Liberia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jan 07, 2004
This Travel Warning is being issued to update security information on
Liberia. The Department of State continues to urge American citizens to
defer non-essential travel. This supersedes the Travel Warning of September
There is no effective police force in Liberia at this time, and UNMIL
peacekeepers likely will not be fully deployed for several more months. On
December 7, 2003, the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) began its
disarmament program, through which armed combatants exchange their weapons
for payment. The influx of personnel to that site resulted in increased
incidents of armed robbery in the area of the weapons collection zone.
The disarmament program is expected to continue for many months, at multiple
sites throughout the country. For the immediate future, more occurrences of
localized violence are possible, particularly in and around disarmament
Although the Department of State lifted the Ordered Departure status for
non-emergency employees of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia in September 2003,
the Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens to defer
non-essential travel to Liberia. The US Embassy has imposed restrictions on
travel outside Monrovia by personnel due to security concerns. Private
Americans who remain in or travel to Liberia despite this Warning should
avoid travel into the interior of the country. The situation in Monrovia
and other areas outside the zones of conflict remains unpredictable, and
resident Americans are urged to exercise caution in their activities.
Airlines continue limited flights into and out of Monrovia, although this
may change periodically.
Despite successful peace talks and deployment of ECOMIL forces earlier in
2003, low-intensity fighting between rebel and government forces continues
to flare up in the countryside. Due to the fighting, principal roads to
Sierra Leone and Guinea, and from Monrovia to western Liberia, are often
closed. Travel over many roads has become prohibitively dangerous. There
is also a high threat of violent crime in Monrovia and elsewhere.
The security situation in general, both government and rebel roadblocks, and
the lack of reliable communications systems in Liberia limit the Embassy's
ability to provide assistance to U.S. citizens outside the Monrovia area.
U.S. citizens in Liberia should be aware of their surroundings at all times
and use caution in traveling. Travel anywhere after dark is strongly
discouraged. Owing to the potential for violence, U.S. citizens should
avoid crowds, political rallies, street demonstrations, and any gathering of
security forces. Americans should report any threats or suspicious activity
to the Embassy in Monrovia and monitor the local media for developments that
may affect their safety and security.
The U.S. Embassy in Liberia may temporarily close to the public from time to
time to review its security posture. Americans who remain in Liberia
despite this Travel Warning are strongly urged to register and to obtain
updated information on travel and security in Liberia at the Consular
Section of the U.S. Embassy at 111 United Nations Drive, Mamba Point,
Monrovia, Liberia, telephone (231) 226-370, fax (231) 226-148. Travelers
should also consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information
Sheet for Liberia and Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at
travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information
on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United
States or Canada, and 317-472-2328 from overseas.