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Cote d'Ivoire Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Dec 10, 2002

This supersedes the Travel Warning for Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) dated October 18, 2002, to reflect an expansion in fighting between rebel elements and Ivoirian government forces.

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Cote d'Ivoire and strongly urges that Americans in the country depart. Rebel forces control most of northern Cote d'Ivoire, including the towns of Bouake and Korhogo, while the capital, Yamoussoukro, and the commercial capital, Abidjan, remain under the government's control. Although the government of Cote d'Ivoire and the rebel forces have signed an agreement to cease hostilities, the situation has become increasingly volatile. In late November, fighting occurred in western Cote d'Ivoire, with new rebel groups capturing the towns of Man and Danane and other areas.

In October, the Department ordered the departure of U.S. Government personnel in non-emergency positions and family members of all U.S. Government personnel in Cote d'Ivoire. While the situation in Abidjan and other areas outside the zones of conflict may appear calm, the situation is unpredictable, and we urge private Americans to leave the country while space is still available on outgoing flights. The international airport in Abidjan is currently open and operational during non-curfew hours, and airlines continue their flights into and out of Abidjan with revised schedules. Land routes to the Ghanaian border remain open, although they are subject to extensive delays due to roadblocks. Travel by U.S. Government personnel outside of Abidjan is authorized only on an exceptional basis by the Ambassador. Private Americans who remain in Abidjan despite this Travel Warning should avoid travel into the interior.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan may temporarily close for general business from time to time to review its security posture. Americans can obtain updated information on the security situation by contacting the U.S. Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 (within the U.S.) or 317-472-2328 (outside the U.S). U.S. citizens who remain in Cote d'Ivoire despite this Travel Warning are urged to register with the U.S. Embassy by calling (225) 20-21-09-79 or by fax at (225) 20-22-45-23.

Americans should closely monitor the Department's Web site at . For additional information on travel to Cote d'Ivoire, please consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Cote d'Ivoire. Travelers should also review the Department's Worldwide Caution Public Announcement. All of these documents are available at http://travel.state.gov.

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