a VBIED to target a NATO military convoy in Jalalabad, killing four Afghan civilians nearby. On April 8, 2015, an Afghan soldier opened fire at the provincial governor’s compound in Jalalabad, killing one U.S. soldier and wounding eight others. On February 26, 2015, an attack in Kabul on a Turkish diplomatic vehicle killed one Turkish national. Militants later claimed that their intended target was actually an American military convoy. On January 29, 2015, an Afghan soldier attacked four U.S.-citizen contractors at a military base connected to Kabul’s International Airport, killing three and seriously wounding one.

On December 11, 2014, a suicide-bombing at a French-funded school and cultural center in Kabul targeted foreigners and students attending a performance, killing one German national and wounding several others. A lengthy assault on the Kabul headquarters of a U.S.-based NGO and guesthouse on November 29, 2014, resulted in the deaths of the South African head of the organization and his two children, as well as a local Afghan employee. On November 27, 2014, a suicide attack against a British government convoy in Kabul killed five people, including a British national, and wounded more than 30. Later that day, militants conducted a separate attack in Kabul’s Wazir Akbar Khan neighborhood, a normally secure area comprising other foreign embassies, foreign guesthouses, and international agencies that is adjacent to the more secure zone housing the U.S. Embassy. A November 24, 2014, bombing targeted a NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) convoy in Kabul, killing two U.S. soldiers. A foreign security guard was killed in an October 26, 2014, attack against an international organization and guesthouse in Kabul’s diplomatic zone. On October 13, 2014, a suicide bomber struck an ISAF convoy in Kabul, wounding three foreigners and killing one civilian. Two U.S.-citizen military personnel, one additional foreign military official, and 13 civilians were killed in a September 16, 2014, attack carried out against an ISAF convoy.

On August 20, 2014, an assailant fatally stabbed a U.S. soldier near Kabul International Airport. A lone gunman opened fire on a group of high-level military officers inspecting Marshal Fahim National Defense University on August 5, 2014, killing a U.S. two-star General and wounding twelve others, which included U.S. citizens. On July 22, 2014, a suicide bomber attacked a U.S. base near the Kabul International Airport, killing six guards and wounding ten. On July 17, 2014, a group of insurgents detonated a VBIED and occupied a building north of Kabul International Airport, targeting the airport with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. On April 24, 2014, an Afghan guard at Kabul’s Cure Hospital killed three U.S. doctors and wounded another U.S. doctor and nurse. On March 28, 2014, four insurgents armed with small arms infiltrated and attacked the Serena Hotel, killing ten civilians including four foreigners, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. Also, on March 20, 2014, a suicide bomber and three insurgents attacked the compound of an international NGO, killing two Afghan citizens and wounding ten.

Riots and incidents of civil disturbance can occur in Afghanistan, often without warning. U.S. citizens should avoid all rallies and demonstrations. Protests intended as peaceful can become confrontational and escalate into violence at any point. The size of these demonstrations has ranged from as small as 20 to as large as 3,000 people. The issues that typically prompt demonstrations include grievances against the government and coalition forces, as well as spontaneous, public expressions of social, political, and ethnic tensions.

U.S. citizens representing various foreign interests in property or contract disputes – a common problem for foreign companies doing business in Afghanistan – have reported that local parties to the disputes have threatened their lives or held them or their employees captive under extrajudicial conditions while awaiting payouts or intervention by local authorities. U.S. citizens who find themselves in such situations should not assume that local law enforcement or the U.S. Embassy will assist them in resolving such disputes or intervene on their behalf with Afghan officials.

The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Afghanistan sufficiently critical to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. All locations outside the U.S. Embassy and other U.S. government facilities are considered off limits to Embassy personnel unless there is a compelling government interest in permitting such travel that outweighs the risk. In addition, the internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be changed or adjusted at any time and without advance notice. The Embassy will regularly restrict or prohibit movements by its personnel, often on short notice and for reasons such as terrorist attacks, security threats, or demonstrations. Because of security concerns, unofficial travel to Afghanistan by U.S. Government employees and their family members is also restricted, and requires prior approval from the Department of State.

The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is severely limited, particularly for those persons outside of Kabul. U.S. citizens who choose to visit or remain in Afghanistan despite this Travel Warning are encouraged to limit nonessential travel within Afghanistan, formulate personal contingency plans, monitor the Embassy’s website, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to obtain the most current information on travel and security within Afghanistan. Enrollment in STEP makes it easier for the Embassy to contact U.S. citizens in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy.

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 and Afghan visa may hinder a U.S. citizen’s ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy's ability to assist. U.S. citizens in Afghanistan should ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. Evacuation options from Afghanistan 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. U.S. citizens should not expect to be evacuated to the United States and should always maintain medevac insurance while living or traveling abroad in case they need emergency medical evacuation back to the United States, which can be a significant expense. For more information, see "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis."

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul is located at Great Massoud Road (also known as Bibi Mahru or Airport Road) between Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA) and the Ministry of Public Health. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy can be reached at 301-490-1042, ext. 8499 from the United States, or +93(0) 700-108-499 from abroad during business hours, Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kabul time. For after-hours, truly exigent emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the Embassy Duty Officer at +93-(0)700-108-001. Any routine consular correspondence relating to services for U.S. citizens may be sent to KabulACS@state.gov.

The U.S. Embassy often receives threat information concerning U.S. citizens and interests in Afghanistan. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Consular Affairs’ website where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information for Afghanistan 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 review the Traveler's Checklist, which includes valuable security information for those living or traveling abroad. Follow us on Twitterand the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as 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, certain regions and cities of the island of Mindanao, and the southern Sulu Sea area.
This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated November 20, 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.

Based on a history of 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, U.S. citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if considering travel in the southern Sulu Sea region from the southern tip of Palawan, along the coast of Sabah, Malaysia and the islands of the Sulu Archipelago, up to Zamboanga City, Mindanao.

U.S. citizens should also continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to certain regions and cities of the island of Mindanao. Separatist and terrorist groups continue to conduct bombings, kidnappings and attacks against civilians, political leaders, and Philippine security forces. In particular, 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. There have been no recent reported terrorist threats or incidents within the Davao City or Surigao city limits. There have been no reports of U.S. citizens in Mindanao targeted specifically for their nationality; however, general threats to U.S. citizens and other foreigners throughout Mindanao remain a concern.

Although U.S. government officials in the Philippines travel to Mindanao for official business without incident, the Embassy has imposed a strict restriction on all but the most essential travel to the area, and Embassy employees must receive special authorization from Embassy security officials to travel to any location in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in the Philippines 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.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for the Philippines. 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 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.


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Burundi Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Burundi and recommends that U.S. citizens currently in Burundi depart as soon as it is feasible to do so.
As a result of the deteriorating security situation, the Department of State ordered the departure of dependents of U.S. government personnel and non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Burundi on May 14. The U.S. Embassy is able to offer only very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in Burundi. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on May 11, 2015.

The security situation remains fluid and volatile because of military and security forces activity in Bujumbura. There have been increased political tensions and civil disturbances related to these actions. Airport and land borders are reportedly closed. U.S. citizens should shelter in place until it is safe to move about, ensure that your travel documents are up-to-date, and confirm that air and land borders are open before attempting to depart the country.

The terrorist organization al-Shabaab, based in Somalia, has threatened to conduct terror attacks in Burundi. It may also target U.S. interests in Burundi. Political violence persists throughout Burundi, a carryover of the Burundian civil war. Armed groups operate in Burundi. Weapons are easy to obtain and some ex-combatants have turned to crime or political violence. Crime, often committed by groups of armed bandits or street children, poses the highest risk for foreign visitors. Exchanges of gunfire and grenade attacks have increased but are usually not directed at foreigners. If you encounter such a situation, stay indoors in a ground floor interior room away from doors and windows. Common crimes include muggings, burglaries, and robberies. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from walking on the streets after dark and from using local public transportation at any time. Local authorities in any part of Burundi are often unable to provide timely assistance during an emergency.

Demonstrations, gatherings, and even sporting events that are intended to be peaceful can turn violent without advance warning. For this reason, U.S. citizens should routinely monitor local media sources and the Internet for reports of demonstrations and unrest, and avoid political rallies, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind.

Travel outside the capital, Bujumbura, presents significant risks, especially after nightfall. Note the U.S. embassy limits and monitors the travel of its personnel in Burundi. All movement by embassy employees outside the city from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. is prohibited. Likewise, U.S. citizens should not travel on national highways from dusk to dawn. Armed criminals ambush vehicles, particularly on the roads leading out of Bujumbura. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows up when stopped in heavy traffic.

Corruption is endemic in Burundi and contributes to an environment where the rule of law is not respected. Government officials may ask for bribes for providing routine services. Travelers are frequently stopped, questioned, and asked for bribes by security forces at numerous official and unofficial roadblocks throughout the country. Likewise, criminals who have paid off local officials may operate with impunity.

For further information:
  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Burundi.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura, located on the corner of Avenue des Etats-Unis and Avenue du Cinquantenaire, at +257-22-20-7000, 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +257-22-20-7318, or +257-79-93-88-41.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us onTwitterand Facebook.










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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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