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Papua New Guinea Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Jun 22, 2007

This Public Announcement is being issued to alert Americans to the possibility of violence in connection with upcoming national elections in Papua New Guinea. Americans traveling to or residing in Papua New Guinea should consider these risks in making their plans. This Public Announcement expires on August 15, 2007.

Papua New Guinea's national elections will take place from June 30 to July 10, 2007, with final results likely to be announced in early August. The period surrounding the elections is likely to be volatile, which may affect the security situation. Election-related violence, mainly between opposing clans and political groups, may occur in the Highlands region. Provinces of particular concern include Southern Highlands (where violence accompanied the 2002 national elections), Enga, Western Highlands, Chimbu, and Eastern Highlands provinces. Election-related violence is also of concern in Port Moresby and Lae, particularly in the settlement areas.

Polling is scheduled to take place in each of the Highlands provinces as follows:

- Southern Highlands - June 30

- Enga - July 3

- Western Highlands - July 6

- Eastern Highlands and Chimbu provinces - July 9

Polling in all other provinces will be staggered throughout the eleven days of voting. Given the multiple polling sites, local law enforcement authorities may face challenges in providing adequate security.

Americans could inadvertently be caught up in violence directed at others. We wish to remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. This can include large public gatherings, polling places, and counting centers.

Americans living or traveling in Papua New Guinea are encouraged to register and update their contact information at the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby. Registration may be done on line, and can be done in advance of travel. Information on registering can be found at the Department of State's Consular Affairs website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. The U.S. Embassy is located on Douglas Street, adjacent to the Bank of Papua New Guinea, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The Embassy's telephone number is (675) 321-1455; after hours duty officer telephone number is (675-683-7943); fax (675) 321-1593. The Embassy's telephone number is (675) 321-1455; after hours duty officer telephone number is (675-683-7943); fax (675) 321-1593.

For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Public Announcements, Travel Warnings, and health-information resources 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 outside the U.S. and Canada, 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).

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