Cigna International Health Insurance

Zimbabwe Public Announcement

Issued by US Department of State

Jul 12, 2007

This Public Announcement informs U.S. citizens of security concerns in Zimbabwe and advises them to carefully consider the risks of travel to Zimbabwe. This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement issued on May 11, 2007, and expires on September 30, 2007.

Sharp price cuts on local goods have caused shortages of bread, milk, meat, poultry and gasoline, and other basic goods, resulting in 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. Political leaders at the highest levels of the Zimbabwean government are condoning the security forces use of violence, including lethal force, against anyone the Government perceives as an opponent. Security forces increasingly use force against protestors and other civilians, often without provocation, and act with impunity. The Government publicly has defended its right to treat individuals roughly, including those in custody, and has warned of more such abuses. A particular concern is the Governments use of youth militia to suppress dissent. These so-called "Green Bombers" have perpetrated some of the worst offenses, are undisciplined, and often are under the influence of drugs.

While heavily-populated urban areas remain the focal point for the Governments crackdown, the U.S. Embassy has received reports of indiscriminate state-sponsored violence in rural areas, including tourist, hunting, and safari areas. American citizens in Zimbabwe should minimize travel within the country and, to the extent practicable, avoid public places and gatherings. The Government frequently uses road blocks to enforce order. Road blocks 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 road blocks. 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. 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 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.

The U.S. Embassy is located at 172 Herbert Chitepo Ave. The 24- hour telephone number is (263) 4-250-593; fax (263) 4-590-593. The U.S. Embassy website is http://harare.usembassy.gov/. In the event of an after-hours emergency, please call the above number and ask to be transferred to the duty officer.

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