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Ivory Coast Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Jun 21, 2004

This Travel Warning is being issued to update U.S. citizens on ongoing safety and security concerns. The Department continues to urge U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Cote d'Ivoire and to remind them of ongoing safety and security concerns. This supersedes the Travel Warning of February 4, 2004.

The Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Cote d'Ivoire. Travel by U.S. Government personnel outside of the greater Abidjan area requires authorization by the Ambassador. Private Americans who remain in or visit Cote d'Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should avoid travel into the interior of the country.

Former rebel forces, known as the New Forces, control most of northern Cote d'Ivoire, including the cities of Bouake and Korhogo, while the official capital, Yamoussoukro, and the commercial capital, Abidjan, remain under the control of government forces. Although both government and New Forces representatives continue to proclaim support for the cease-fire agreement, the situation remains volatile and there have been several outbreaks of violence since the parties declared an end to hostilities in mid-2003.

While Abidjan and other areas outside the zones of conflict may appear calm, the situation is unpredictable, and sporadic fighting in and beyond the cease-fire monitoring zone have taken place. Some violent incidents in Abidjan have been directed against specific diplomatic missions as well as foreign military and international peacekeeping operations. Anti-foreign attacks have resulted in serious injuries to persons and property. Individuals have been pulled from vehicles, businesses and schools entered, and families harassed.

Resident Americans are urged to exercise caution in their activities. Land routes to the Ghanaian border remain open. The international airport of Abidjan remains open and operational and airlines continue their flights into and out of the capital. However, the 43rd BIMA French military base in the Port Bouet section of Abidjan is close to the airport and a potential chokepoint when demonstrations occur.

U.S. citizens who remain in Cote d'Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Cote d'Ivoire, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are available via the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or 317-472-2328 from overseas.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan may close temporarily for general business from time to time to review its security posture. American citizens visiting or resident in Cote d'Ivoire are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy by calling (225) 20-21-09-79, by fax at (225) 20-22-45-23, or by completing a registration form on-line at http://bidjan.usembassy.gov/.

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