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Indonesia Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. State Department

Nov 27, 2001

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Indonesia. Although the Department of State has authorized the return of all Embassy and Consulate personnel and family members effective November 25, the security situation in many parts of Indonesia puts Americans at potential risk.

Separatist violence in the provinces of Aceh and Irian Jaya; sectarian and ethnic strife in Central and West Kalimantan, Maluku, North Maluku, Central and South Sulawesi; and communal tensions in West Timor have contributed to unsafe conditions in all those regions.

Americans should avoid all travel to the regions of Aceh, Irian Jaya, Maluku, and North Maluku - places where the Indonesian government has restricted travel by U.S. and other foreign government officials - and West Timor, Central and West Kalimantan and Central and South Sulawesi, because of the risk of violence.

Indonesia's frequent political demonstrations are usually peaceful, but can quickly turn violent with little forewarning. There are indications that the bombings that have recently and regularly struck religious, political and business targets throughout Indonesia - such as the attacks on several dozen churches on December 24, 2000, leaving 16 dead and over one hundred injured - will likely recur.

Over the past several months, some militant groups, particularly in the Central Java town of Solo (Surakarta), have threatened to "sweep" Americans from Indonesia and have occasionally intimidated foreign-appearing persons, but security forces have recently prevented them from carrying out their threats. The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group's practice of kidnapping American citizens in the extreme southwest Philippines, near Indonesia, puts Americans in the border region of Kalimantan and North Sulawesi at potential risk. Additionally, there is information that extremist elements may be planning to target U.S. interests in Indonesia, particularly U.S. Government facilities, but also possibly including commercial and other private targets.

American citizens who travel to or reside in Indonesia should exercise maximum caution and take prudent measures such as avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all required travel, remaining acutely aware of their immediate environment, and notifying the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in case of any change in the local security situation. American citizens are also urged to treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with suspicion.

On occasion, the U.S. mission in Indonesia may have to suspend service to the public or close because of security concerns. In those situations, the Embassy will continue to be available by telephone to offer emergency services to American citizens.

Updated information on travel and security in Indonesia may be obtained from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta by calling tel. (62)(21)3435-9000, or the Consulate General in Surabaya by calling tel. (62)(31) 567-2287/8. For further information, U.S. citizens are advised to consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet for Indonesia. The Consular Information Sheet is available at any U.S. embassy or consulate abroad and through the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet home page at http://travel.state.gov.

This Travel Warning supersedes the September 27, 2001, Travel Warning for Indonesia, and is intended to inform U.S. citizens of the termination of authorized departure status of U.S. Embassy employees and family members of U.S. Embassy employees and of the change in the security situation in Indonesia.

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