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Indonesia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Oct 26, 2005

This Travel Warning is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Indonesia. This Travel Warning supersedes the May 10, 2005 Travel Warning for Indonesia.

Due to ongoing concerns about the possibility of terrorist attacks directed against American or other western citizens and interests, the Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia. The October 1, 2005 terrorist attacks in Bali in which three simultaneous bombs exploded, killing 23 people and injuring more than 100, are a reminder that terrorists remain active in Indonesia. The possibility remains that terrorists will carry out additional attacks in Bali, Jakarta or other areas of Indonesia in the near future.

The Department urges Americans who choose to travel to Indonesia despite this Travel Warning to observe vigilant personal security precautions and to remain aware of the continued potential for terrorist attacks against American or other Western interests. Americans should monitor local news broadcasts, be aware of their surroundings at all times, vary their routes and times in carrying out daily activities, and consider the level of preventive security when visiting public places in Indonesia. Americans considering non-essential travel to popular tourist and vacation areas in Indonesia, such as Bali, despite this Travel Warning should consider the level of security provided by hotels, restaurants, beaches and other entertainment and recreation areas when planning their trips.

Terrorist attacks could occur at any time and could be directed against any location, including those frequented by foreigners and identifiably American or other western facilities or businesses in Indonesia. Such targets could include but are not limited to places where Americans and other Westerners live, congregate, shop or visit, including hotels, clubs, restaurants, shopping centers, identifiably Western businesses, housing compounds, transportation systems, places of worship, schools, or public recreation events. Reports suggest attacks could include targeting individual American citizens.

In addition to the October 1, 2005 bombings in Bali, several other serious terrorist incidents occurred in Indonesia in recent years. A terrorist bombing outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta on September 9, 2004, killed eleven and injured more than 180 people. An August 2003 terrorist bombing at a major international hotel in Jakarta killed 12 persons and injured scores, including several American citizens. A terrorist attack in Bali in October 2002 killed 202 people, including seven Americans. Suicide bombers wearing explosives in vests or backpacks carried out the October 1, 2005 bombings in Bali. Prior terrorist attacks involved the use of vehicle-borne explosives.

The U.S. Mission in Indonesia restricts U.S. government employees' travel to certain areas of the country and, at times, denies them permission to travel to Indonesia. For the latest security information, contact a U.S. Mission consular office. The U.S. Mission can occasionally suspend service to the public, or close, because of security concerns; in these situations, it will continue to provide emergency services to American citizens. Sectarian, ethnic, communal and separatist violence continue to threaten personal safety and security in several areas. Over the past three years, domestically targeted bombings have struck religious, political, and business targets. In 2003, the Jakarta international airport, an open-air concert in Aceh, and other Indonesian government facilities were bombed.

Americans should avoid travel to Aceh. Northern parts of the island of Sumatra, and particularly the province of Aceh, suffered severe damage following an earthquake and series of tsunami waves on December 26, 2004. While reconstruction efforts are underway, communications infrastructure, roads, medical care and tourist facilities on the western and northern coasts of Sumatra, and on coastal islands off Sumatra, were seriously damaged and have not yet been fully restored. Infrastructure on the island of Nias was seriously damaged in an earthquake on March 28, 2005. Adequate lodging facilities are difficult to find in Aceh and Nias.

Americans should not travel to Aceh to participate in humanitarian relief efforts except under the auspices of a recognized assistance organization that has permission to operate in Indonesia. The Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) signed a peace accord on August 15, 2005, officially ending armed hostilities. However, the overall security situation in Aceh remains unsettled. Humanitarian workers should be cautious of their security when traveling in Aceh due to the continuing potential for separatist and terrorist violence, which could be directed against American or other western humanitarian assistance workers.

Americans participating in relief efforts should make sure that their organization has facilities in place to accommodate and feed staff, and a security plan coordinated with Indonesian authorities. Travel by road after dark is particularly dangerous. All travelers to Aceh should follow health precautions for travelers to the tsunami area from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/travel.

Americans considering travel to the province of Papua should exercise extreme caution because of sectarian, ethnic, communal and separatist strife. Papua's on-going separatist conflict has the potential to become violent. In August 2002, two Americans were killed in Papua under as yet unresolved circumstances.

Americans should avoid travel to Maluku, in particular the capital city of Ambon. Since April 25, 2004, sectarian violence has killed at least 40 and injured more than 220 people.

Americans should avoid travel to Central, South and Southeast Sulawesi; those considering travel to North Sulawesi should exercise extreme caution. Sporadic violence occurred in Poso and in neighboring areas of Central Sulawesi in 2003 and 2004, resulting in several fatalities. Central Sulawesi's general security situation remains unstable; bombings and killings occurred in late 2004 and 2005 in Poso and Palu. A terrorist explosion at Tentana Market in Poso, Central Sulawesi on May 28, 2005 killed 22 people.

The Philippine-based terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group poses an ongoing kidnapping risk/threat in areas near Malaysia and the Philippines.

Americans who travel to Indonesia despite this Travel Warning should obtain up to date health information before departing the U.S. The websites of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control at http://www.cdc.gov/travel and the World Health Organization at http://www.who.int have up to date information on outbreaks of contagious and tropical diseases. Americans considering travel to Indonesia should read the Department of State's Fact Sheet on Avian Influenza dated August 3, 2005, and should consult with their personal physicians concerning avian flu.

Americans living and traveling in Indonesia are urged to register and update their contact information with U.S. Embassy Jakarta, U.S. Consulate General Surabaya or the U.S. Consular Agent in Bali. Registration facilitates the U.S. Mission's contact with Americans in emergency situations, and may be done on line and in advance of travel. Information on registering can be found at the Department of State's Consular Affairs website: https://travelregistration.state.gov. Registration information and recent warden messages are also available on the U.S. Embassy Jakarta website at http://jakarta.usembassy.gov.

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