United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
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April 23, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Cote d’Ivoire. U.S. citizens who reside in or travel to Cote d’Ivoire should monitor conditions carefully, maintain situational awareness, and pay very close attention to their personal security. While the security situation has improved during the past several months, the potential for some civil unrest remains. Security conditions could change quickly and without warning. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning of December 16, 2011 to inform U.S. citizens that the U.S. Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire has returned to “fully accompanied” status, and to provide an update on the current security situation.
As of March 26, the U.S. Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire is authorized to operate again as a fully accompanied post, meaning minor dependents of U.S. government employees are now permitted to travel to or accompany family members to Abidjan. Since the post-electoral crisis ended, schools and businesses have reopened and government services such as police and gendarme activity have nearly returned to pre-crisis levels. The airport and ports have also resumed operations at levels at or near the pre-crisis state. With international support, the government is planning security sector reform, the re-opening of the national assembly, infrastructure and educational upgrades, and other activities to further enhance development prospects in Cote d’Ivoire. The Embassy continues to monitor the host country’s capacity for providing basic services to its population, particularly related to safety and security issues. The potential for some civil unrest, however, remains.
Crimes, such as muggings, robbery, burglary, and carjacking, pose risks for foreign visitors in Abidjan and around the country. Embassy personnel are required to obtain approval from the Embassy’s security office for proposed travel to western Cote d’Ivoire because of ethnic tension and criminal activity targeting Western travelers. You should take precautions when stopped in heavy traffic or at road blocks due to the threat of assault and/or robbery, and avoid travel outside Abidjan after dark. Land routes to neighboring countries are open, but you should be cautious and alert when traveling these routes. Local law enforcement authorities have limited capacity to respond to emergencies.
The Embassy instructs its staff to avoid large gatherings, crowds, demonstrations, and political events. U.S. citizens are reminded that even demonstrations and/or political events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations or political events. If you are planning travel to Cote d’Ivoire despite this Travel Warning, particularly to destinations outside of Abidjan, consult the Embassy or your host organization for the most recent security assessments of the areas to which you plan to travel.
You can stay in touch and receive Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy in Cote d’lvoire website. Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 if calling from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.
If you are going to live in or travel to Cote d’Ivoire despite this Travel Warning, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up-to-date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up-to-date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.
The Embassy is located at01 B.P. 1712 Abidjan 01 Cote d’Ivoire. If you have questions or concerns about safety or related issues, you are encouraged to contact the consular section at the Embassy by sending an email message to AbjAmcit@state.gov. The Embassy Consular’s section can be reached by telephone at 225-22-49-45-94 and emergency after-hours telephone at 225-22-49-44-50.