Liberia Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jan 21, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to alert Americans to ongoing threats
and dangers in Liberia which stem from intensified fighting, roadblocks,
increased crime, and rising instability caused by the movements of refugees
and other civilians fleeing violence in Cote d'Ivoire. Furthermore, the
Liberian government has made statements blaming the U.S. for problems within
Liberia. All of this represents a deterioration in the security situation
in Liberia and a potential danger for American citizens there. This
supersedes the May 21, 2002, Travel Warning for Liberia.
The Department of State reaffirms and strengthens its warning to U.S.
citizens against traveling to or remaining in Liberia due to the unstable
security situation throughout the country. Dissidents during the last year
have clashed with government troops in a number of areas, including the
counties of Lofa, Gbarpolu, Bomi, Margibi and Bong. The fighting may spread
to other areas of the country without warning. With the onset of the dry
season, fighting has reportedly increased in many areas. This has led to
the closure of principal roads to Sierra Leone and Guinea and from Monrovia
to the western part of the country.
The presence of many ill-trained and often heavily armed government security
personnel in the country can constitute a serious danger as well.
Roadblocks throughout the country manned by armed soldiers or militias with
varying levels of training and discipline create the potential for flash
points without warning or provocation.
The war in Cote d'Ivoire has resulted in the outflow of large numbers of
refugees and other civilians into bordering countries. Inflows into Liberia
are overloading already-limited social services and further increasing the
sense of insecurity in the country.
Recently, the government of Liberia has voiced vague warnings about the
alleged presence of foreign assassins in Liberia. Such warnings could
result in anti-foreigner sentiment. A recent call for public demonstrations
against the policies of the United States, other public statements and press
articles accusing the U.S. of intrusive involvement in the affairs of the
Liberian government, and even suggestions that the U.S. is at fault for the
problems of Liberia, all present new potential threats for Americans in
U.S. citizens who choose to travel to or remain in Liberia despite this
warning should be aware of their surroundings at all times and use caution
in traveling. Travel anywhere after dark is strongly discouraged. Owing to
the potential for violence, U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political
rallies and street demonstrations. In addition, due to recent animosities
among security forces, U.S. citizens should avoid any gathering of such
forces. Americans should report any threats or suspicious activity to the
Embassy in Monrovia and monitor the local media for developments that may
affect their safety and security.
Due to the security situation, the ability of the U.S. Embassy to provide
direct assistance to U.S. citizens outside of the Monrovia area is severely
limited. From time to time, the U.S. Embassy restricts the travel of U.S.
Government employees by both time and location; U.S. citizens in Liberia
should check with the Embassy for current information regarding these
restrictions. The Department prohibits dependents from accompanying U.S.
Government employees to Liberia.
Americans in Liberia are strongly urged to register and to obtain updated
information on travel and security in Liberia at the Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy at 111 United Nations Drive, Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia,
telephone (231) 226-370, fax (231) 226-148. Travelers should also consult
the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Liberia and
Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at .