United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
June 01, 2007
This revised Travel Warning updates U.S. citizens on ongoing safety and security concerns in Cote d’Ivoire. The Department of State continues to urge Americans to defer all non-essential travel to Cote d’Ivoire. This supersedes the Travel Warning of December 18, 2006.
Cote d’Ivoire has experienced continued, periodic episodes of political unrest and violence, sometimes directed against foreigners, since 2002 when a failed coup attempt resulted in civil war. Clashes between Ivorian government forces and ex-rebel forces resulted in the deaths of French peacekeepers and one American citizen in 2004. The security situation continues to be poor and unpredictable throughout the country, particularly in Abidjan and in the western part of Cote d’Ivoire.
In March 2007, after multiple peace accords and postponed national elections, Ivorian President Gbagbo and the New Forces rebel leader, Guillaume Soro, signed a peace agreement that established a new transitional government with Gbagbo as President and Soro as Prime Minister.
UN and French peacekeepers remain in the country. The new government is tasked with disarmament, demobilization, reintegration of former combatants, creating a national identification system, and organizing elections by early 2008. Most key tasks remain unaccomplished, and political violence could still break out unexpectedly at any time.
Given the tense and potentially volatile security situation, the Department of State urges American citizens to defer non-essential travel to Cote d’Ivoire. For those who must travel to Cote d’Ivoire despite this warning, the U.S. Embassy recommends extreme caution when traveling within the country. Shops and businesses are open, and travel throughout the south, although controlled by forces loyal to President Gbagbo is possible. Overland routes to the north, still controlled by the New Forces, are also open. The airport currently operates normally and handles a number of flights by regional and European carriers. Land routes to the Ghanaian border are open.
The Department of State continues to prohibit minor dependents from accompanying U.S. government employees assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan. Embassy employees are asked to limit their travel within Abidjan and to avoid travel at night. Private Americans are urged to follow the same guidelines. U.S. Embassy personnel must obtain prior approval before traveling north of Yamoussoukro, west of Sassandra, or east of Assinie (including to the Ghanaian border). Americans should ensure that their vehicles are fully fueled and that they have adequate cooking fuel, food, and water to last several days.
The new U.S. Embassy is located in the Riviera Golf neighborhood of the Cocody section of Abidjan. The Embassy may close to the public temporarily from time to time in response to security developments. U.S. citizens who remain in, or travel to, Cote d’Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State’s latest Consular Information Sheet for Cote d’Ivoire and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. Americans should register with the U.S. Embassy by completing a registration form online, by calling (225) 22-49-40-00, or faxing (225) 22-49-42-02. Americans in Cote d’Ivoire who need assistance should contact the Embassy at (225) 22-49-40-00. American citizens may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions in Cote d’Ivoire by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from all other countries.
Squaremouth recommends travel insurance for all your overseas trips.