Zimbabwe Public Announcement

Issued by U.S. State Department

Oct 02, 2007

This Public Announcement is being issued to update travelers on security concerns in Zimbabwe and to advise Americans to consider the risks of travel to Zimbabwe at this time.  This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement issued on July 12, 2007, and expires on December 30, 2007.

The security situation in Zimbabwe is volatile and could deteriorate quickly without warning.  Sharp price cuts on local goods have caused widespread shortages of bread, milk, meat, poultry and gasoline, and other basic goods, resulting in occasional outbreaks of violence as security agents seek to enforce the price cuts and citizens rush to buy available goods.  Visitors should be prepared for food shortages and avoid large gatherings, particularly around shopping areas and in the high-density suburbs of Harare and Bulawayo.

In response to growing public protests against deteriorating conditions, the Zimbabwe Government continues to authorize its security forces to suppress all dissent by whatever means deemed necessary.  In recent months, political leaders at the highest levels of the Zimbabwean government have condoned the security forces use of violence against opponents of the government. The government has defended its right to treat individuals roughly, including those in custody, and has warned of more such actions.

As campaigning and preparations for 2008 presidential elections take place, there is an increased potential for political violence, particularly at large rallies or demonstrations.  American citizens in Zimbabwe should, therefore, exercise caution when traveling within the country and avoid demonstrations and large public gatherings.

The government frequently uses roadblocks to enforce order.  Roadblocks can be particularly dangerous, and extreme caution should be used when approaching them.  Travelers should comply with instructions from police or other security officials to stop at roadblocks. Travelers are advised to carry a mobile phone or other means of communication.

In light of the current circumstances, U.S. citizens are advised to consider the risks before traveling to Zimbabwe at this time.  Americans who do travel to Zimbabwe should closely monitor the situation, keep travel documents up-to-date and make their own contingency plans.  Americans overseas are advised to make or update complete inventories of their household effects and to maintain an adequate supply of food, water, and necessary medications in their home.  See the State Department's information on emergency and crisis planning at http://travel.state.gov/travel/ tips/emergencies/emergencies_1212.html.  American citizens already in Zimbabwe should monitor regularly the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Consular Information Sheet for Zimbabwe , the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and other travel information can be found.  Up to date information on security also can be obtained by emailing consularharare@state.gov or calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada . Callers outside the United States and Canada may call a toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are answered from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

All Americans in Zimbabwe are urged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov, by phone or in person at the U.S. Embassy in Harare . Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Zimbabwe and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency. Security updates are e-mailed to all registered Americans with an e-mail address.

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