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Liberia Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Nov 09, 2011

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for unrest and disruptions in Monrovia following the November 8, 2011 presidential runoff election. On November 7, 2011, confrontations, some including violence, occurred between the police and demonstrators in the Sinkor area of Monrovia. There is no evidence foreign citizens are being targeted for violence. The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens to exercise extreme caution and avoid travel to this portion of Monrovia. This Travel Alert expires November 21, 2011.

U.S. citizens planning to travel to Monrovia during and immediately following the runoff vote on November 8 should monitor local news, assess local conditions and travel routes, and consult the Embassy’s website for Emergency Messages to U.S. Citizens when making travel plans. U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Liberia should be aware that Liberia's police force has limited resources and is rebuilding. The Liberia National Police has a strong presence in Monrovia, but less of a presence outside of Monrovia. There is a UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), but its mandate is to ensure political stability in Liberia. U.S. citizens who travel around Liberia should understand that the role of UN Police (UNPOL) officers is to serve as advisors to the Liberia National Police. Accordingly, they do not have the authority to arrest or detain, and they are unarmed.

U.S. citizens in Liberia should be aware of their surroundings at all times and use caution when moving around, especially at night. Travel outside of Monrovia after dark is strongly discouraged, as roads are in poor condition and thus dangerous to navigate at night. U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, and street demonstrations, and should maintain security awareness at all times. Demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational, and possibly escalate into violence between demonstrators and/or local law enforcement. U.S. citizens should avoid areas of demonstrations and exercise caution in the event they find themselves in the vicinity of a demonstration.

For U.S. citizens already in Liberia, the U.S. Embassy also recommends that you take this opportunity to ensure that passports for all family members are up to date. U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry a photocopy of their passports with them at all times so that, if questioned by local officials, proof of identity and citizenship is readily available. If detained or arrested, U.S. citizens should always ask to be allowed to contact the U.S. Embassy.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Monrovia website. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler IPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

If you are going to live in or travel to Liberia, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy in Monrovia is located on United Nations Drive in Mamba Point; mailing address 111 UN Drive, Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia. The Embassy telephone number is 231 (0) 77-054-825. The Embassy fax number is 231 (0) 77-010-370.

For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens in Liberia should call ( 231) 77-054-825 and ask to speak with the duty officer.

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