Nepal Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Dec 22, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to update U.S. citizens on the current
security environment in Nepal, including an increase in anti-American
threats, the designation of the Communist Party of Nepal as a terrorist
organization, and to urge that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to
Nepal. This supersedes the Travel Warning dated October 22, 2003.
On October 31, 2003, the Department of State designated the Communist Party
of Nepal (Maoist) as a terrorist organization under Executive Order 13224.
This designation blocks the Maoists' assets in the U.S. or held by U.S.
citizens wherever located, and bars most transactions with the Maoists,
including but not limited to the making or receiving of any contribution of
funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of those persons designated
under the Executive Order.
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to
Nepal. Rebel violence has increased since the end of the ceasefire on August
27. Since the resumption of hostilities, Maoist statements and leaflets
have carried anti-American slogans. Rebel leadership has continued to issue
anti-American rhetoric against U.S.-sponsored or supported humanitarian
organizations raising security concerns for all U.S. citizens living in or
visiting Nepal. In November 2003, a U.S. government-affiliated training
program in Butwal was terminated early and moved to Kathmandu due to rebels'
There have been increased reports of threats, intimidation, robbery and
extortion by rebels against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, on popular
trekking routes. U.S. citizens and U.S. affiliated interests have also been
targeted specifically for threats and extortion. Several businesses
identified with the U.S. have been physically attacked. U.S. citizens
should be aware that interrupted telephone services to some trekking areas
caused by rebel destruction of communications infrastructure could make it
difficult to locate travelers or to arrange medical evacuations should
Rebel tactics include attacks on Nepalese Government facilities and
commercial transport vehicles, indiscriminate bombings using improvised
explosive devices, assassination attempts against Nepalese officials, and
calls for localized or nationwide strikes ("bandhs"). The random,
unpredictable nature of such actions creates risks of U.S. citizens being in
the wrong place at the wrong time during a violent incident.
U.S. citizens who travel to Nepal despite this Travel Warning should factor
the potential for violence into their plans and maintain a low profile while
in Nepal. U.S. citizens should avoid public demonstrations, particularly
during national strikes or "bandhs," when many businesses are closed and the
lack of public transport or taxis can make travel to and from Kathmandu,
Pokhara and other airports difficult. The Nepalese Government from time to
time institutes curfews for affected districts and police have set up
roaming checkpoints in Kathmandu. U.S. citizens should call the U.S.
Embassy or consult its web site for the latest information on curfews.
While U.S. official personnel continue to conduct travel outside the
Kathmandu Valley, such travel is subject to review and approval on a
case-by-case basis. U.S. citizens are urged to contact the U.S. Embassy in
Kathmandu for the latest security information before undertaking travel to
outlying areas, to travel by air to the greatest extent possible, to avoid
nighttime road travel outside the Kathmandu Valley, and to abide by
U.S. citizens are strongly urged to register with and obtain updated
information on travel and security from the Consular Section of the U.S.
Embassy in Kathmandu by accessing the Embassy's home page at
http://www.south-asia.com/USA, by e-mail to [email protected], or by
personal appearance at the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy is located at Pani
Pokhari in Kathmandu, telephone (977) (1) 441-1179; fax (977) (1) 441-9963.
Further information on travel to Nepal may be obtained from the Department
of State's Consular Information Sheet and Worldwide Caution Public
Announcement by calling 1-888-407-4747 within the United States,
1-317-472-2328 from overseas, or via the Internet on the Department of
State's home page at http://travel.state.gov.