Issued by US Department of State
Mar 06, 2006
This Travel Warning is issued to alert U.S. citizens to ongoing safety and security concerns in Cote d'Ivoire. The Department of State continues to prohibit minor dependents from accompanying U.S. government employees assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, and urges Americans to defer non-essential travel to that country. This supersedes the Travel Warning of August 25, 2005.
In November 2004, fighting between Ivorian government forces and the New Forces resulted in the deaths of French peacekeepers and an American citizen. The French reaction precipitated widespread rioting, looting, and violence in Abidjan and elsewhere. This violence was directed primarily against the French, but other expatriate and some Ivorian individuals, homes, and businesses were affected. Elections did not take place at the end of October 2005 as scheduled, and after protracted negotiations, the president's term was extended to the end of October 2006. In December 2005, a coalition government, which included the New Forces, was formed and tasked with advancing the peace process and facilitating elections by October 2006.
In January 2006, there were renewed demonstrations in Abidjan and other areas in the south, directed against the UN and French presence. UN peacekeepers fired on demonstrators in the western town of Guiglo, killing several people. The security situation remains tense and potentially volatile, but shops and businesses are open. Travel throughout the south, controlled by forces loyal to President Gbagbo, is possible, and overland routes to the north, still controlled by the New Forces, are also open. Extreme caution is recommended at all times when traveling within the country. The airport currently operates normally and handles a number of flights by regional and European carriers. Land routes to the Ghanaian border are open.
Embassy employees are asked to limit their travel within Abidjan and to avoid travel at night. Travel to most areas outside of the capital is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Private American citizens are urged to follow the same guidelines. Americans should also ensure that their vehicles are fully fueled and that they have adequate cooking fuel, food and water for several days.
The new U.S. Embassy is located in the Riviera Golf neighborhood of the Cocody section of Abidjan. The Embassy may close to the public temporarily from time to time in response to security developments. U.S. citizens who remain in, or travel to, Cote d'Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Cote d'Ivoire and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at