Ivory Coast Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jun 15, 2011
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risk of travel to Cote d'Ivoire. U.S. citizens who reside in or travel to Cote d'Ivoire should watch conditions carefully, maintain situational awareness, and pay very close attention to their personal security. While the security situation in Abidjan is improving, it could change quickly and without advanced warning. Instances may continue to arise where the best course of action is for citizens to temporarily shelter in place if it is otherwise generally safe to do so. Effective June 15, the Department of State is lifting the Ordered Departure for U.S. government employees and adult family members at the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan. At that time, the embassy will become a partially unaccompanied post, meaning that no minor dependents of U.S. government employees will be permitted to travel to Cote d’Ivoire. Although staff levels at the embassy will return to normal, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency may be limited in certain circumstances. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning of April 14, 2011 to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation.
Although Abidjan is considerably calmer since the arrest of former President Gbagbo, law and order have yet to return to all of Abidjan’s neighborhoods and some parts of the countryside. Police and military are limited in their capacity to respond to requests for assistance and are not yet able to reestablish authority at pre-crisis levels.
If you are planning travel to Cote d'Ivoire, particularly to destinations outside of Abidjan, you should consult the Embassy or your host organization(s) for the most recent security assessment of the areas where you plan to travel. Crimes such as mugging, robbery, burglary, and carjacking pose risks for foreign visitors in Abidjan. You should be careful when stopped in heavy traffic or at roadblocks due to the threat of assault and/or robbery, and you should avoid travel outside of the city after dark. Land routes to neighboring countries are open, but be cautious and alert when traveling these routes.
The Department of State has authorized the return of adult Eligible Family Members of U.S. government employees to the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan effective June 15. However, no minor dependents will be permitted, and Embassy personnel are required to adhere to strict security policies and procedures. We have instructed Embassy employees and their adult dependents to be cautious when traveling within Abidjan, and weencourage U.S. citizens to exercise caution, remain vigilant, maintain situational awareness at all times, and take appropriate security precautions to ensure personal safety.
U.S. citizens who reside or travel to Cote d’Ivoire should be aware of the current limitations imposed upon the U.S. Embassy. Under certain circumstances, the Embassy may have a diminished ability to respond to U.S. citizens requesting assistance.
U.S. citizens who wish to depart the country should check the Abidjan International Airport website for flight availability.
U.S. citizens in Cote d’Ivoire are urged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan for information on the latest Embassy security guidelines, and to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan at Riviera Golf neighborhood of the Cocody section of Abidjan, east of the downtown area during normal business hours--Monday through Thursday 07:30 to 16:30, Friday 07:30 to 13:30.
The Department of State's latest Country Specific Information sheet for the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire and the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert are located on the Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov. The Embassy Consular’s section can be reached by telephone at 225-22-49-40-00 and emergency after-hours telephone at 225-22-49-44-50.
Updated information on travel and security in Cote d’Ivoire is available toll-free at 1-888-407-4747 from within the United States and Canada, and, for callers in other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).