United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
January 18, 2008
This Travel Warning updates information on Eritrea’s current security situation and reiterates the Department of State’s advice that U.S. citizens defer non-essential travel to Eritrea due to restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara and heightened tensions along the Eritrea-Ethiopia border. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning issued on November 14, 2007.
The Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE) continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats. These restrictions require all visitors and residents to apply with the GSE 10 days in advance for permission to travel outside Asmara city limits. As a result, the U.S. Embassy cannot provide consular assistance in an emergency outside of Asmara. Travelers also should be aware that that the GSE does not inform the U.S. Embassy when American citizens have been arrested or detained.
American citizens considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the undemarcated Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political tensions between the two countries. A firefight between Eritrean and Ethiopian forces took place near the Eritrean town of Tsorena on December 26, 2007. The same month, there was also a report of a United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) vehicle traveling near the same town being disabled by a landmine. U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border.
Americans currently living or traveling in Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State Department’s travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Eritrea. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency and provide updates on the security situations. The U.S. Embassy is located at 179 Alaa Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-04; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site http://asmara.usembassy.gov/.
For additional information, consult the Department of State’s latest Country Specific Information sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.
Squaremouth recommends travel insurance for all your overseas trips.