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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 July 27, 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 five 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.

2015 saw an increase in attacks by Boko Haram and clashes with Nigerian government security forces in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram targets men, women, and children for kidnapping and is known to descend on whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking police and military installations, and setting fire to private homes. For example, in January 2015, Boko Haram attacked the town of Baga in Borno state, resulting in an estimated 2,000 casualties; in January - July 2015 there were attacks and suicide bombings in Adamawa, Plateau, Borno, and Kano states; in October 2015, suicide bombers targeted Abuja and villages in Kuje and Nyanya; and in January 2016, upwards of 80 people, including children, were killed in the village of Dalori.

Various local government 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. Criminal elements throughout Nigeria orchestrate kidnappings for ransom; Islamic extremists, operating predominantly in the North, also have been known to conduct kidnappings. 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. In 2015, six U.S. citizens were kidnapped in separate incidents in the states of Kogi, Ondo, Anambra, Plateau, and Imo. 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.

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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Turkey Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to southeastern Turkey due to an increased threat of terrorist attacks from both international and indigenous terror groups.
U.S citizens should exercise caution when traveling throughout the country. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated September 3, 2015.

On September 2, the Department of State permitted the departure of U.S. government family members from the U.S. Consulate in Adana, Turkey, as a precautionary measure following the commencement of military operations out of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey. There are no plans to evacuate citizens and commercial airports remain open. The U.S. Consulate in Adana continues to operate normally and provide consular services to U.S. citizens.

Terrorists have targeted popular tourist sites, U.S. government buildings, police, and other local authorities throughout Turkey. The threat of kidnapping remains a concern, especially in the southeast, and incidents of indirect fire from Syria have impacted Turkey along the border. For your safety:
  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
  • Stay away from large crowds and remain vigilant near popular tourist destinations.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  • Monitor local media.

Travel restrictions remain for U.S. government employees to southeastern Turkey for the provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:


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Iran Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Iran.
This replaces the Travel Warning for Iran of August 5, 2015, to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and detention of U.S. citizens, particularly dual national Iranian-Americans, in Iran. All U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and carefully consider nonessential travel. 

Various elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. Since the United States and Iran reached a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to address the international community's concerns over Iran's nuclear program on July 14, 2015, Iran has continued to harass, arrest, and detain U.S. citizens, in particular dual nationals.

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 Foreign 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. The Iranian authorities make the determination of a dual national’s Iranian citizenship without regard to the dual national’s personal wishes. Consular access to U.S. citizens without dual nationality is often denied as well.

Iranian authorities have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens, particularly Iranian-Americans, including journalists, businessmen and academics, on charges including espionage and posing a threat to national security. Iranian authorities have also prevented the departure, in some cases for months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens who traveled to Iran for personal or professional reasons.

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’s 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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Sudan Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the continued risks of travel to Sudan.
U.S. citizens should avoid all travel to the Darfur region, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan states, and consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan, due to the continued threat of terrorism, armed conflict, violent crime and kidnapping. The U.S. Embassy's ability to provide services outside of Khartoum is very limited. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on June 15, 2015.

Terrorist groups remain present in Sudan and are intent on harming Westerners and Western interests. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, shootings, or kidnappings. The threat of violent crime targeting Westerners, including kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjackings is particularly high in the Darfur region.

U.S. citizens should mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of terrorism or violent crime by being vigilant and aware of their surroundings, especially at public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners. Exercise caution at all times and monitor reliable news sources for information on the local security situation. Follow the advice of local authorities. All U.S. citizens should assess their personal security and have evacuation plans that can be carried out quickly. Do not rely solely on U.S. government assistance.

Violent flare-ups, tribal violence, and armed banditry continue in the Darfur region, along the border between Chad and Sudan, and in areas that border South Sudan. There are landmines and unexploded ordnance in Sudan, especially in the Eastern Sudan, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan regions. Hostilities between Sudanese forces and armed opposition groups continue in Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, including the disputed area of Abyei. In addition to risking injury or death, U.S. citizens who are in these areas without permission of the Sudanese government may be detained by security forces.

The U.S. Coast Guard from time to time issues Maritime Security Directives designating certain sea areas as "high risk waters" due the possibility of terrorism, piracy, or armed robbery against ships. U.S. flag vessel owners take these designations into consideration in the development of vessel security plans. In the past, the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) advised that regional tensions increase 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. View current advisories here.

The U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security measures to protect U.S. government personnel, including requiring travel in armored vehicles at all times. U.S. government personnel are not authorized to travel outside of Khartoum without advanced permission or to certain areas of Darfur without appropriate security precautions. Family members of U.S. personnel under age 21 are not allowed to reside in Sudan.

For further information:


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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 Niger’s border regions, including the Diffa region and particularly the Lake Chad basin area.
The entire Lake Chad region is especially vulnerable because of ongoing activities by the extremist group Boko Haram. This replaces the Travel Warning for Niger dated July 17, 2015, to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Niger.

U.S. citizens currently in or travelling to Niger should evaluate their personal security situation. The U.S. Embassy has very limited capability to assist U.S. citizens in remote and rural areas. You should take steps to mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of violent acts, and avoid locations routinely frequented by Westerners, such as markets, hotels, restaurants, bars, and places of worship. Violent groups have targeted these kinds of venues in the past and will likely do so again. The Embassy requires that all U.S. Embassy personnel stay only in hotels having an armed Nigerien government security presence and recommends U.S. citizens follow the specific additional security guidance on the Embassy website  

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 family members and/or staff. Check with your organization’s security office before making travel plans to Niger.

Terrorist groups 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 government security escorts for U.S. government employees’ official travel north of Niamey and east of Maradi. The areas bordering Mali and Libya, and northern Niger continue to be areas in which bandits, smugglers, and terrorist organizations operate. 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.

In 2015, Boko Haram used small arms fire and suicide bombers to attack Bosso, Diffa town, and other villages in the Diffa region of Niger. On February 10, 2015, 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.

The terrorist organization Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has kidnapped Europeans in the region and continues to threaten to kidnap Westerners, including U.S. citizens, in Niger. Exercise extreme caution in Niger due to the seriousness of this kidnapping threat. 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.

In 2015, large-scale protests occurred throughout Niger, which caused extensive property damage. The return of political candidate Hama Amadou to Niger sparked another large scale protest in Niamey, which resulted in the death of at least two people. You should avoid large public gatherings, and stay indoors if you hear reports of demonstrations in your area. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational without warning. Nigerien security services may interrupt cell and social media connection before and during protests.

The Government of Niger maintains security checkpoints in Niamey. Be especially careful around these checkpoints, as the security forces may 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 the instructions are unclear, request verbal confirmation before proceeding.

Outside Niamey, the potential for violent crimes increases significantly. Armed bandits target travelers on roads in all parts of the country. For U.S. government personnel, all travel outside Niamey must occur during daylight hours with a minimum of a two vehicle convoy. We recommend U.S. citizens follow a similar procedure, travelling no earlier than after sunrise and no later than one hour prior to sunset.

For further information:


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Burkina Faso Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Burkina Faso. U.S. citizens in Burkina Faso, and those considering travel to Burkina Faso, 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. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on October 9, 2015.

Citizens who decide to remain in Burkina Faso despite this travel warning should maintain situational awareness at all times and register their presence within Burkina Faso with the Embassy by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

The security environment in Burkina Faso is fluid and the potential for attacks throughout the country, including in Ouagadougou, remains. On January 15, armed assailants attacked civilians at the Splendid Hotel and Cappuccino restaurant with gunfire and explosives. People from 18 different countries were murdered in the attack, including one U.S. citizen. Violent extremist and militant elements, including al-Qaeda in the Lands of Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and al-Murabitun, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Also on January 15, two gendarmerie officers were killed in an attack on their patrol near the mining town of Tinakoff (10km from the Malian border) and two Australian citizens were kidnapped in Baraboule, near the border with Mali. They are allegedly being held by a group with links to al-Qaeda.

In 2015, a Romanian citizen was kidnapped at the Tambao manganese mining site (near the Nigerien border) by the extremist group al-Murabitun; gendarmerie outposts in Oursi and Samorogouan were attacked and several people were killed; and a complex attack (involving improvised explosive devices, RPGs, and small arms) on a gold convoy near Djibo resulted in one death. Investigations into these incidents are ongoing.

The U.S. Embassy has placed restrictions on official government travel to Dori, Djibo, the road that connects these cities, and all areas north of that road. Embassy personnel are also prohibited from traveling to or staying at Parc National du W (Parc W), the regional national park located on Burkina Faso’s southeastern border with Niger and Benin. U.S. citizens are encouraged to follow the same guidance.

For further information:
  • See theState Department's travel websitefor theWorldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Burkina Faso.
  • Enroll in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact theU.S. Embassy Ouagadougou, in Ouaga 2000, Sector 15, on Avenue Sembene Ousmane, southeast of the Monument aux Héros Nationaux, at (+226) 25-49-53-00, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. If you are a U.S. citizen in an emergency situation after normal Embassy operating hours, please contact the Embassy, dial “1,” and ask to be connected to the duty officer.
  • 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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Mexico Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country.
U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by organized criminal groups in various Mexican states. For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, which can vary, travelers should reference the state-by-state assessments further below. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued May 5, 2015, to update information about the security situation and to advise the public of additional restrictions on the travel of U.S. government (USG) personnel.



General Conditions: Millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year for study, tourism, and business, including more than 150,000 who cross the border every day. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations, and there is no evidence that organized criminal groups have targeted U.S. visitors or residents based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the levels of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.

Nevertheless, U.S. travelers should be aware that the Mexican government has been engaged in an extensive effort to counter organized criminal groups that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. Crime and violence are serious problems and can occur anywhere, and U.S. citizens have fallen victim to criminal activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking, and highway robbery. While many of those killed in organized crime-related violence have themselves been involved in criminal activity, innocent persons have also been killed.The number of U.S. citizens reported to the Department of State as murdered in Mexico was 100 in 2014 and 103 in 2015.

Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place in towns and cities in many parts of Mexico and have occurred in broad daylight on streets and in other public venues, such as restaurants and clubs. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been temporarily prevented from leaving the area. Criminal organizations have used stolen cars, buses, and trucks to create roadblocks on major thoroughfares, preventing the military and police from responding to criminal activity. The location and timing of future armed engagements is unpredictable. We recommend that you defer travel to the areas specifically identified in this Travel Warning and exercise extreme caution when traveling throughout the other areas for which advisories are in effect.

U.S. citizens are encouraged to lower their personal profiles and to avoid displaying indicators of wealth such as expensive-looking jewelry, watches, or cameras. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain awareness of their surroundings and avoid situations in which they may be isolated or stand out as potential victims.

Kidnappings in Mexico have included traditional, "express," and "virtual" kidnappings. Victims of traditional kidnappings are physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release. "Express" kidnappings are those in which a victim is abducted for a short time and forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released. A "virtual" kidnapping is an extortion-by-deception scheme wherein a victim is contacted by phone and convinced to isolate themselves from family and friends until a ransom is paid. The victim is coerced (by threat of violence) to remain isolated and to provide phone numbers for the victim's family or loved ones. The victim's family is then contacted and a ransom for the "kidnapped" extracted. Recently, some travelers to Mexico staying at hotels as guests have been targets of such "virtual" kidnapping schemes.

Of particular safety concern are casinos, sports books, or other gambling establishments, and adult entertainment establishments. U.S. government personnel are specifically prohibited from patronizing these establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima and Nayarit.

Carjacking and highway robbery are serious problems in many parts of the border region, and U.S. citizens have been murdered in such incidents. Most victims who complied with carjackers' demands have reported that they were not physically harmed. Carjackers have shot at vehicles that have attempted to flee. Incidents have occurred during the day and at night, and carjackers have used a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, especially dark-colored SUVs. However, even drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States have been targeted. While violent incidents can occur anywhere and at any time, they most frequently occur at night and on isolated roads. To reduce risk when traveling by road, we strongly urge you to travel between cities throughout Mexico only during daylight hours, to avoid isolated roads, and to use toll roads ("cuotas") whenever possible. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. In remote areas, cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent.

The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups. U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. In some places, criminal organizations have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and have killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.

Demonstrations are common and occur in all parts of the country. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Protesters in Mexico may block traffic on roads, including major thoroughfares, or take control of toll booths on highways. Protestors may also block access to gas stations, and their presence at airports may cause flights to be delayed or suspended. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of any protests. Travelers who encounter protestors demanding unofficial tolls are generally allowed to pass upon payment. Travelers are urged not to exit from major highways. U.S. Citizens should avoid participating in demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by the authorities as the Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners; such actions may result in detention, imprisonment, and/or deportation.

The Department imposes restrictions on U.S. government employees' travel in Mexico. Since July 2010, USG employees are prohibited from driving on non-official travel from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior of Mexico or Central America. Personal travel by motor vehicle is permitted during daylight hours on Highway 15 toll road between Hermosillo and Nogales, on Highway 45 between Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua City, and on the main roads between Palomas, Chihuahua and Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua.

U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which it is advised to "defer non-essential travel.” When travel for official purposes is essential, it is conducted with extensive security precautions. U.S. government personnel and their families are allowed to travel for personal reasons to the areas where no advisory is in effect or where the advisory is to exercise caution. While the general public is not forbidden from visiting places categorized under "defer non-essential travel," U.S. government personnel will not be able to respond quickly to an emergency situation in those areas due to security precautions that must be taken by U.S. government personnel to travel to those areas. Travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel in some states as indicated below.

For more information on road safety and crime along Mexico's roadways, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

State-by-State Assessment:

Below is a state-by-state assessment of security conditions throughout Mexico. Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, crime and violence can still occur. For general information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, see ourCountry Specific Information.

Aguascalientes:Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.

Baja California:Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali are major cities/travel destinations in the state of Baja California-Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. According to the Baja State Secretariat for Public Security, Tijuana and Rosarito continued to experience an increase in homicide rates from January to October 2015compared to the same period in the previous year. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours.

Baja California Sur:Cabo San Lucas and La Paz are major cities/travel destinations in the state of Southern Baja California–Exercise caution in the state capital of La Paz. According to the Department of Interior of Mexico, Baja California Sur registered its highest homicide rate ever as of October 2015. Many of these homicides have occurred in La Paz, where there has been an increase in public acts of violence between rival criminal organizations.

Campeche:No advisory is in effect.

Chiapas:Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas are major cities/travel destinations in Chiapas-No advisory is in effect.

Chihuahua:Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua City, and Copper Canyon are major cities/travel destinations in Chihuahua-Exercise caution in traveling to: the business and shopping districts in the northeast section of Ciudad Juarez and its major industrial parks, the central downtown section and major industrial parks in the city of Chihuahua, the town of Palomas, the urban area of the city of Ojinaga, and the towns of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes and their immediate environs. Travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area should be through the Palomas port of entry (POE) on U.S. Highway 11, continuing south until reaching Mexico Highway 2 west to Nuevo Casas Grandes. Travel to Ojinaga should be on the U.S. side via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio POE. Defer non-essential travel to other areas in the state of Chihuahua and travel between cities only on major highways and only during daylight hours. Crime and violence remain serious problems throughout the state of Chihuahua, particularly in the southern portion of the state and in the Sierra Mountains, including Copper Canyon.

Coahuila:Defer non-essential travel to the state of Coahuila. When traveling through the state, U.S. government personnel are allowed to travel only on toll highway 40 to highway 57 and only during daylight hours. Violence and criminal activity along the highways are continuing security concerns, particularly along the northern border between Piedras Negras and Nuevo Laredo. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Colima:Manzanillo is a major city/travel destination in Colima- Defer non-essential travel to the areas of the state of Colima that border the state of Michoacán, including the city of Tecoman. U.S. government personnel are generally prohibited from traveling within 12 miles of the Colima-Michoacán border. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.

Durango:Exercise caution in the state of Durango. Violence and criminal activity along the highways are a continuing security concern. U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Durango only during daylight hours on toll roads and must be in their hotel in the city of Durango to abide by an Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Estado de Mexico:Toluca and Teotihuacan are major travel destinations in Estado de Mexico-Exercise caution in the State of Mexico. Due to high rates of crime and insecurity, defer non-essential travel to the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Nezahualcoyotl, La Paz, Valle del Chalco, Solidaridad, Chalco, Ixtapaluca, and Tlatlaya, which are portions of the greater Mexico City metropolitan area, located just to the east of the Federal District of Mexico and Benito Juarez airport, unless traveling directly through the areas on major thoroughfares. Defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac, Morelos and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Guanajuato: San Miguel de Allende and Leon are major cities/travel destinations in Guanajuato-No advisory is in effect.

Guerrero: Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco and Zihuatanejo are major cities/travel destinations in Guerrero- Defer non-essential travel to all parts of the state, except for the cities of Acapulco, Ixtapa, and Zihuatanejo. Travel to Acapulco and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo only by air or cruise ship, exercise caution, and remain in tourist areas. Travel in and out of Acapulco by air and cruise ship is permitted for U.S. government personnel. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling within Guerrero state by land, including via the 95D toll road (“cuota”) to/from Mexico City and Acapulco, as well as highway 200 between Acapulco and Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. In Acapulco, defer non-essential travel to areas further than two blocks inland of the Costera Miguel Aleman Boulevard, which parallels the popular beach areas. Lodging for U.S. government personnel is limited to the hotel zone (“zona hotelera”) of Acapulco, beginning from the Krystal Beach Acapulco hotel in the north and going south through Puerto Marquez, including the Playa Diamante area and ending at The Resort at Mundo Imperial hotel. In general, the popular tourist area of Diamante, just south of the city, has been less affected by violence. Any activity outside the hotel zone for U.S. government personnel is limited to the coastal area from La Quebrada to the beginning of the hotel zone and only during daylight hours. The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2013, with 2,087 homicides and 207 reported cases of kidnapping, according to the Mexican Secretariado Ejecutivo Nacional de Seguridad Publica. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.

Hidalgo:No advisory is in effect.

Jalisco:Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala are major cities/travel destinations in Jalisco–Exercise caution throughout the state, particularly in rural areas and when using secondary highways. Defer non-essential travel to areas of the state that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas. The security situation along the Michoacán and Zacatecas borders continues to be unstable. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason. Use of Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta is prohibited for personal travel by U.S. government personnel. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, and are prohibited from intercity travel at night. Please see above for general conditions for travel to Mexico.

Mexico City (also known as the Federal District):No advisory is in effect. See also the discussion in the section on Estado de Mexico for areas within the greater Mexico City metropolitan area.

Michoacán:Morelia is a major city/travel destination in Michoacán- Defer non-essential travel to the state of Michoacán except the cities of Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas, and the area north of federal toll road 15D, where you should exercise caution. U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling by land in Michoacán except on federal toll road 15D during daylight hours. Flying into Morelia and Lázaro Cardenas is permitted for U.S. government personnel. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.


Morelos:Cuernavaca is a major city/travel destination in Morelos- Exercise caution in the state of Morelos. Defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac in the northwest corner of the state and Santa Marta, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Nayarit: The Riviera Nayarit coast, including the cities of Tepic, Xalisco, and San Blas, is a major travel destination in Nayarit-U.S. government personnel may travel to Riviera Nayarit, San Blas, Santa María del Oro, Tepic, and Xalisco using major highways. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Defer non-essential travel to other areas of the state.

Nuevo Leon: Monterrey is a major city/travel destination in Nuevo Leon– Exercise caution in the state of Nuevo Leon. U.S. government personnel and their dependents may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must return to the city of San Pedro Garza Garcia municipal boundaries to abide by a curfew of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., except for travel to the airport after 5 a.m. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Oaxaca: Oaxaca, Huatulco and Puerto Escondido are major cities/travel destinations in Oaxaca-In Oaxaca city, U.S. citizens should avoid hiking around the auditorium and observatory at Cerro del Fortin, as foreigners are routinely held up at knifepoint and robbed in that area.

Puebla:No advisory is in effect.

Queretaro:No advisory is in effect.

Quintana Roo: Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya and Tulum are major cities/travel destinations in Quintana Roo- No advisory is in effect. Exercise caution when traveling south of Felipe Carrillo Puerto or east of Jose Maria Morelos as cellular and internet service are virtually non-existent.

San Luis Potosi:Exercise caution in the state of San Luis Potosi. U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of San Luis Potosi only during daylight hours on toll roads, and must be in their hotel in the city of San Luis Potosi between 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.to abide by an Embassy-imposed curfew.

Sinaloa: Mazatlan is a major city/travel destination in Sinaloa-Defer non-essential travel to the state of Sinaloa except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo, where you should exercise caution. One of Mexico's most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada and the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Sonora: Nogales, Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos are major cities/travel destinations in Sonora-Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades and can be extremely dangerous for travelers. Travelers throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours. Defer non-essential travel to the region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and from Caborca north (including the towns of Saric, Tubutama, and Altar), and the eastern edge of Sonora bordering Chihuahua, as these are known centers of illegal activity. Travelers should also defer non-essential travel to the eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of the northern city of Agua Prieta and the southern town of Alamos), and defer non-essential travel within the city of Ciudad Obregon and south of the city of Navojoa. You should exercise caution while transiting Vicam in southern Sonora due to roadblocks that can be instituted ad hoc by local indigenous and environmental groups. U.S. citizens visiting Puerto Peñasco should use the Lukeville, Arizona/Sonoyta, Sonora border crossing, and limit driving to daylight hours. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Tabasco: Villahermosa is a major city/travel destination in Tabasco-No advisory is in effect.

Tamaulipas: Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico are major cities in Tamaulipas.Defer all non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas. Throughout the state violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, pose significant safety risks. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas. Violent conflicts between rival criminal elements and/or the Mexican military can occur in all parts of the region and at all times of the day. Violent criminal activity occurs more frequently along the northern border. Organized criminal groups sometimes target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas. These groups sometimes take all passengers hostage and demand ransom payments. In Tamaulipas, U.S. government employees are subject to movement restrictions and a curfew between midnight and 6 a.m. Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Ciudad Victoria have experienced numerous gun battles and attacks with explosive devices in the past year. The number of reported kidnappings in Tamaulipas is among the highest in Mexico. Please see above for general conditions for travel in Mexico.

Tlaxcala:No advisory is in effect.

Veracruz:No advisory is in effect.

Yucatan:(includes Merida and Chichen Itza)-No advisory is in effect.

Zacatecas:Exercise caution in the state of Zacatecas. U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Zacatecas only during daylight hours on toll roads. In the city of Zacatecas, U.S. government personnel must abide by an Embassy-imposed curfew of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.

For further information:
  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Mexico.
  • 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 Mexico, located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, at +52-55-5080-2000 x4440, (5080-2000 for calls in Mexico City, 01-55-5080-2000 for long distance calls in Mexico) 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +52-55-5080-2000.
  • 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 on Twitter and Facebook.

Consulates (with consular districts):
  • Ciudad Juarez (Chihuahua): Paseo de la Victoria 3650, telephone. +52-656-227-3000.
  • Guadalajara (Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguas Calientes, and Colima): Progreso 175, telephone +52-333-268-2100.
  • Hermosillo (Sinaloa and the southern part of the state of Sonora): Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone +52-662-289-3500.
  • Matamoros (the southern part of Tamaulipas with the exception of the city of Tampico): Avenida Primera 2002, telephone +52-868-812-4402.
  • Merida (Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo): Calle 60 no. 338-K x 29 y 31, Col. Alcala Martin, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050, telephone +52-999-942-5700 or 202-250-3711 (U.S. number).
  • Monterrey (Nuevo Leon, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosi, and the southern part of Coahuila):Prolongacion Ave. Alfonso Reyes No. 150, Col. Valle Poniente, Santa Catarina, Nuevo Leon, 66196, telephone +52-818-047-3100.
  • Nogales (the northern part of Sonora): Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone +52-631-311-8150.
  • Nuevo Laredo (the northern part of Coahuila and the northwestern part of Tamaulipas): Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin, telephone +52-867-714-0512.
  • Tijuana (Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur): Paseo de Las Culturas s/n Mesa de Otay, telephone +52-664-977-2000.
  • All other Mexican states, the Federal District of Mexico City, and the city of Tampico, Tamaulipas, are part of the Embassy's consular district. The U.S. Embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone from the United States: 011-52-55-5080-2000; telephone within Mexico City: 5080-2000; telephone long distance within Mexico: 01-55-5080-2000.

Consular Agencies:
  • Acapulco: Hotel Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 – Suite 14, telephone +52-744-481-0100 or +52-744-484-0300.
  • Cancún: Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH Torre La Europea, Despacho 301 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico C.P. 77500, telephone +52-998-883-0272.
  • Los Cabos: Las Tiendas de Palmilla Local B221, Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 27.5, San José del Cabo, BCS, Mexico 23406 telephone, +52-624-143-3566 Fax: +52-624-143-6750.
  • Mazatlán: Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone +52-669-916-5889.
  • Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone +52-951-514-3054, +52-951-516-2853.
  • Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., telephone, +52-878-782-5586.
  • Playa del Carmen: "The Palapa," Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone +52-984-873-0303 or 202-370-6708(U.S. number).
  • Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone +52-322-222-0069.
  • San Miguel de Allende: Centro Comercial La Luciernaga, Libramiento Manuel Zavala (Pepe KBZON), telephone +52-415-152-2357.

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El Salvador Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens that crime and violence levels in El Salvador remain critically high, and U.S. citizens traveling to El Salvador should remain alert to their surroundings.
This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 22, 2015, 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 a rise in violence in the summer of 2015, the current murder rate in El Salvador is among the highest in the world, an annual rate of 103.1 murders per 100,000 citizens for 2015. In comparison, the U.S. rate is 4.5 per 100,000. While U.S. citizens are not singled out as targets, the pervasive violence greatly increases the chance of someone being “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Since January 2010, 38 U.S. citizens have been murdered in El Salvador. During the same time period, 449 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 U.S. Embassy strongly recommends engaging the services of a local guide certified by the national or local tourist authority when hiking in back country areas. 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 seven of the 38 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 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. As a result, criminals operate with a high degree of impunity throughout El Salvador.

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.

In the past year, Salvadoran gangs have escalated their tactics. In late July 2015, they used threats and violence to halt most public transportation, killing 8 drivers and burning two buses from the transportation companies that continued to provide service. This followed a July 25, 2015 grenade attack near the Sheraton hotel in San Salvador. On August 28, 2015, an improvised explosive device (IED) was placed in a vehicle parked in front of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security; the device was constructed with military-grade explosives, but failed to detonate. On September 10, 2015, a homemade IED detonated inside a car parked in front of the Ministry of Finance; there were no reported injuries although the blast did cause damage to nearby buildings. Similar IEDs have been found, made from both military-grade and household materials, and they represent an escalation in gang tactics to target Salvadoran government personnel and facilities. Local police have arrested members of M18 in relation to these devices.

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 local 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 windows up and 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
Website
Facebook
Twitter

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

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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 because of the poor security situation and lack of critical infrastructure. The U.S. Embassy notes it is rarely informed of the arrest of U.S. citizens in a timely manner and its ability to provide 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 amends the Travel Warning issued July 1, 2015 to update U.S. citizens about the risks to civil aviation operating in South Sudan as a result of the ongoing armed conflict between the government of the Republic of South Sudan and armed opposition groups.

The Federal Aviation Administration on December 24, 2015, issued an advisory “Notice to Airmen” (NOTAM) expressing concern about the risks to civil aviation in South Sudan. For further background information about FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, please consult the Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices. Furthermore, in an official press statement released on December 11, 2015, the government of the Republic of South Sudan threatened to shoot down aircraft engaged in illicit activities or which violate the country’s airspace by failing to properly identify themselves. South Sudan also recently deployed a functional radar-guided Strategic Surface-to-Air Missile near Juba.

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 theState Department's travel websitefor theWorldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, andCountry Specific Information for South Sudan.
  • Enroll in theSmart 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 5:00p.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).
  • Follow us onTwitterandFacebook.


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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 the country because of the general threat of violent crime, terrorism, and the targeting of westerners for murder and kidnappings, particularly by the extremist terrorist group Boko Haram.
There is a growing threat in the East Region, where former Seleka and criminal elements from the Central African Republic (CAR) occasionally cross the border into Cameroon to steal property and take hostages for ransom. Because of the security situation in the country, the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services in remote and rural areas is extremely limited. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on September 30, 2015 to emphasize the increasing criminal threat in the eastern part of the Adamawa Region.

The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the Far North Region, and has actively targeted foreign residents, tourists, and government leaders, which may place U.S. citizens traveling to or living in the Far North and North Regions of Cameroon at risk. Twenty one foreigners have been reported kidnapped since 2013. Since July 2015, the group has carried out at least 14 suicide bombings in the North and Far North Regions, including the city of Maroua. The U.S. Embassy continues to maintain restrictions on travel by U.S. official personnel to the North, Far North, and East Regions of Cameroon, as well as any travel north of Ngaoundere in the Adamawa Region. Due to increased criminal activity, the Embassy has now implemented a similar travel restriction east of Ngaoundere in the Adamawa 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 Adamawa Regions of Cameroon, the border area with Chad, and the border areas with 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. Additionally, 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.

For further information:
  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Cameroon.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens who decide to travel to or remain in Cameroon despite this Travel Warning are urged to provide their current contact information and next-of-kin information through STEP.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Cameroon located on Avenue Rosa Parks close to the Mont Febe Golf Club in Yaounde, at +237 22220-1500 ext. 4341/4023 from 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 +237 22220-1500 ext. 4531.
  • 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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Israel, The West Bank and Gaza Travel Warning The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. U.S. citizens need to be aware of the continuing risks of travel to areas described in this Travel Warning where there are heightened tensions and security risks.
The security situation can change day to day, depending on the political situation, recent events, and geographic area. A rise in political tensions and violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank has resulted in injuries to and deaths of U.S. citizens. The Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority both make considerable efforts to police major tourist attractions and ensure security in areas where foreigners frequently travel. Although these efforts to reduce the threat are not 100 percent effective, hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Israel and the West Bank each year for study, tourism, and business. This replaces the Travel Warning issued February 18, 2015.

The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip and urges those in Gaza to leave immediately when border crossings are open; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel to Gaza.

U.S. citizens should consider the rules U.S. government employees must follow when planning their travel:
  • With the exception of Jericho and Bethlehem, U.S. government employees are prohibited from personal travel to the West Bank. There are some restrictions on the personal travel of U.S. government employees to Bethlehem, listed in the section below on the West Bank;
  • U.S. government employees are prohibited from using public and inter-city buses (and associated bus terminals) throughout Israel and the West Bank. From mid-October until the end of November 2015, there was a temporary prohibition on using the Jerusalem light rail north of the City Hall stop on Jaffa Road; and
  • U.S. government employees must obtain advance approval if they wish to travel to the following locations:
    • within 7 miles of the Gaza demarcation line;
    • within 1.5 miles of the Lebanon border;
    • north and east of the Sea of Galilee;
    • on or east of Route 98 in the Golan; and
    • south of Be’er Sheva.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem are continuously monitoring the security situation. As conditions change, they can make adjustments, as necessary, to these travel restrictions on U.S. government employees. Please review the security messages at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for the most current information.

Major Metropolitan Areas

Personal safety conditions in major metropolitan areas, including Tel Aviv and Haifa and surrounding regions, are comparable to other major global cities. Nonetheless, political and religious tension associated, in part, with access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem has led to increased levels of violence, particularly in Jerusalem and the West Bank, not seen in those areas in a decade. Since October 2015, attacks on individuals and groups have occurred with increased frequency in East and West Jerusalem, Hebron, and Bethlehem, as well as various other places in the West Bank and Israel, including Tel Aviv. There is no indication that U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted based on their nationality, although perceived religious affiliation may have been a factor in some violent attacks on U.S. citizens. More than 12 U.S. citizens have been among those killed and injured in multiple attacks in 2014 and 2015. U.S. citizens involved in or observing demonstrations have sustained serious injuries. Therefore, the Department of State recommends U.S. citizens avoid all demonstrations for their ownsafety.

The Department of State also recommends that U.S. citizens maintain a high state of situational awareness, be aware of their surroundings at all times, avoid any unattended items or packages, and report any unusual or suspicious activities or items to police or other security officials. See below for specific safety and security information regarding Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel’s northern region.

Travelers should be aware of the potential for military conflict between Israel and foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas. Such attacks can occur with little or no warning. During the conflict in Gaza in July and August 2014, long-range rockets launched from Gaza reached many locations in Israel and the West Bank – including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and cities in northern and southern Israel. The Government of Israel’s Iron Dome rocket and missile defense system successfully intercepted many rockets. However, rocket and mortar impacts also caused four deaths of Israeli citizens living near Gaza, as well as injuries and property damage. There have been additional small arms fire and mortar and rocket launches from Gaza into southern Israel on several occasions between September and December 2014 and again between May and November 2015 that resulted in limited property damage.

Visitors to and residents of Israel and the West Bank should familiarize themselves with the location of the nearest bomb shelter or other hardened site. We advise all U.S. citizens to take note of guidance on proper procedures in the event of rocket attacks or other crisis events by visiting the website of the government of Israel'sHome Front Command. Consult municipality websites, such as those forJerusalem, for locations of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers.

Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel's border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, Rockets and mortars were launched from Sinai, Egypt in the direction of Eilat and Israel’s Negev region in January, July, and August 2014, and July 2015.
Jerusalem

U.S. citizens visiting and living in Jerusalem should be aware of the numerous political, cultural, and religious tensions that permeate the city. These sensitivities have the potential to fuel rallies, protests, civil unrest, acts of terrorism, and retaliatory attacks against groups and individuals.

Demonstrations are a regular occurrence throughout Jerusalem. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent with little or no advance warning. Since October 2015, there have been frequent clashes between protesters and Israeli authorities, checkpoints and barriers have been set up by Israeli security forces that restrict movement of residents, and acts of terrorism have taken place, resulting in death and injury, including to U.S. citizens. Travelers should be aware that protests and violence have occurred across Jerusalem, including in some West Jerusalem neighborhoods, and in East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah, Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, Issawiyeh, Tsur Baher, and within the Old City. Skirmishes, violent clashes and demonstrations also have occurred in the northern parts of Jerusalem near the Qalandia Checkpoint, and Checkpoint 300 located in the southern part of Jerusalem near Bethlehem.

From mid-October until the end of November 2015, U.S. government employees were temporarily prohibited for security reasons from using the Jerusalem Light Rail north of the City Hall stop along Jaffa Road. Travel to the Old City is also periodically restricted for U.S. government employees, including on Fridays during Ramadan. The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to exercise caution in and around the Damascus, Lions’, and Herod's gates to the Old City as these locations have been the scene of past attacks.

The number of violent incidents resulting in the death of bystanders remains high. The frequency of such incidents often increases following Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount access restrictions, in response to random attacks, or during Israel National Police (INP) operations in predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods. The INP often deploys a heavy presence in many of the neighborhoods that have seen clashes and may restrict pedestrian and vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. U.S. citizens are advised not to enter any neighborhoods restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations with active demonstrations, clashes, or a heavy police presence.

The clashes and violence have not been anti-American in nature. However, politically-motivated violence in Jerusalem claimed the lives of U.S. citizens who were inside a synagogue in November 2014 and a U.S. citizen who was riding a bus in October 2015. Other U.S. citizens have been injured in such attacks. In July 2015, an attack on participants at the Jerusalem gay pride march resulted in the death of one person and injuries to several others, including a U.S. citizen.

Travelers are reminded to exercise caution at Islamic religious sites on Fridays and on holy days, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan. The INP often imposes restrictions on visitors to the Old City’s Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, and has closed access for temporary periods without advance notice. Many orthodox Jewish communities in and around Jerusalem restrict vehicle traffic on Shabbat, and entering these neighborhoods with a vehicle may result in protests and violence.

Northern Israeland Golan Heights

Rocket attacks and small arms fire into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Heightened tensions persist along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of Syria’s internal conflict. There have been several incidents of rockets, mortar shells, and light arms fire landing on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails.

The West Bank

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank due to the complex security situation there. Increasingly frequent and violent clashes between Israeli security forces, Israeli settlers and Palestinian residents of the West Bank have resulted in the death and injury to U.S. citizens and others.

U.S. citizens considering travel to the West Bank should take into consideration the danger of death, injury or kidnapping of U.S. citizen residents and visitors in the West Bank evident from incidents in 2014 and 2015. On October 1, 2015, a U.S. citizen man and his Israeli wife were shot and killed on the road between Alon Moreh and Itamar, near Nablus. In November 2015, a U.S. citizen studying in Israel was one of three people killed by a gunman who fired shots into their vehicle in Gush Etzion, and another was injured by a gunshot near the Cave of the Patriarchs/Ibrahimi Mosque. In September 2015 five U.S. citizens were attacked and their car destroyed in Hebron.

Demonstrations and violent incidents can occur without warning, and vehicles are sometimes damaged by rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire on West Bank roads. U.S citizens have been injured or killed in such attacks in the past. There have also been an increasing number of violent incidents involving Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers in the corridor stretching from Ramallah to Nablus, including attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinian villages and attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. During periods of unrest, the Israeli government may restrict access to and within the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of U.S. government officials to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.

Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel is permitted to the towns of Jericho and Bethlehem, and on Routes 1, 443, and 90. U.S. government employees traveling to Bethlehem must comply with the following additional security requirements: The Rachel’s Tomb/Gilo crossing and areas adjacent to the Ayda and Al Azza refugee camps are restricted; and travel in Bethlehem must be completed between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. These restrictions change periodically based on the current security environment. Please review the security messages at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem for current information. The Rachel’s Tomb checkpoint between Jerusalem and Bethlehem has seen an increase in public demonstrations, which have the potential to become violent. U.S. government employees may also engage in personal travel to Qumran off Route 90 by the Dead Sea and to the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan, as well as stops at roadside facilities along Routes 1 and 90. All other personal travel by U.S. government personnel in the West Bank is prohibited. U.S. government personnel routinely travel to the West Bank for official business, but do so with special security arrangements.

The Gaza Strip

The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, a foreign terrorist organization. U.S. citizens in Gaza are advised to depart immediately when border crossings are opened; U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Gaza should not rely on the U.S. government to assist them in departing Gaza. U.S. citizen employees of the U.S. government are not allowed to travel to Gaza, in either personal or professional capacities. U.S. government travel in Israel within seven miles of the Gaza demarcation requires special security arrangements. The security environment within Gaza, including its border with Egypt and its seacoast, is dangerous and volatile. Exchanges of gunfire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place intermittently, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past.

Since October 2014, Egyptian authorities have closed the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for extended periods, sometimes with little notice. When operating, the Rafah crossing normally allows for some passenger travel; however, prior coordination with local authorities - which could take days or weeks to process - may be required and crossing points may be closed for days or weeks. Travelers who enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing must also exit through the Rafah crossing, and those entering the Gaza Strip may not be able to depart at a time of their choosing. Many U.S. citizens have been unable to exit Gaza or faced lengthy delays while attempting to exit Gaza. Furthermore, the schedule and requirements for exiting through the Rafah crossing are unpredictable and can involve significant expense.

The ability of U.S. government personnel to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, including assistance departing Gaza, is extremely limited. The Consulate General and Embassy are often unable to assist U.S. citizens to exit Gaza via the Erez crossing to Israel.

Entry/Exit Difficulties

U.S. citizens planning to travel to Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza should consult the detailed information concerning entry and exit difficulties in theCountry Specific Information.

Individuals registered in the Palestinian Authority population registry, who Israeli authorities believe may have a claim to a Palestinian ID,are denied entry into Israel or Jerusalem, regardless of other nationality or place of residence. These individuals seeking to visit the West Bank are required to enter from Jordan through the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge.

Some U.S. citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage not on the Palestinian Population Registry or otherwise prohibited from entering Israel have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints. U.S. citizens of Arab or Muslim origin visiting the West Bank, including those not on the Palestinian Population Registry, have experienced restrictions by Israeli authorities from visiting Jerusalem or Israel.

Dual U.S.-Israeli citizens of military age who have not completed Israeli military service may be prohibited from departing Israel until service is completed or may be subject to criminal penalties for failure to serve.

For More Information

Contact theConsular Section of the U.S. Embassyfor information and assistance in Israel, the Golan Heights, and ports of entry at Ben Gurion Airport, Haifa Port, the northern (Jordan River/Sheikh Hussein) and southern (Arava) border crossings connecting Israel and Jordan, and the border crossings between Israel and Egypt. An embassy officer can be contacted in an emergency at (972) (3) 519-7575.

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

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

Monitor theDepartment of State’s Internet websitewhere the Worldwide Caution,Country Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,Travel Warnings, andTravel Alertscan be found, including the currentTravel Warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs onTwitterand onFacebook. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed athttp://israel.usembassy.gov,http://jerusalem.usconsulate.govor onthe EmbassyandConsulate GeneralFacebook pages.

Up-to-date information on travel and security in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza also can be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).


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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 July 16 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, where violent clashes have resulted in over 9,000 deaths. A 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. The Department of State warns all U.S. citizens to defer all travel to the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. There have been multiple casualties due to land mines in areas previously controlled by separatists, and separatist leaders have made statements indicating their desire to push the front line to the administrative borders of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. 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 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibits U.S. civil aviation from flying in the Ukrainian Simferopol (UKFV) and Dnepropetrovsk (UKDV) Flight Information Regions. This prohibition remains in effect. For additional background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, consult theFAA’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. 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 and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea, and occasionally limits travel to 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 security information in Ukraine:

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Yemen Travel Warning The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Yemen because of the high security threat level in Yemen posed by the ongoing conflict and terrorist activities.
OnFebruary 11, 2015 due to the deteriorating security situation in Sanaa, the Department of State suspended embassy operations and U.S. Embassy Sanaa American staff have been relocated out of the country. All consular services, routine and/or emergency, have been suspended until further notice. The Department urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Yemen and those U.S. citizens currently living in Yemen to depart when they are able to safely do so. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen issued on April 3, 2015.

The level of instability and ongoing threats, including the threat of kidnapping, in Yemen is severe. In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition initiated an air campaign in support of the exiled Yemeni government. The conflict between the Coalition, Yemeni loyalist forces, and Houthi/Saleh forces is ongoing. Shelling and airstrikes remain a persistent threat in certain areas across the country. There are reports of land mines being placed in areas vacated by withdrawing forces. The military conflict has significantly destroyed infrastructure, limiting the availability of electricity, clean water, and medical care, and causing travel by internal roads to be dangerous. This instability often hampers the ability of humanitarian organizations to deliver critically needed food, medicine, and water.

We have received recent reports of U.S. citizens and other foreigners, including aid workers, being detained and kidnapped in Yemen. We warn all U.S. citizens considering traveling to Yemen, even with an established aid organization, of the risks of detention and kidnapping.

In addition, the threat posed by violent extremist groups in Yemen remains high. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula expanded its influence in Yemen since the beginning of the conflict, especially in the area of Mukallah. The Islamic State also has established a presence in Yemen, and has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks in the country, including against a mosque in Sana’a on September 24 and a series of attacks on facilities in Aden in October.

There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time. We encourage all U.S. citizens to shelter in a secure location until they are able to depart safely. U.S. citizens wishing to depart should do so via commercial transportation options when they become available.U.S. should keep vital records and travel documents close at hand and be prepared to depart at a moment’s notice. The airport in Sana’a is open but may close unexpectedly. There are not many flights arriving or departing on a regular schedule. Operations at Aden airport are intermittent and hampered by security concerns.

The United States is also concerned about the risks to civilaviation operating in specified areas of the Sanaa (OYSC) Flight Information Region (FIR) due to the ongoing military operations, political instability, and violence from competing armed groups involved in combat operations and other military-related activity. TheFederal Aviation Administration (FAA) has prohibited U.S. civil aviationfrom flying in specific areas within the Sanaa 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.

For U.S. citizen inquiries, you may send an email to YEMENEMERGENCYUSC@state.gov.

Terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), continue to be active throughout Yemen. The U.S. government remains extremely concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Yemen), and U.S. facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. In addition, piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean is a security threat to maritime activities in the region. See our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet.

For further information:
  • Enroll in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • 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 Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us onTwitterandFacebook.




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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 continuing violence, the Department of State ordered the departure of dependents of U.S. government personnel and non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Burundi on December 13. 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 November 3, 2015.

Political violence persists throughout Burundi in the aftermath of the country's contested elections, an attempted coup d'etat and the debate over the President standing for a third term. Armed groups operate in Burundi and gunfire and grenade attacks occur with frequency, 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. Government command and control of the armed forces and security services is not complete. Police and military checkpoints throughout the country have the potential to seriously restrict freedom of movement. Police have also searched the homes of private U.S. citizens as a part of larger weapons searches.

U.S. citizens interested in departing Burundi should note that departure plans can be subject to change because of safety and security factors as well as varying availability of commercial transport. U.S. citizens interested in departing should therefore monitor the media, check with airlines to verify flight schedules, and also check U.S. Embassy Bujumbura's website for the latest consular information, including security messages. The U.S. Embassy continues to monitor potential airport and land border closures.

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 of Bujumbura presents significant risks, especially after nightfall. 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. Criminals who have bribed local officials may operate with impunity.

For more information:


  • See Embassy Bujumbura's website for the latest emergency and security messages for U.S. citizens.

  • Enroll in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

  • For U.S. citizen inquiries, you may send an email to BURUNDIEMERGENCYUSC@state.gov. 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.


  • Emergency calls may also be placed through the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.








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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. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on May 29, 2015.

Sudden outbreaks of violence can occur at any time in Lebanon, and armed clashes have occurred in major cities. On November 12, 2015, twin suicide bombings in a commercial and residential area of the Burj al-Barajneh neighborhood in Beirut’s southern suburbs killed 43 people and wounded 239 others. ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombings. After the implementation of the security plan in Tripoli in October 2014, the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbanehand Jabal Mohsen remain tense. Armed clashes have resulted in deaths and injuries in these neighborhoods 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 the protection of U.S. citizens in the country against sudden outbreaks of violence. Public demonstrations occur with little warning and may become violent. Since August 2015, demonstrations by protestors calling for an end to the country’s trash crisis and political deadlock have resulted in numerous injuries and arrests. 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.

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.

On November 5, 2015, a deadly blast ripped through Lebanon’s restive northeast border town of Arsal killing at least four people and wounding several others. The attack targeted a meeting in the Sabil neighborhood of the Committee of Qalamoun Scholars and was caused by a suicide bomber using a motorbike. The very next day, a Lebanese Armed Forces patrol was reportedly targeted by a roadside explosive device, in the same al-Sabil neighborhood of Arsal.

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 been incidents of cross-border shelling and air strikes of Lebanese villages from Syria, resulting in deaths and injuries. There have been reports of armed groups from Syria kidnapping or attacking Lebanese citizens living in border areas. Clashes between Lebanese authorities and criminal elements continue to occur 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, and the U.S. Embassy also urges U.S. citizens to avoid the border. 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 the past, there have been sporadic rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel in connection with the violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. These attacks, normally consisting of rockets fired at northern Israel, often provoke a prompt Israeli military response. 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.

Extremist groups operate in Lebanon, including Hizballah, ISIL, ANF, Hamas, 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.

There is potential for death or injury in Lebanon because of terrorist bombings. Even attacks that target specific individuals or venues frequently 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 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. As was demonstrated again by the events of November 12, 2015, the potential for extremist violence in Lebanon remains a strong possibility at any time. 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 formal and informal 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. The security situation in informal encampments of Syrian refugees is equally problematic.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom or political motives, is a problem in Lebanon, and U.S. citizens have been victims of kidnapping 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 not to 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 warns U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on airlines that fly over Syria. 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 flights that pass through Syrian airspace. U.S. government personnel in Lebanon have been prohibited from taking flights that pass through Syrian airspace.

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.

For more information:
  • See theState Department's travel websitefor theWorldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, andSpecific Information for Lebanon.
  • Enroll in theSmart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Beirut.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Emergency calls may also be placed through the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.
  • Follow us onTwitterandFacebook.




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Mali Travel Warning The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Mali.
This Travel Warning also reminds U.S. citizens that on December 1 the Department of State authorized the voluntary departure of eligible family members and non-emergency personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Bamako. U.S. citizens currently in Mali are encouraged to review their personal safety and security plans to determine whether they should depart. U.S. citizens are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. From time to time, the U.S. Embassy may limit or suspend routine consular services due to security and staffing considerations. Please check the U.S. Embassy website for current information on available services. Citizens who decide to remain in Mali despite this travel warning should maintain situational awareness at all times and register their presence within Mali with the Embassy by enrolling in STEP. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on December 1, 2015.  

The security environment in Mali remains fluid and the potential for attacks throughout the country, including in Bamako, remains. On November 20, an unknown number of heavily armed assailants stormed the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako using gunfire and grenades. One U.S. citizen and 18 civilians from Mali, Belgium, China, Israel, Russia, and Senegalwere murdered in the attack. Violent extremist and militant elements, including al- Qaeda in the Lands of Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar al-Dine, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad (MUJAO), and al-Murabitun have claimed responsibility for the attack on the Radisson Blu.

U.S. citizens who choose to remain in Mali should remain vigilant, maintain awareness of their surroundings, and avoid public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners, such as markets, restaurants, bars, and hotels. Follow the advice of local authorities and stay abreast of the situation through media outlets. Vary your daily routine, and travel only on main roads to the extent this is possible.

For further information:


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Democratic Republic of the Congo Travel Warning The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a.k.a. DRC or Congo-Kinshasa).
U.S. citizens should avoid all but essential travel to the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, the provinces of Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele and Ituriz (northeastern part of the former Oriental Province) and particularly the new provinces of Tanganyika and Haut-Lomami (northeastern and central parts of the former province of Katanga), where instability and sporadic violence continues. Very poor transportation infrastructure throughout the country and poor security conditions in eastern DRC make it difficult for the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services anywhere outside of Kinshasa. This replaces the Travel Warning dated November 25, 2014.

Armed groups, bandits, and elements of the Congolese armed forces, primarily located in the North Kivu, South Kivu, and the new provinces of Bas-Uele, Haut Uele, Tanganyika, Haut-Lomami, and the eastern part of Maniema Province, are known to kill, rape, kidnap, pillage, steal vehicles, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians can be indiscriminately targeted. Kidnapping for ransom is common, particularly in areas north and west of Goma, North Kivu. Military operations continue to target the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda throughout North and South Kivu, the Allied Democratic Forces in the Beni territory of North Kivu, and numerous other armed groups in the eastern Congo. The Lord's Resistance Army operates near the DRC’s borders with Central African Republic and the Republic of South Sudan, particularly in and around Garamba National Park.

Travelers are frequently detained and questioned by poorly trained security forces at numerous official and unofficial roadblocks and border crossings throughout the country and especially near government buildings and installations in Kinshasa. Requests for bribes are extremely common, and security forces have occasionally injured or killed people who refuse to pay. If stopped at a roadblock, remain cautious. In the past year, several U.S. citizens have been illegally detained by government forces or robbed of their valuables while being searched.

National elections are scheduled to take place in November 2016. Political protests and demonstrations with the potential for violence may occur before, during, or after the election. U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution, avoid any politically-related demonstrations or protests, and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the election period.

Demonstrations, gatherings and even sporting events that are intended to be peaceful can become violent and turn deadly. Closely monitor local and international news from reliable sources. English-language news can be found on BBC at 92.6 FM. Radio Okapi broadcasts in French on 103.5 FM at 0700, 0800, 1200, and 1800 hours, and provides updates throughout the day. In emergencies, the Belgian Embassy operates a French-language radio broadcast system at FM 98.8.

Many infectious diseases are endemic in the country, and outbreaks of potentially deadly infectious diseases can also occur without warning. See the Centers for Disease Control website for further information. Travelers should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling to the DRC for applicable vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. Ensure that medical insurance includes medevac coverage.

For further information:

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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 very 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 supersedes the Travel Warning dated October 19, 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, anti-U.S. sectarian militias may threaten U.S. citizens and western companies throughout Iraq.

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. In addition, the internal security policies of the U.S. Mission in Iraq may be changed or adjusted at any time and without advance notice. The Mission will regularly restrict or prohibit movements by its personnel, often on short notice and for security threats or demonstrations. 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. On October 4, 2015, Iraqi authorities began to allow passenger vehicles to transit the IZ on the 14 July Expressway after undergoing a security screening. 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 Government of Iraq has begun to take measures to improve the structural integrity of the Mosul Dam. A dam failure could cause significant flooding and interruption of essential services from Mosul to Baghdad. While it is impossible to accurately predict the likelihood of the dam failing, the Embassy has made contingency plans to relocate its personnel in such an event. The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens in Iraq, especially those who reside in the floodplain of the Tigris River, prepare their own contingency plans and stay informed of local media reports and Embassy security messages for updates.

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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North Korea Travel Warning The Department of State strongly recommends against all travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, or DPRK).
This replaces the Travel Warning for North Korea of April 15, 2015, to reiterate and highlight the risk of arrest and long-term detention due to the DPRK’s inconsistent application of its criminal laws.

Travel by U.S. citizens to North Korea is not routine, and U.S. citizens have been subject to arrest and long-term detention for actions that would not be cause for arrest in the United States or other countries. North Korean authorities have arrested U.S. citizens who entered the DPRK legally on valid DPRK visas as well as U.S. citizens who accidentally or intentionally crossed into DPRK territory without valid visas. The Department of State has received reports of DPRK authorities detaining U.S. citizens without charges and not allowing them to depart the country. North Korea has even detained several U.S. citizens who were part of organized tours. Do not assume that joining a group tour or using a tour guide will prevent North Korean authorities from detaining you or arresting you. Efforts by private tour operators to prevent or resolve past detentions of U.S. citizens in the DPRK have not succeeded in gaining their release.

The Government of North Korea has detained, arrested, and imposed extremely heavy fines on persons who violated DPRK laws, such as entering the country illegally. Travelers to North Korea must enter the DPRK with a valid passport and valid DPRK visa. Foreign visitors to North Korea may be arrested, detained, or expelled for activities that would not be considered criminal outside North Korea, including involvement in unsanctioned religious and/or political activities (whether those activities took place inside or outside North Korea), unauthorized travel, or unauthorized interaction with the local population.

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

DPRK customs officials will inspect USB drives, CDs, DVDs, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or other electronic and multimedia devices brought into the country. Internet browsing histories and cookies on travelers’ computers and other electronic devices are subject to search for banned content, including pornography or material critical of the DPRK government. Possession of any media, either printed or electronic, criticizing the DPRK government is a criminal act. Bringing pornography into the country is also a criminal act.

Please be sure that the information contained on those devices does not violate the laws or regulations of the DPRK, as penalties for knowingly or unknowingly violating North Korea's laws may be much harsher than U.S. penalties for similar offenses. Sentences for crimes can include years of detention in hard labor camps or death.

If DPRK authorities permit you to keep your cell phone upon entry into the country, please keep in mind that you have no right to privacy in North Korea and should assume your communications are monitored.

GPS-trackers and satellite phones are not allowed.

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

U.S. citizens who plan to travel to North Korea are strongly encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China, about their trip by enrolling in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. If you enroll in this program, the State Department can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements via email messages (though you may not have access to email while in the DPRK). Enrollment also makes it easier for friends and family to get in touch with you via the U.S. Embassy in case of an emergency.

U.S. citizens residing in China can contact the U.S. Embassy in Beijing directly. The Embassy is located next to the Ladies' Street (Nuren Jie) and Laitai Flower Market, near the Kempinski Hotel and Lufthansa shopping Center on Tianze Road near the Liangmaqiao subway stop:

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

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

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

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for North Korea, and the current Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department's travel website at travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens can obtain current information on safety and security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from outside the United States and Canada, +1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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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 May 22, 2015.

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.

Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to ongoing military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices (IED). Extremists associated with various Taliban networks, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP), and members of other armed opposition groups are active throughout the country. Violent and deadly clashes between insurgent groups and Afghan security forces have occurred throughout the country. On September 28, 2015, the Taliban attacked the provincial capital of Kunduz, causing as many as 100,000 residents to flee their homes. A strong possibility exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against U.S. and other foreign nationals at any time.

Kabul remains 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, to include, but not limited to, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Kunduz, Lashkar Gah, Maimana, Ghazni, and Jalalabad. An ongoing risk of kidnapping and hostage taking exists throughout Afghanistan.

Militant attacks throughout the country continue, with many of these attacks specifically targeting U.S. and other foreign citizens and entities. Examples include the October 11, 2015 bombing of a Coalition convoy in Kabul using a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED), which wounded three Afghan civilians, the August 22 SVBIED attack on a convoy in Kabul that killed three U.S. citizens, and the August 17, 2015, kidnapping for ransom of a German citizen working for the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ).

Riots and civil disturbances can occur anywhere in Afghanistan, often without warning. U.S. citizens should avoid all rallies and demonstrations. Protests intended to be 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 or coalition forces, as well as spontaneous public expressions of social, political, and ethnic tensions.

U.S. citizens representing 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 be able to 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. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be changed or adjusted at any time, without advance notice. The Embassy will regularly restrict or prohibit movements by its personnel, often on short notice, 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 an 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 often receives threat information concerning U.S. citizens and U.S. 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 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).

For further information:
  • See the Department of State’s Consular Affairs’ website where the Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts and Travel Warnings can be found for the the latest security information.
  • Enroll in STEP to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy, 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, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 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.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).


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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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