Kyrgyz Republic Public Announcement
Issued by US Department of State
Dec 09, 2002
This Public Announcement revises the Public Announcement of June 6, 2002,
and alerts Americans to ongoing security concerns due to continuing military
actions in the region. This Public Announcement expires on June 2, 2003.
While the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic has been helpful in ensuring the
safety of U.S. citizens, ongoing regional security concerns resulting from
the Kyrgyz Republic's close proximity to Afghanistan require all U.S.
citizens to carefully evaluate the implications for their security and
safety before deciding to travel to the Kyrgyz Republic. The U.S. Embassy in
Bishkek continues to employ heightened security precautions.
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a foreign terrorist organization,
fought alongside Al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan against U.S.
military forces. Following U.S. military actions, the IMU's operational
capabilities were diminished, but the threat of terrorist actions by the IMU
and its sympathizers still exists. IMU operations in the Kyrgyz Republic
have affected American citizens and other foreign nationals in the past. In
1999, armed IMU fighters took four Japanese citizens and a number of Kyrgyz
nationals hostage. In August 2000, members of the IMU crossed the
Tajik-Kyrgyz border, engaged Kyrgyz security forces, and took four American
mountain climbers hostage. In July 2001, Kyrgyz armed forces engaged in a
skirmish with armed individuals south of the city of Khaykrykhan in the
Batken Oblast region. At least two Kyrgyz soldiers were wounded.
Travel by U.S. Government personnel to areas of the Kyrgyz Republic south
and west of Osh is currently restricted. The security situation remains
fluid in the area along the Kyrgyz-Tajik and Kyrgyz-Uzbek borders. This is
due to both the history of IMU activity in the area and the presence of land
mines in the Batken Oblast region and along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. The
U.S. Embassy strongly recommends that American citizens avoid travel to
Americans in the Kyrgyz Republic should exercise due caution and maintain a
strong security posture by being aware of their surroundings, avoiding
crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes
and notifying the U.S. Embassy in case of any change in the local security
U.S. citizens are urged to register and update their contact information and
obtain updated security information from the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek. For
further information on the Kyrgyz Republic, please consult the Department of
State's Consular Information Sheet on the Kyrgyz Republic and the Worldwide
Caution Public Announcement, which are located on the Department's Internet
web site at http://travel.state.gov.