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Lesotho Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Sep 18, 2014

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Lesotho at this time due to continued concerns regarding the security situation. On September 3, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-working eligible family members of the U.S. Embassy in Maseru. The U.S. Peace Corps has also taken steps to ensure the safety of its staff and volunteers. This replaces the Travel Warning issued on September 3, 2014 to reflect the current security situation.

Following a violent confrontation between police and the army on Saturday August 30, the Lesotho police have returned to normal duties, but command and control of the army remains unresolved.

The U.S. Embassy in Maseru, Lesotho is open for normal services. U.S. citizens should be aware that, depending on the security situation, the U.S. Embassy may suspend operations without advance notice. The international airport in Maseru is operating as usual, however, flights may be suspended if the security situation deteriorates. Land borders are also open at this time, but may close without warning. U.S. citizens who remain in Lesotho despite this Travel Warning are urged to monitor media reports closely, and to follow all official instructions. For U.S. citizens who choose to remain in Lesotho and are based in Maseru City, travel outside of Maseru City is not recommended. If you must travel outside of Maseru City, the U.S. Embassy strongly advises that you travel only during daylight hours and return to Maseru City prior to nightfall. While no specific areas of Lesotho are off-limits, it is recommended that all travelers consult local media sources and follow all official instructions prior to travel outside of Maseru. We further encourage U.S. citizens to exercise caution, be alert to their surroundings, and avoid crowds, demonstrations, or any other form of public gathering.

U.S. citizens should carry their travel documents (i.e., U.S. passport, birth certificate, picture IDs, etc.) with them at all times or secure them in a safe, waterproof location. Additionally, all U.S. citizens in the area are reminded to stay in contact with friends and family in the United States to keep them apprised of their whereabouts.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or remaining in Lesotho despite this Travel Warning enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so you can receive the most up-to-date security information. Please keep all of your information in STEP current. It is important when enrolling or updating information to include multiple phone numbers and email addresses to facilitate communication in the event of an emergency.

U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information for Lesotho, the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts and the Worldwide Caution. You may also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.

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