Nepal Travel Warning
Issued by U.S. Department of State
Nov 22, 2002
This Public Announcement is being issued to advise of a heightened security risk to American citizens based on threats against the "American Diplomatic Mission" issued by Maoist insurgents. This Public Announcement supersedes the Public Announcement of September 3, 2002. It expires on May 20, 2003.
In a November 15, 2002, press release, the Maoists claimed responsibility for targeting and brutally murdering two locally hired U.S. Embassy security guard employees in separate incidents that occurred on December 15, 2001, and November 9, 2002. Included in the press release are threats of further violence against any party or "diplomatic communities...working against the Maoists," including the "American Diplomatic Mission."
U.S. citizens should consider deferring non-essential travel to Nepal until the implications of the Maoist-issued press statement for the security of Americans in Nepal can be fully ascertained. Americans currently living in or visiting Nepal should heighten their security precautions and awareness at this time. While the Maoist press release states that Maoist actions are not targeted at foreign tourists, its repeated threatening references to the "American Mission" implies a heightened risk for both official and private Americans in Nepal. U.S. citizens should vary routes and times of travel, maintain increased vigilance at all times, keep alert for possible surveillance, and report suspicious activities to the U.S. Embassy's Security Officer.
In areas outside the Kathmandu Valley, the situation is tense and uncertain, with armed conflicts between the Maoists and government security forces occurring sporadically and unpredictably. Several recent incidents of violence have occurred on main highways outside the Kathmandu Valley, including the roads linking Kathmandu with the Tibetan and Indian borders and the tourist destinations of Pokhara and the Chitwan National Park.
Reports of threats against and robberies of American trekkers, property destruction suffered by two businesses with an American affiliation, and anti-American rhetoric by the Maoist leadership indicate continuing risk to Americans in Nepal, particularly outside the Kathmandu Valley.
Americans who want to travel outside the Valley are strongly urged to contact the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu for the most recent security information before undertaking such travel. The security situation in Nepal may change with little notice. Maoist destruction of telephone service and Government offices in some trekking areas complicates efforts to locate Americans and to make arrangements for emergency medical evacuations.
For further information on travel to Nepal, please consult the Department of State's Consular Information Sheet on Nepal and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement dated July 1, 2002, at http://travel.state.gov and the American Embassy in Nepal's home page at http://www.south-asia.com/USA. Americans living in or visiting Nepal are strongly urged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nepal by e-mail by accessing the Embassy's home page or by personal appearance. The U.S. Embassy is located at Pani Pokhari in Kathmandu, telephone (977) (1) 411179; fax (977) (1) 419963.