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Chad Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Chad and recommends citizens avoid travel to all border regions, particularly those areas adjacent to Chad’s eastern border and the Lake Chad region.

The entire Lake Chad region, not only along Chad’s border with Nigeria, is especially vulnerable because of rising activities by the extremist terrorist group Boko Haram. Chad’s historically volatile security environment can deteriorate unexpectedly, especially along the border areas. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Chad, dated January 6, 2015, to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Chad.

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 crime, and maintain caution at public gathering spaces and locations frequented by foreigners, including markets, restaurants, bars, and places of worship. 

The Government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in areas hosting refugee populations in Chad to obtain movement permits (autorisation de circuler) from the Ministry of Interior and Public Security in N'Djamena. All U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad should have an evacuation plan developed with the United Nations agency coordinating their work. In addition, U.S. citizens are strongly urged to adhere closely to the policies and procedures of their host organizations to mitigate risks of becoming the victim of violent crime. All U.S. citizens should prepare personal evacuation or safe-haven plans and be prepared to implement those plans on short notice. U.S. citizens intending to enter Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, or Sudan from Chad should consult the Department's Travel Warnings for those countries and obtain any requisite visas or travel permits prior to traveling.

The Government of Chad has limited means to guarantee the safety of visitors in rural Chad. Incidents of robbery, carjacking at gunpoint, and murder have been reported in N’Djamena and throughout the country. Violence is also associated with car accidents where crowds may form. If involved in an accident, it is essential to call the police. While there are presently no known specific threats against U.S. citizens in Chad, there are violent extremist organizations in the region, such as Boko Haram and al-Qai’da in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which are intent on harming westerners and western interests and are able to cross borders easily. Kidnapping for ransom is a potential threat in the region.

All U.S. government personnel require authorization to travel to areas outside of the capital, N'Djamena, and may be subject to restrictions within the capital. As security situations warrant, the U.S. Embassy may periodically impose further travel restrictions, including curfews, on U.S. government personnel. While private U.S. citizens are not required to follow these practices, U.S. citizens should consider taking similar precautions when making travel plans. Review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime and other threats. U.S. citizens residing in Chad should exercise caution throughout the country, especially at night. 

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

U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Chad despite this Travel Warning are urged to contact the U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena for information on the latest Embassy security guidance, and to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information. Please be sure to keep information in STEP current, including proposed date of departure. It is important when enrolling or updating information to include multiple phone numbers and email addresses to facilitate communication in the event of an emergency.

U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena located on Avenue Felix Eboue in N’Djamena; the Embassy's mailing address is BP 413 N’Djamena Chad. Embassy telephone numbers are +(235) 2251-62-11, 2251-70-09, 2251-77-59, 2251-90-52, 2251-92-18, and 2251-92-33. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens in Chad should call +235 6662-2100 and ask to speak with the duty officer. 

For further information, consult the Department of State website which contains the Country Specific Information for Chad and the current Worldwide Caution. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains current travel warnings and travel alerts. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook.

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Nigeria Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Nigeria and urges caution while traveling within Nigeria during the general and gubernatorial elections on March 28 and April 11, 2015, respectively.

The elections, originally scheduled for February 14 and February 28, were postponed for six weeks due to security concerns related to Boko Haram. This Travel Alert expires on May 25, 2015.

The upcoming elections are closely contested. Nigeria last held national elections in April 2011 and, although the elections themselves remained largely peaceful, violence temporarily erupted in many northern states after the announcement of results in the presidential race. The 2015 elections again present a possibility of violence. U.S. citizens are encouraged to exercise caution during the election process, particularly in and around polling locations in the weeks before and after the elections. There is presently no reason to believe that U.S. citizens would be specifically targeted in the event of election-related violence.

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

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

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You may also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Abuja, located at Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive, Central District Area, is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, located at 2 Walter 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 at AbujaACS@state.gov. The U.S. Consulate General in Lagos can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +234(1) 460-3600 or +234 (1) 460-3400, or by email at LagosACS@state.gov. For more information, please visit the U.S. Mission in Nigeria website.

Posted in Travel Alerts (U.S. Dept of State)

Algeria Travel Warning

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to the Kabylie region and remote areas of southern and eastern Algeria.

This replaces the Travel Warning for Algeria dated August 13, 2014, to update information on the current security situation in Algeria. 

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks posed to their personal safety. There is a high threat of terrorism and kidnappings in Algeria, as noted in the Department of State's latest Worldwide Caution. Although the major cities are heavily policed, attacks are still possible. The majority of terrorist attacks, including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, and ambushes occur in the mountainous areas to the east of Algiers (Kabylie region and eastern wilayas) and in the expansive Saharan desert regions of the south and southeast. In September, the ISIL-affiliated Jund al-Khalifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate) abducted and beheaded a French citizen, in the Kabylie region.

Al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) are also both active in Algeria and the region. In January 2013, an AQIM-linked organization “Those Who Sign in Blood”, led by Moktar Belmoktar, attacked a gas production facility near In Amenas, Algeria, near the Libyan border, holding foreign and Algerian workers hostage for four days with dozens killed, including three U.S. citizens. Mokhtar Belmokhtar and AQIM’s emir, Abdelmalik Droukdel, remain a threat and are at-large in the region. In addition, there have been kidnappings for ransom by terrorist groups operating in the trans-Sahara region. There are also extremists along the Algeria/Tunisia border in the Chaambi mountains area, south of Souk Ahras, and Algerian and Tunisian security forces are conducting ongoing security operations there.

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

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

For additional information on travel to Algeria, see the U.S. Department of State’s Country-Specific Information for Algeria.

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

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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

The U.S. Embassy is located at 5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi in the El Biar district of Algiers, and can be reached by telephone at (213) 770 08 20 00. The consular section email is ACSAlgiers@state.gov

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Pakistan Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Pakistan.

This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated August 8, 2014, to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan.

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi continue to provide consular services for all U.S. citizens in Pakistan. The U.S. Consulate General in Peshawar no longer offers consular services and the U.S. Consulate General in Lahore remains temporarily closed for public services.

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

Protests against the United States are not uncommon and have the potential to turn violent. U.S. citizens in Pakistan are strongly advised to avoid all protests and large gatherings.

RECENT ATTACKS

There have been many terrorist attacks in recent years targeting civilians and security personnel. On December 16, 2014, armed militants wearing paramilitary uniforms and suicide vests attacked an Army-run school in Peshawar, killing at least 140, mostly children. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. On November 2, a suicide bomber killed at least 60 people at the Wagah border crossing with India. Pakistani Taliban splinter group Jamaat-ul-Ahraar claimed responsibility. On September 6, Pakistani naval security thwarted a terrorist attack on Karachi Naval Dockyard. One sailor and two attackers died in a firefight, while security forces captured four attackers. The terrorists reportedly planned to hijack a naval frigate.

On June 24, 2014, gunmen fired on an international flight during landing at Peshawar’s International Airport, killing one passenger and injuring two flight attendants. On June 8, a terrorist attack over the course of nearly two days on Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport killed 19 people. On June 4, a suicide bomber attacked an Army vehicle at a railway crossing in Feteh Jang, some 15 miles from Islamabad, killing five persons, including two lieutenant colonels. On May 25, armed men attacked a check-post along the Quetta-Karachi Highway in Wadh tehsil of Khuzdar District, Balochistan, killing at least eight Balochistan Levies officials and injuring three others.

On May 25, 2014, a bomb attack on a security convoy in the Pandiyali tehsil of Mohmand Agency killed six security personnel and injured three others. On April 9, a bomb detonated at a fruit and vegetable market in Islamabad, killing 24 people and injuring 116. On March 3, a bomb and firearm attack on a courthouse in Islamabad killed 11 people. On February 13, a suicide bomber targeted a bus of police officers, killing at least 13 and injuring 58 others near Razzakabad Police Training Center in Shah Latif Town, Karachi. On January 21, a bomb attack on a bus of Hazara pilgrims killed at least 24 and injured 40 others in Mastung District, Balochistan.

In 2013, there were 355 distinct terror incidents throughout Pakistan.

Targeted killings continue unabated in Karachi as a result of ethno-political and criminal rivalries. Targeted attacks against government officials, humanitarian and non-governmental organization (NGO) employees, tribal elders, and law enforcement personnel continue throughout the country, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Provinces. Suicide bomb attacks have occurred at Islamabad universities, schools, rallies, places of worship, and major marketplaces in Lahore and Peshawar.

Members of minority communities have been victims of targeted killings and accusations of blasphemy, a crime that carries the death penalty in Pakistan. Places of worship have frequently been targeted for attack by terrorists. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from attending services at places of worship in Karachi, Lahore, and Peshawar, and outside of the diplomatic enclave in Islamabad without prior approval. Foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, on valid missionary visas have encountered increased scrutiny from local authorities since early 2011.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL

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

U.S. officials in Islamabad are instructed to limit the frequency of travel and minimize the duration of trips to public markets, restaurants, and other locations. Official visitors are not authorized to stay overnight in local hotels. Depending on ongoing security assessments, the U.S. Mission sometimes places areas such as hotels, markets, and restaurants off-limits to official personnel. U.S. officials are not authorized to use public transportation.

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

GENERAL SAFETY AND SECURITY

Rallies, demonstrations, and processions occur regularly throughout Pakistan on very short notice. Demonstrations might take on an anti-U.S. or anti-Western character, and U.S. citizens are urged to avoid large gatherings. Anti-U.S. protests in September 2012 attracted large crowds outside U.S. diplomatic facilities in all major cities and caused casualties and significant property damage. The Mission reminds U.S. citizens that even peaceful demonstrations might become violent and advises U.S. citizens to avoid demonstrations. Given multiple demands for resources, local authorities may have limited capacity to respond to requests for assistance.

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

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

U.S. citizens throughout Pakistan have also been kidnapped for ransom or for personal reasons such as family disputes over property. In December 2013, a U.S. citizen was released after being kidnapped for two months from his neighborhood outside of Peshawar. In May 2013, a U.S. citizen was rescued by local police after being kidnapped for ransom. The Mission is aware of other U.S. citizens who have been kidnapped, some released and some still being held. U.S. citizens have also been abducted by terrorists, or abducted by criminal elements and then sold to terrorists, and held hostage for multiple years. The kidnapping of Pakistani citizens and other foreign nationals, usually for ransom, continues to increase nationwide. U.S. citizens who feel they are in danger, or whose security is at risk, are strongly urged to depart Pakistan as soon as possible.

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

ENTRY/EXIT DIFFICULTIES

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

U.S. citizens occasionally notify the Embassy that they are unable to depart the country because their names have been added to the Exit Control List (ECL). The U.S. Embassy is unable to assist in such cases, which must be resolved through Pakistani legal channels.

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

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

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is located at Diplomatic Enclave, Ramna 5, and can be reached by telephone at (92-51) 208-0000; Consular Section telephone (92-51) 208-2700; and fax (92-51) 282-2632.

You may make an American Citizens Services appointment with the Consular Section in Islamabad through the following link: http://islamabad.usembassy.gov/service/appointmemts.html.

U.S. citizens requiring emergency services should contact the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad at telephone (92-51) 208-0000. Note that our ability to provide emergency services outside Islamabad could be limited by travel restrictions and security conditions.

The U.S. Consulate General in Karachi is located at Plot 3-5 New TPX Area, Mai Kolachi Road. U.S. citizens requiring emergency assistance should call the Consular Section in Karachi at (92-21) 3527-5000. The fax number is (92-21) 3561-2420.

You may make an American Citizens Services appointment with the Consular Section in Karachi through the following link http://karachi.usconsulate.gov/service.html.

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

For further information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Pakistan. 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.

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Israel, The West Bank and Gaza Travel Warning

The security environment remains complex in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza, and U.S. citizens need to be aware of the continuing risks of travel to these areas, particularly 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. In view of the ongoing security situation, the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority make considerable efforts to police major tourist attractions and ensure security in areas where foreigners frequently travel. Although threat mitigation efforts by authorities 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. 

The Department of State strongly warns U.S. citizens against travel to the Gaza Strip; U.S. government employees are not allowed to conduct official or personal travel there. U.S. government personnel require special security arrangements if traveling inside Israel within seven kilometers of the Gaza demarcation line. With the exception of Jericho and Bethlehem, U.S. government employees are prohibited from personal travel to the West Bank. Due to security concerns, U.S. government employees are prohibited from using public buses throughout Israel and the West Bank, and must obtain advance approval if they wish to travel within 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of the Lebanon border, or travel on or east of Route 98 in the Golan Heights. U.S. citizens should take into consideration the following information, including the rules governing travel in this region by U.S. government employees. This replaces the Travel Warning issued September 10, 2014.

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, the July-August 2014 Gaza conflict (see below) and subsequent political and religious tension associated with access to the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem led to increased levels of violence, particularly in Jerusalem and West Bank environs, not seen in those areas in a decade. Attacks on individuals and groups have occurred in East and West Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Bethlehem, as well as various places in the West Bank. We have no indication that U.S. citizens have been specifically targeted based on their nationality, however U.S. citizens have been directly affected. Six U.S. citizen residents of Israel and the West Bank were killed and others injured in multiple attacks in 2014. U.S. citizens involved in or observing political demonstrations have sustained serious injuries and the Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all demonstrations for their own safety. Due to security concerns, U.S. government employees are prohibited from using public buses in Israel and the West Bank. See below for specific safety and security information regarding Gaza, the West Bank, Jerusalem, and near Israel’s northern borders.

Travelers should be aware of the risks presented by the potential for military conflict between Hamas and Israel. 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 other cities in the north and south. The Government of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted many rockets. However, missile impacts also caused deaths, 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 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. Consult municipality websites, such as those for Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, for locations of public bomb shelters and other emergency preparedness information. Visitors should seek information on shelters from hotel staff or building managers. 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's Home Front Command.

Travelers should also be aware of the heightened state of alert maintained by Israeli authorities along Israel's border with Egypt. There have been cross-border incidents from Egypt, including rocket attacks and ground incursions, such as attacks that took place in August 2013, January 20 and October 22, 2014. Rockets and mortars were launched from Sinai in the direction of Eilat and Israel’s Negev region in January, July, and August 2014.

Visitors should observe appropriate personal security practices to reduce their vulnerability to crime, particularly late at night or in isolated areas, including in the countryside. Visitors are advised to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations and keep current with local news, which is available through numerous English language sources.

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 protests, civil unrest, acts of terrorism, and retaliatory attacks against groups and individuals. There have been frequent clashes between protesters and Israeli authorities, particularly in East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Travelers should be aware that protest activities and violence have occurred across Jerusalem, including in West Jerusalem, within the Old City, and in East Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Sheikh Jarrah, Shufat, Beit Hanina, Mt. of Olives, As Suwaneh, Abu Deis, Silwan, Shuafat Refugee Camp, Issawiyeh, and Tsur Baher. The intensity and number of these violent events, which have caused the deaths of bystanders, remained at high levels during October and November. Such events often increase following Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif access restrictions, in retaliation for 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 vehicular traffic to some of these neighborhoods without notice. U.S. citizens are advised not to enter any neighborhoods while restricted by the INP and to avoid any locations with active clashes.

To date, the clashes and violence have not been anti-American in nature. However, politically motivated violence in Jerusalem claimed the lives of U.S. citizens in October and November 2014, including a terror attack inside a synagogue. Other U.S. citizens have also been injured in such attacks. Travelers are reminded to exercise caution at Muslim 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 Temple Mount/ Haram al-Sharif. Travelers should be aware that the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif is often closed without warning by the INP. U.S. government employees are prohibited from entering the Old City on Fridays during Ramadan due to congestion and security-related access restrictions.

U.S. citizens are advised to avoid public parks in Jerusalem after dark, due to numerous reports of criminal activity associated with these parks. 

Northern Israel and Golan Heights

Rocket attacks into Israel from Lebanon have occurred without warning along the Israeli-Lebanese border. Tensions have increased along portions of the Disengagement Zone with Syria in the Golan Heights as a result of the internal conflict occurring in Syria. Sporadic gunfire has occurred along the border region. There have been several incidents of mortar shells and light arms fire impacting on the Israeli-controlled side of the zone as a result of spillover from the fighting in Syria. Travelers should be aware that cross-border gunfire can occur without warning. Furthermore, there are active land mines in areas of the Golan Heights, so visitors should walk only on established roads or trails. The Syrian conflict is sporadic and unpredictable. Because of concerns about security on Israel’s northern borders, U.S. government personnel must obtain advance approval if they wish to travel within 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of the Lebanon border, or travel on or east of Route 98 in the Golan Heights.

The West Bank

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to exercise caution when traveling to the West Bank. In October 2014, a U.S. citizen teenager was killed in an encounter with Israeli security forces in Silwad, and in June 2014, three Israeli teenagers, including a dual U.S. citizen, were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas-affiliated individuals while hitchhiking near 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 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 in which U.S. citizens have suffered injury or property damage, as well as attacks by Palestinians on settlements. U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations, and some U.S. citizens involved in political demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries. The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all demonstrations for their own safety. During periods of unrest, the Israeli government may restrict access to the West Bank, and some areas may be placed under curfew. All persons in areas under curfew should remain indoors to avoid arrest or injury. Security conditions in the West Bank may hinder the ability of U.S. government officials to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens.

Personal travel in the West Bank by U.S. government personnel and their families is permitted to the towns of Bethlehem and Jericho and on Routes 1, 443, and 90 after completing certain security procedures. 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 officials 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. U.S. government U.S. citizen employees are not allowed to travel to Gaza, in either personal or professional capacities. U.S. government travel within seven kilometers 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 fire between the Israel Defense Forces and militant groups in Gaza take place regularly, and civilians have been caught in the crossfire in the past. Since late October 2014, Egyptian authorities have closed the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt for extended periods with no indication regarding when it will reopen for normal traffic. 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. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to Gaza cannot normally rely on the U.S. government to assist them in departing Gaza.

Entry/Exit Difficulties

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

U.S. citizens seeking to depart Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens' ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General's ability to provide assistance.

Travelers should check the status of border crossings before embarking on trips.

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

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

For More Information

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who live in or travel to Israel, the West Bank or Gaza to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to obtain the most current information on travel and security within Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Enrollment in STEP makes it easier for the Embassy or Consulate General to contact U.S. citizens in case of emergency. For information on "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis," please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Emergencies and Crisis link at www.travel.state.gov.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide CautionCountry Specific Information for Israel, the West Bank and GazaTravel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found, including the current Travel Warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and on Facebook. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be accessed at http://israel.usembassy.govhttp://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov or on the Embassy and Consulate General Facebook pages.

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

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Lesotho Travel Alert

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Lesotho to the upcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for February 28, 2015.

U.S. citizens are urged to exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period. This Travel Alert expires on March 21, 2015.

As a result of a political and security crisis in late 2014, Lesotho’s political parties agreed to hold early elections in February 2015. Although Lesotho’s 2012 parliamentary elections were generally orderly and peaceful, the State Department recommends U.S. citizens maintain a high level of security awareness during the electoral period and avoid political rallies, demonstrations, polling stations, and crowds of any kind. Instances of unrest related to the election are possible, and U.S. citizens should be aware that even peaceful gatherings and demonstrations can turn violent. Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. 

Local stores, including grocery stores, may be closed over the electoral weekend. U.S. citizens are reminded that as a general matter of emergency preparedness, you should maintain adequate supplies of food, water, essential medicines, and other supplies that will allow you to shelter in place for at least 72 hours. Additional recommendations on emergency preparedness are available in Mission South Africa’s recently-posted “Message for U.S. Citizens: Emergency Preparedness for U.S. Citizens Living Abroad.”

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

Regularly monitor the State Department's travel website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and any current Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Lesotho. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow travel.state.gov on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Maseru is located at 254 Kings Way, Maseru and is open Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00a.m. and Friday 7:30AM – 1:30PM +(266) 2231-2666. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy/Consulate is +(266) 5888-4035. 

Posted in Travel Alerts (U.S. Dept of State)

Yemen Travel Warning

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest.

On February 11, 2015, due to the deteriorating security situation in Sanaa, the Department of State suspended embassy operations and U.S. Embassy Sanaa American staff were 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. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen issued on September 25, 2014.

The level of instability and ongoing threats in Yemen remain extremely concerning, and there are no plans for a U.S. government-sponsored evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time. We encourage U.S. citizens wishing to depart to do so via commercial transportation options. If you wish to depart Yemen, you should make plans to depart as soon as possible. Airports may experience unexpected closures with little to no warning and access to the airport also may be cut off if the security situation deteriorates. All U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance should contact a U.S. embassy or consulate in a neighboring country. For U.S. citizen inquiries, you may send an email to YEMENEMERGENCYUSC@state.gov.

Demonstrations continue to take place in various parts of the country and may quickly escalate and turn violent. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise extreme caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration. An ongoing risk of kidnapping exists throughout Yemen. In the last year, international and local media have reported several kidnappings of Westerners. Violent crime is also a growing problem.

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.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens' ability to depart the country and may slow the State Department’s ability to provide assistance. U.S. citizens in Yemen should ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. For more information, see "What the Department of State Can and Can't Do in a Crisis" on the Department's Internet website. Evacuation options from Yemen are extremely limited due to the lack of infrastructure, geographic constraints, and other security concerns.

U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen despite this Travel Warning should limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Yemen through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where the current Worldwide CautionTravel Alerts and Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information for Yemen can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers in other countries, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). 

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Sierra Leone Travel Warning

After review of health conditions and limited availability of medical evacuation options, the U.S. Department of State, on August 14, 2014, ordered the departure of eligible family members residing with Embassy staff in Freetown, and issued a Travel Warning advising U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Sierra Leone.

The Embassy recommended this action out of an abundance of caution following the determination that there was a lack of options for urgent health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak. On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of State modified the status for accompanying family members to allow only adult eligible family members to accompany the principal employee to Embassy Freetown. 

Greater response efficiency and additional isolation facilities, among other improvements, have broken the exponential growth of the Ebola epidemic. While the national trend is decreasing, there continues to be moderate to high transmission in some districts as well as local outbreaks of concern. These include Western Area Urban and Rural (Freetown and its environs), Moyamba, Port Loko, Kambia, and Kono. The positive progress is promising, but the epidemic is not yet fully under control. 

If you arrive in Sierra Leone and subsequently need routine or emergency medical care, you should expect limited, if any, options. Though improved, hospitals still have suspect infection control despite focused training, health care worker infections continue in non-Ebola treatment centers, and private clinics and laboratories remain closed. Travelers are advised that air carriers chartered by medical evacuation insurance companies are unable to reliably provide timely services in Sierra Leone or the region, and local ambulance services for transport to the airport are essentially unavailable. Policyholders should confirm the availability of medical evacuation services prior to travel. While commercial flights are still available from Sierra Leone, some airlines have discontinued service and flights may become more difficult to obtain. If you plan to visit Sierra Leone despite this warning, you should purchase travel insurance that includes medical evacuation, and confirm under what circumstances coverage applies to Sierra Leone.

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who decide to travel to or remain in Sierra Leone despite this Travel Warning to provide their current contact information through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

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

Check U.S. Embassy Freetown’s website for up-to-date messages to U.S. citizens. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

U.S. Embassy Freetown is located at Southridge, Hill Station, in Freetown. Telephone: +232 (0)76-515-000. Emergency after-hours telephone: +232 (0)76-912-708.

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Sierra Leone Travel Warning

After review of health conditions and limited availability of medical evacuation options, the U.S. Department of State, on August 14, 2014, ordered the departure of eligible family members residing with Embassy staff in Freetown, and issued a Travel Warning advising U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Sierra Leone.

The Embassy recommended this action out of an abundance of caution following the determination that there was a lack of options for urgent health care services at major medical facilities due to the Ebola outbreak. On February 4, 2015, the U.S. Department of State modified the status for accompanying family members to allow only adult eligible family members to accompany the principal employee to Embassy Freetown. 

Greater response efficiency and additional isolation facilities, among other improvements, have broken the exponential growth of the Ebola epidemic. While the national trend is decreasing, there continues to be moderate to high transmission in some districts as well as local outbreaks of concern. These include Western Area Urban and Rural (Freetown and its environs), Moyamba, Port Loko, Kambia, and Kono. The positive progress is promising, but the epidemic is not yet fully under control. 

If you arrive in Sierra Leone and subsequently need routine or emergency medical care, you should expect limited, if any, options. Though improved, hospitals still have suspect infection control despite focused training, health care worker infections continue in non-Ebola treatment centers, and private clinics and laboratories remain closed. Travelers are advised that air carriers chartered by medical evacuation insurance companies are unable to reliably provide timely services in Sierra Leone or the region, and local ambulance services for transport to the airport are essentially unavailable. Policyholders should confirm the availability of medical evacuation services prior to travel. While commercial flights are still available from Sierra Leone, some airlines have discontinued service and flights may become more difficult to obtain. If you plan to visit Sierra Leone despite this warning, you should purchase travel insurance that includes medical evacuation, and confirm under what circumstances coverage applies to Sierra Leone.

The Department of State urges those U.S. citizens who decide to travel to or remain in Sierra Leone despite this Travel Warning to provide their current contact information through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

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

Check U.S. Embassy Freetown’s website for up-to-date messages to U.S. citizens. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

U.S. Embassy Freetown is located at Southridge, Hill Station, in Freetown. Telephone: +232 (0)76-515-000. Emergency after-hours telephone: +232 (0)76-912-708.

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)

Cameroon Travel Warning

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high risk of traveling to Cameroon and cautions U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Far North region of Cameroon.

This replaces the Travel Warning of August 6, 2014 and updates information on the continuing threat of kidnappings and other armed attacks in the Far North region of Cameroon.

The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the Far North, and has actively targeted foreign expatriates resident in Cameroon, tourists and government leaders. In early January 2015, a video was released via YouTube, in which the alleged leader of Boko Haram threatens Cameroonian President Paul Biya and announces intensified action by Boko Haram against targets within Cameroon. On January 12, 2015, Boko Haram fighters attacked a Cameroonian military camp in Kolofata, near the Nigerian border, resulting in the unconfirmed deaths of 143 militants and one Cameroonian soldier. On January 1, 2015, 11 civilian passengers traveling between Mora and Waza by bus were executed by suspected Boko Haram militants. On December 27, 2014, Boko Haram attacked a military base at Achigachia, killing seven Cameroonian soldiers. Boko Haram is also suspected of planting an improvised explosive device that killed three soldiers near Limani on December 14, 2014. On July 25, 2014 over 200 suspected Boko Haram operatives conducted a coordinated attack on two compounds in Kolofata. The wife of the Vice Prime Minister of Cameroon and several others were kidnapped from the Vice PM’s compound, while Kolofata’s mayor and religious leader and several others were kidnapped from the mayor’s compound. Several civilians were killed in the joint operation. Twenty one expatriates have been kidnapped since 2013. The most recent kidnapping of expatriates occurred May 16, 2014 from a site near the town of Waza, 12 miles from the Nigerian border. Also, on April 4, 2014, attackers kidnapped two Italian priests and a Canadian nun during the night from their residences in Tchere, near the city of Maroua, located approximately 60 kilometers from the Nigerian border. A French priest was kidnapped from the town of Nguetchewe in November 2013, and a French family of seven (three adults and four children) was kidnapped while traveling near Waza National Park in February 2013. Boko Haram and an affiliated group, Ansaru, were responsible for the kidnappings of the French victims, and are believed to be responsible for the latest kidnappings in May 2014.

Boko Haram’s leaders have stated and demonstrated through their actions over the past year that they are actively seeking to kidnap “Westerners,” including U.S. citizens traveling to or living in the Far North and North regions of Cameroon. In November 2013, the State Department designated Boko Haram and Ansaru as Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Several large weapons caches attributed to Boko Haram were discovered in Cameroon and confiscated by authorities in 2013 and 2014, signaling the active presence of the group and pointing to the likelihood of additional attacks. All areas in the Far North region of Cameroon are affected by this warning.

The U.S. Embassy also urges U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution when traveling in the North and Adamaoua regions of Cameroon, especially in areas that are within 100 kilometers of Cameroon’s border with Adamawa State, Nigeria, and north of Ngaoundere in the Adamaoua region of Cameroon.

The U.S. Embassy continues to maintain restrictions on travel by U.S. official personnel to the North and Far North regions of Cameroon, as well as any travel north of Ngaoundere in the Adamaoua region. Official personnel are only permitted to travel to these areas if the travel is deemed mission-essential, and all officials proposing such travel must receive advance clearance by the U.S. Embassy.

Travel Warnings are in place for countries bordering Cameroon on the west, north and east: Nigeria, Chad, and the Central African Republic (CAR). The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to consult travel warnings for these countries as well when considering travel in areas of Cameroon bordering these countries, as violence and banditry in border areas can quickly spill over into Cameroon.

In March 2013, the Seleka rebel group overthrew the government of the Central African Republic in violent clashes with the CAR military and foreign troops. Despite an on-going peace process and the creation of a transitional government, the security situation remains highly unstable. The U.S. Embassy in Bangui resumed limited operations on September 15, 2014, but remains unable to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in CAR at this time. U.S. citizens in need of routine consular services should contact the U.S. Embassy in Yaounde, Cameroon by email at YaoundeACS@state.gov. Violence in CAR spilled over into the Adamaoua and East regions of Cameroon in isolated incidents over the past year.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Cameroon enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to stay up to date with the latest security updates, and so that the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate is able to contact U.S. citizens in an emergency. U.S. citizens without internet access can enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

We urge U.S. citizens traveling abroad to regularly monitor the Bureau of Consular Affairs website to find current Travel Warnings, (including the Travel Warning for Cameroon), Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. U.S. citizens traveling to Cameroon are urged to read the Country Specific Information for Cameroon. For additional information, refer to the Traveler's Checklist on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé is located at Avenue Rosa Parks close to the Mont Febe Golf Club. The telephone number is +237 22220-1500 ext. 4341/4023. The number for after-hours emergencies is +237 22220-1500 ext. 4531. The fax number is +237 22220-1572. The Embassy's e-mail address is 

Posted in Travel Warnings (U.S. Dept of State)