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Macedonia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Jul 24, 2001

The Department of State warns American citizens to defer all travel to Macedonia. Due to increased anti-Western sentiment, U.S. citizens living in Macedonia should continue to review their personal security situations, exercise caution and, if appropriate, depart the country. The situation in Macedonia is unsettled and potentially dangerous as a result of armed clashes between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian extremists. On June 25, rioters staged violent protests in downtown Skopje. Macedonian security forces were unable to control the crowd. As a result, the Department has authorized the departure of Embassy personnel in non-emergency positions and family members of Embassy personnel. In addition, U.S. Government facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time as necessary to review their security posture and ensure its adequacy.

At the present time, civilian airlines are continuing to fly into Skopje or Ohrid. This situation may change, however, should the security situation deteriorate. Periodic closures of the border with Kosovo have occurred with little or no notice and may continue to do so.

Armed gunmen have set up checkpoints, and claim control of some villages in the area east of the Crna Gora Mountains and the area north and west of Tetovo and Gostivar. Macedonian security forces have also established checkpoints. U.S. Government personnel are currently prohibited from going into the cities of Tetovo, Debar, and Kicevo, the area west of the Tetovo-Kicevo highway to the Albanian border and north of Debar and Kicevo, the area north of Skopje and Tetovo up to the Kosovo and Serbian border, and to the north and west of Kumanovo to the Kosovo border. Private Americans who choose to remain in Macedonia despite this Travel Warning should take similar precautions. Travel restrictions on official Americans are subject to change on short notice.

Amid a climate of rising anti-foreigner sentiment, there has been an increase in acts of intimidation and violence against American citizens in Macedonia. U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness and to reduce their vulnerability. Americans should maintain a low profile, avoid crowds and demonstrations, monitor local news sources and vary routes and times for all required travel. All Americans in Macedonia are urged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Skopje and to consult the Embassy for updated safety and security information.

This Travel Warning replaces the June 26 Travel Warning for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to update the security situation. For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Macedonia on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov.

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