Eritrea Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Jun 05, 2006

This Travel Warning is being issued to advise American citizens to defer non-essential travel to Eritrea due to increased restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara. This Travel Warning also provides information on Eritreas current security situation and supersedes the Public Announcement issued on December 9, 2005.

On May 30, 2006, the Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE) informed U.S. Embassy Asmara of new travel restrictions for all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats in Eritrea. The new restrictions, effective June 1, 2006, require all visitors and residents to obtain travel permits from the GSE for any travel outside of the Asmara city limits. American citizens currently in Eritrea, but outside of Asmara, are advised to contact local Zoba authorities for further information.

The GSE has cited security and safety concerns as the reasons for requiring travel permits for all travel outside Asmara. Due to these revised travel restrictions, the U.S. Embassy cannot guarantee consular assistance in an emergency outside of Asmara, and the Department of State recommends U.S. citizens defer all non-essential travel at this time.

American citizens also should be aware that tensions remain high due to the border dispute with Ethiopia. Additionally, over the last year, some long-term expatriate residents were ordered to leave Eritrea on short notice and without explanation, while others are finding their activities subject to increased government scrutiny. Similarly, a number of international organizations have been asked to cease some or all of their operations in the country.

In October 2005, the GSE imposed significant restrictions on the UN Observer Mission (UNMEE) working in the temporary security zone on the Eritrean side of the disputed border, and ordered the departure of American, Canadian, European and Russian members of UNMEE staff. Other UN agencies in Eritrea ordered dependents to depart Eritrea in mid-November 2005.

Americans currently living or traveling in Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State Department's travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Eritrea. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency and provide updates on the security situations. The U.S. Embassy is located at 179 Alaa Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-04; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site http://asmara.usembassy.gov/.

For additional information, consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

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