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Ivory Coast Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Aug 26, 2005

This Travel Warning is issued to update safety and security concerns in Cote d'Ivoire and to provide new telephone numbers for the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan. The Department of State continues to prohibit minor dependents from accompanying U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and continues to urge Americans to defer non-essential travel to that country. This supersedes the Travel Warning of February 8, 2005.

Since the November 2004 violence, Cote d'Ivoire has been mostly quiet, although there have been episodes of violence, particularly in the western part of the country, and there is a risk of renewed conflict throughout the country. The security situation remains tense and potentially volatile. The airport currently operates normally and handles a number of flights by regional and European carriers that service Abidjan. Land routes to the Ghanaian border are open.

On November 4, 2004, Ivorian government forces launched aerial attacks on cities in northern Cote d'Ivoire controlled by New Forces, resulting in the deaths of Ivorian and non-Ivorian nationals. After an aerial attack caused the deaths of nine French soldiers and one American civilian, the French reacted by destroying most Ivorian air assets and seizing the airport. In response, there were widespread confrontations between Ivorian demonstrators and the French military, resulting in some Ivorian civilian and military deaths. These incidents were accompanied by widespread rioting, looting, and violence in Abidjan and elsewhere, directed against the French, but also against other expatriate and some Ivorian individuals, homes, and businesses. French schools in Abidjan were destroyed and have not reopened.

Embassy employees are asked to limit their travel within Abidjan and to avoid travel at night. Travel to most areas outside of the capital is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Private American citizens are urged to follow the same guidelines. Americans should also ensure that their vehicles are fully fueled and that they have adequate cooking fuel, food and water for several days.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan moved in July and has new telephone numbers (see below). The Embassy may close temporarily for general business from time to time in response to security developments. U.S. citizens who remain in, or travel to, Cote d'Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Cote d'Ivoire and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. Americans should register with the U.S. Embassy by completing a registration form on-line at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/home.asp, by calling (225) 2249-4000, or by faxing (225) 2249-4202. Americans in Cote d'Ivoire who need assistance should contact the Embassy at (225) 2249-4000. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions in Cote d'Ivoire by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from all other countries.

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