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Liberia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Sep 23, 2005

This Travel Warning is being updated to include information on upcoming elections on October 11, as well as revised Embassy employee restrictions. This supersedes the Travel Warning of March 3, 2005.

The Department of State continues to urge American citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Liberia. Notwithstanding the UN's deployment of 15,000 peacekeepers and 1,100 police advisors nationwide, the overall security situation remains fragile and unpredictable. Political and social tensions remain high and could result in sporadic violence and instability. By most measures, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world and the nationwide unemployment rate is very high. Foreigners, including Americans, are high-profile targets for theft and armed robbery.

Sporadic demonstrations occur frequently and on one occasion developed into rioting, looting, and deaths of Liberians. Owing to the potential for violence, U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, street demonstrations, and any gathering of security forces.

Preparations for elections, which are scheduled for October 11 but may be prolonged through early November if a run-off is needed, may increase the level of social tension and the risk of spontaneous demonstrations or outbursts of violence. In addition, during the election period, adequate hotel accommodations may be difficult to find, as many official visitors will be coming to Liberia to observe the election process.

U.S. citizens in Liberia should be aware of their surroundings at all times and use caution in traveling. Traveling alone or after dark is strongly discouraged. Poor road conditions, especially during the rainy season, and limited telecommunications limit the U.S. Embassy's ability to assist U.S. citizens outside the Monrovia area. American employees at the U.S. Embassy have a strict 1:00 a.m. curfew, are strongly encouraged to not go out alone, but to use the buddy system, and may travel outside Monrovia only under strict pre-approved conditions. Americans should report any threats or suspicious activity to our Embassy in Monrovia and monitor the local media for developments that may affect their safety and security.

Americans who remain in or travel to Liberia despite this Warning should register with the Embassy's Consular Section through the State Department's travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency and provide updated security information. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the Embassy, which is located at 111 United Nations Drive, Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia; tel. (231) 226-370; fax (231) 226-148.

For additional information, consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Liberia, on the internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions in Liberia 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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