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East Africa Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Sep 23, 2005

This Public Announcement is being reissued to remind Americans of the continuing potential for terrorist actions against U.S. citizens in East Africa, particularly along the East African coast, and to note the dangers of maritime piracy near the Horn of Africa and the southern Red Sea near Yemen. This supersedes the Public Announcement of July 01, 2005, and expires on December 30, 2005.

Supporters of Al-Qaida and other extremists are active in East Africa. Americans considering travel to the region and those already there should review their plans carefully, remain vigilant with regard to their personal security, and exercise caution. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings or targeting maritime vessels. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Increased security at official U.S. facilities has led terrorists to seek softer targets such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, American commercial interests, western-oriented shopping centers, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts, and beaches. In particular, terrorists may target civil aviation and seaports. Americans in remote areas or border regions where military or police authority is limited or non-existent could also become targets.

Americans considering seaborne travel near the Horn of Africa or in the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there have been several incidents of armed attacks and robberies at sea by unknown pirates in the last year. When transiting around the Horn of Africa or in the Red Sea near Yemen, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys, and maintain good communications contact at all times.

U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. They may temporarily close or suspend public services to review security. On occasion, the travel of U.S. Government personnel is restricted, and U.S. posts may recommend that private American citizens follow similar restrictions. Consular services to American citizens could be affected if employees' movements are restricted. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to American citizens. American citizens in need of emergency assistance should telephone the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before visiting there.

Americans living or traveling in East Africa are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. citizens planning to travel to East Africa should consult the Department of State's country-specific Public Announcements, Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement and other information, available at http://travel.state.gov. Up-to-date information on security conditions can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 in the U.S. and for callers outside the U.S. and Canada a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

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