Issued by US Department of State
Oct 22, 2001
American citizens traveling to East Timor should exercise caution, avoid large gatherings, and remain alert in regard to their personal security.
On August 30, 2001, East Timor held its first election since gaining independence from Indonesia in 1999. East Timor will remain under the authority of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) until it becomes an independent nation in mid-2002. Violence erupted throughout East Timor after the United Nations-sponsored independence referendum in 1999. However, under United Nations supervision, stability has been reestablished throughout the majority of the territory.
Over the last three months, while the security situation has improved, East Timor has continued to experience problems with criminal activity, both violent and non-violent. Most of the crime occurs in the capital, Dili. Expatriates are sometimes targeted by muggers and burglars. Americans are strongly encouraged to exercise caution, particularly at night. Americans should not walk alone in Dili at night. Travelers should avoid areas along the border between East and West Timor. Militia incursions have occurred in the western districts of East Timor, and travelers wishing to visit these areas are encouraged to consult UN authorities in Dili before departing.
Travelers to East Timor should be aware that suitable accommodations outside of Dili are virtually non-existent.
All Americans resident or traveling in East Timor are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta (tel: 62-21-3435-9000), and to obtain updated information on the security situation. Registration may be completed in person, by fax or through the U.S. Embassy home page at http://www.usembassyjakarta.org. Embassy Jakarta currently maintains a temporary representative office in Dili, which can provide limited emergency services to American citizens. The temporary representative office is located in the sea front Farol district of Dili, phone 0407-047052 or 0407-324684.
This Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement for East Timor of August 8, 2001, to provide updated information on the security situation, and it expires on March 31, 2002.