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Madagascar Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Apr 17, 2002

This Travel Warning is being issued in light of the deteriorating security situation in Madagascar and the upgrading from authorized to ordered departure of eligible family members and personnel in non-emergency positions. There have been incidents of violence and the potential for more violence remains. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued March 1, 2002.

The Department of State warns Americans to defer travel to Madagascar. On April 12, 2002, the Department ordered the departure of eligible family members of Embassy staff and personnel in non-emergency positions. Due to recent events in Fianaratsoa province, the Embassy also ordered all its personnel to depart this province. Americans currently in Madagascar should reevaluate their security situation in determining whether to remain in the country.

The complex and difficult political situation in Madagascar following the December 16, 2001 presidential election continues to evolve. There have been large demonstrations with occasional violence. The Government of Madagascar declared a national state of emergency and on February 28, declared martial law in Antananarivo.

Commercial transportation to and from Madagascar is subject to interruption without warning. Airlines servicing the country are adjusting their flight schedules in response to changing circumstances. Fuel supplies are depleted. The destruction of four bridges leading to the capital and numerous roadblocks may delay travel. There are shortages of medical and food supplies in all parts of the country, and curfews in some areas.

There have been no reports of injuries to U.S. citizens and demonstrations have not been aimed at foreign visitors or residents. However, at least 24 people have been killed since the political crisis began, including one Canadian citizen on April 12 during a violent clash in Fianaratsoa. The Embassy advises Americans to avoid the city and province of Fianaratsoa until the situation stabilizes. Americans should avoid demonstrations, and limit their travel.

The Department of State urges U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Madagascar to monitor media reports for current information. Safety and security information may also be obtained by contacting the U.S. Embassy in Antananarivo at tel. 261-20-22-212-57.

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