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Special Advisories

For a complete list of the U.S. Department of State's Alerts and Warnings, see the their webpage. The Alerts & Warnings found below affect DU Travelers currently registered and abroad in the following locations:

Worldwide Caution UPDATE September 12, 2016, 1:50PM MDT TIME

As part of the State Department's continuous efforts to provide U.S. citizens traveling abroad with information about relevant events, we are updating the Worldwide Caution with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Current information suggests that terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in multiple regions. Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated March 3, 2016.

ISIL (aka Da'esh) has called on supporters to attack U.S. citizens and coalition partners wherever they are. In the past year, major terrorist attacks occurred in Belgium, France, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh among others. Authorities believe there is a continued likelihood of attacks against U.S., Western, and coalition partner interests throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia.

U.S. citizens have been kidnapped and murdered by members of terrorist and violent extremist groups and U.S. citizens continue to be at risk of kidnappings and hostage events as ISIL/Da'esh, Taliban elements, al-Qa'ida, and their affiliates attempt to finance their operations through kidnapping-for-ransom operations.

Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons to target official government and private interests. Recent attacks indicate that extremists remain interested in attacking "soft" targets, such as:

high-profile public events
hotels, clubs, and restaurants
places of worship
schools
shopping malls and markets
tourism infrastructure
public transportation systems
events where Westerners gather in large numbers, including during holidays.
Below, we provide information specific to different regions and countries. Please check travel.state.gov for additional information.

EUROPE: Credible information indicates terrorist groups such as ISIL/Da'esh, and al-Qa'ida and affiliates continue to plot attacks in Europe as foreign fighters return home from Syria and Iraq, while other individuals may be radicalized or inspired by ISIL propaganda. In the past year extremists have carried out attacks in France, Belgium, Germany and Turkey. European authorities continue to warn of additional attacks on major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers, places of worship, and the transportation sector. All European countries remain vulnerable to attacks from transnational terrorist organizations and U.S. citizens are urged to exercise vigilance while in public places.

MIDDLE EAST and NORTH AFRICA: Credible information indicates terrorist groups also continue to seek to attack U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. Private U.S. citizens should not travel to any country to participate in armed conflict. U.S. citizens are reminded that fighting on behalf of or providing other forms of support to designated terrorist organizations, can constitute the provision of material support for terrorism, which is a serious crime that can result in penalties including prison time and large fines.

In Syria, the security situation is dangerous and unpredictable as a civil war between government and armed anti-government groups continues throughout the country. Extremist groups including ISIL/Da'esh, and al-Qa'ida have kidnapped and killed Westerners in Syria.

U.S.-designated terrorist groups operating in Lebanon include Hizballah, ISIL/Da'esh, elements of al-Qa'ida in Syria, Hamas, and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB). U.S. citizens have been the target of terrorist attacks in Lebanon, and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity remains high.

ISIL/Da'esh controls significant territory in northern, western, and central Iraq, and continues to attack Iraqi security forces and civilians in those areas.

In Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, and Algeria, groups affiliated with ISIL, al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and other terrorist groups have conducted attacks against both foreign and local targets.

In Yemen, the level of instability and ongoing threats, including the threat of kidnapping, is severe. Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIL/Da'esh remain threats to U.S. citizens there.

AFRICA: AQIM, al-Murabitun, and ISIL/Da'esh are active in West Africa and the Sahel and have conducted attacks in Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. AQIM has also declared its intention to attack Western targets in the Sahel (Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad), and it has claimed responsibility for kidnapping and/or murdering several Westerners in the region.

In Nigeria, the extremist group Boko Haram/ISIL-West Africa has claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks, mainly in northern Nigeria. Boko Haram has carried out attacks in Cameroon's Far North Region, western Chad, and southern Niger, targeting foreign expatriates, tourists, and government leaders, and continues to pose a threat to the region

In Somalia, Al-Shabaab has conducted assassinations, suicide bombings, hostage taking, and indiscriminate attacks in civilian-populated areas, and the commercial aviation sector. Al-Shabaab remains a threat to neighboring countries in the East Africa region.

SOUTH ASIA: The U.S. government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against U.S. facilities, citizens, and interests. The presence of al-Qa'ida, Taliban elements, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Da'esh; indigenous sectarian groups, and other terrorist organizations, pose a danger to U.S. citizens in the region.

In Pakistan, terrorist attacks have occurred against civilian, government, and foreign targets. Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily guarded sites, including Pakistani military installations and airports. Extremist groups have also targeted hotels and Western interests in Pakistan's settled areas, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Quetta. Terrorists and criminal groups also have resorted to kidnapping for ransom.

No province in Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence and crime, and the strong possibility exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted or random, against U.S. and other foreign nationals at any time. Taliban and other extremist organizations remain active in every province of the country and frequently target both Afghan government and foreign interests, including for kidnapping.

India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect U.S. citizens directly or indirectly. Anti-Western terrorist groups active in India include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e Tayyiba. Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by Westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas.

Since September 2015, Bangladesh has experienced a series of increasingly sophisticated violent attacks. These include an attack against a restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave that killed more than 20 people, including one U.S. citizen, as well as bombs and other attacks against gatherings of religious groups and security forces. ISIL publicly claimed credit for many of these attacks. Additionally, groups claiming to represent al-Qa'ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) asserted responsibility for a series of threats and terrorist attacks targeting writers, publishers, and others in the media, including the murder of a U.S. citizen blogger.

CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qa'ida, and the Islamic Jihad Union remain active in Central Asia. These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government interests. Other extremists groups and lone wolf attackers remain a concern, as was the case on August 30, 2016, when an individual detonated a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device at the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, approximately 400 meters from the U.S. Embassy.

EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC: Information from credible sources suggests that there is a continued risk of armed terrorist and criminal groups operating and planning attacks against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, in the East Asian and Pacific region. Over the past year, many regional extremists have shown strong aspirations to join ISIL/Da'esh and pursue its goals. Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Abu Sayyaf Group have cells operating throughout Southeast Asia and JI is linked to al-Qa'ida and other regional terrorist groups.

There is a risk of travel to the southern Philippines, specifically related to kidnapping threats in the Sulu Archipelago and the ongoing threat of violence on the island of Mindanao, particularly in Central Mindanao. Foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia are also targets for kidnappings for ransom. Criminal or terrorist bands may attempt to intercept boats ferrying tourists in the area as well. Malaysian authorities have confirmed links between ISIL/Da'esh and the June 28, 2016 explosion at a nightclub in the Puchong area of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In Indonesia, extremists still have the ability to carry out small-scale violent attacks. U.S. citizens should avoid high-risk areas, be cautious of large crowds, and remain aware of their surroundings at popular tourist and holiday destinations, such as Bali and Lombok, and when visiting shopping malls, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and places of worship.

Periodic acts of violence in Thailand remain a concern, such as the bombing near the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok in August 2015, and several small-scale bombings near tourist locations in southern provinces in August 2016.

Be sure to read the Country Specific Information pages and Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts on travel.state.gov before planning a trip.

U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

U.S. citizens considering maritime travel also should review information at the websites of the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally. Current areas of concern include the Caribbean, Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa, and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore ‎as a result of maritime crimes including smuggling, human trafficking, and piracy. In addition, merchant vessels and maritime interests operating in the waters of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden should be aware of the increased potential for maritime attacks in the vicinity of Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

For further information:

  • See the Department of State's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
  • The Department of State's Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) provides several resources to enhance the safety and security of the U.S. private sector abroad. Additional information on OSAC can be found on OSAC.gov or by following OSAC on Twitter.
  • Mariners should also review information at the websites of the the National Geospatial Agency, the Maritime Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard for information related to maritime and port security globally.

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Turkey Travel Warning UPDATE August 29, 2016, 2:25PM MDT TIME

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey. On August 23, 2016, the Department of State extended voluntary departure of family members assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul through September 23, 2016. The decision to authorize departure followed an attempted coup and the subsequent declaration of a 90-day state of emergency by the Turkish Government. The decision to approve voluntary departure status was taken, in part, to allow the Department of State to monitor the effects of the July 15 coup attempt and subsequent declaration of a state of emergency on the security situation in the country. The Department continues to monitor the effect of these developments as well as recent terrorist incidents in Ankara, Istanbul, and Gaziantep, recurring threats, a visible increase in police or military activities, and the potential for restrictions on movements. U.S. citizens should carefully consider the need to travel to Turkey at this time. In addition, we have recently experienced delays securing consular access to U.S. citizens, some of whom also possess Turkish citizenship, detained or arrested by security forces.

This replaces the Travel Warning dated July 26, 2016.

Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations in Turkey. As stated in the Worldwide Caution dated March 3, 2016, extremists throughout Europe have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events. Most recently, they have threatened to kidnap Westerners and U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans, monitor local news for breaking events, and remain vigilant at all times.

U.S. Government personnel in Turkey remain subject to travel restrictions in the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig. U.S. citizens should avoid areas in close proximity to the Syrian border.

The Department of State is also extending its March 29, 2016, ordered departure of family members of U.S. Government personnel posted to the U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. Government civilians in Izmir province until September 23, 2016. The U.S. Consulate in Adana remains open and will continue to provide all routine consular services.

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Lebanon Travel Warning July 29, 2016, 2:30PM MTN TIME

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon because of the threats of terrorism, armed clashes, kidnapping, and outbreaks of violence near Lebanon's borders with Syria and Israel. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept the risks of remaining in the country and should carefully consider those risks. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on December 11, 2015.

There is potential for death or injury in Lebanon because of terrorist bombings. Violent extremist groups operate in Lebanon, including Hizballah, ISIL (Da'esh), ANF, Hamas, and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades (AAB). The U.S. government has designated all of these groups as terrorist organizations. ISIL and ANF have claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Lebanon, and these groups are active throughout Lebanon. U.S. citizens have been the targets of terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past, and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity remains, as does the risk of death or injury as a non-targeted bystander.

Sudden outbreaks of violence can occur at any time in Lebanon, and armed clashes have occurred along the Lebanese borders and in Beirut. On June 27, 2016, a series of blasts caused by suicide bombers in Qa'a, a town along Lebanon's northeastern border killed five people and injured many others. On the evening of June 12, 2016, an explosion occurred outside a commercial bank in the central Beirut area of Verdun, causing major damage to the building and injuring two people. On November 12, 2015, twin suicide bombings in a commercial and residential area of the Burj al-Barajneh neighborhood in Beirut's southern suburbs killed 43 people and wounded 239 others. ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombings. The Lebanese Armed Forces are routinely brought in to quell the violence in these situations.

The Lebanese government cannot guarantee the protection of U.S. citizens in the country against sudden outbreaks of violence. Protesters have blocked major roads to gain publicity for their causes, including the primary road between downtown Beirut and Rafiq Hariri International Airport. Access to the airport may be cut off if the security situation deteriorates. Family, neighborhood, or sectarian disputes can escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with no warning. In Tripoli, the neighborhoods of Bab al-Tabbaneh and Jabal Mohsen remain tense. Armed clashes have resulted in deaths and injuries in these neighborhoods in the past, and there are potentially large numbers of weapons in the hands of non-governmental elements. Celebratory gunfire in Lebanon has resulted in accidental injuries and deaths. The ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services can be severely limited.

Kidnapping, whether for ransom, political motives, or family disputes, is a problem in Lebanon. A U.S. citizen was kidnapped in a family dispute in January 2016. Suspects in kidnappings sometimes have ties to terrorist or criminal organizations. The U.S. government's ability to help U.S. citizens kidnapped or taken hostage is very limited. Although the U.S. government places the highest priority on the safe recovery of kidnapped U.S. citizens, it is U.S. policy not to make concessions to hostage takers. U.S. law also makes it illegal to provide material support to terrorist organizations.

Clashes between Lebanese authorities and criminal elements continue to occur in areas of the Bekaa Valley and border regions. The U.S. Embassy strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid the Lebanese-Syrian border region. There have been episodic clashes between the Lebanese Army and Syrian-based extremists along the border with Syria since August 2014. On March 24, 2016, a roadside bomb targeting a Lebanese Armed Forces patrol killed a Lebanese soldier and wounded several others in Lebanon's restive northeast border town of Arsal. On November 5, 2015, a deadly blast ripped through Arsal, killing at least four people and wounding several others. The November attack, caused by a suicide bomber using a motorbike, targeted a meeting in the al-Sabil neighborhood of the Committee of Qalamoun Scholars. The next day, a Lebanese Armed Forces patrol in al-Sabil was targeted by a roadside explosive device.

U.S. citizens in Lebanon should monitor political and security developments in both Lebanon and Syria. There have been incidents of cross-border shelling and air strikes of Lebanese villages from Syria, resulting in deaths and injuries. There have been reports of armed groups from Syria kidnapping or attacking Lebanese citizens living in border areas.

There are border tensions to the south with Israel, and the U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid this border. In January 2015, hostilities between Israel and Hizballah flared in the Golan Heights and Shebaa Farms area, and the potential for wider conflict remains. South of the Litani River, Hizballah has stockpiled large amounts of munitions in anticipation of a future conflict with Israel. In the past, there have been sporadic rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into Israel in connection with the violence between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. These attacks, normally consisting of rockets fired at northern Israel, often provoke a prompt Israeli military response. The rocket attacks and responses can occur without warning. Landmines and unexploded ordnance pose significant dangers throughout southern Lebanon, particularly south of the Litani River, as well as in areas of the country where fighting was intense during the civil war. More than 40 civilians have been killed and more than 300 injured by unexploded ordnance since the 2006 Israel-Hizballah war. Travelers should watch for posted landmine warnings and strictly avoid all areas where landmines and unexploded ordnance may be present.

Hizballah maintains a strong presence in parts of south Beirut, the Bekaa Valley, and areas in southern Lebanon. Hizballah has been the target of attacks by other extremist groups for their support of the Asad regime in Syria.

Palestinian groups hostile to both the Lebanese government and the United States operate autonomously in formal and informal refugee camps in different areas of the country. Intra-communal violence within the camps has resulted in shootings and explosions. On April 12, 2016, a car bomb explosion killed a senior Palestinian official near the Ein al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in the southern port city of Sidon. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to refugee camps.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risk of traveling on airlines that fly over Syria. Commercial aircraft are at risk when flying over regions in conflict. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens considering air travel overseas evaluate the route that their proposed commercial flight may take and avoid any flights that pass through Syrian airspace. U.S. government personnel in Lebanon have been prohibited from taking flights that pass through Syrian airspace.

The Department of State considers the threat to U.S. government personnel in Beirut sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under strict security restrictions. The internal security policies of the U.S. Embassy may be adjusted at any time and without advance notice. These practices limit, and may prevent, access by U.S. Embassy officials to certain areas of the country, especially to parts of metropolitan Beirut, Tripoli, the Bekaa Valley, refugee camps, and southern Lebanon.

In the event that the security climate in Lebanon worsens, U.S. citizens will be responsible for arranging their own travel out of Lebanon. The Embassy does not offer protection services to U.S. citizens who feel unsafe. U.S. citizens with special medical or other needs should be aware of the risks of remaining given their condition, and should be prepared to seek treatment in Lebanon if they cannot arrange for travel out of the country.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations, such as the evacuation that took place from Lebanon in 2006, occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist, and they are not guaranteed even when commercial travel options are limited or non-existent. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. U.S. citizens in Lebanon should ensure that they have valid U.S. passports, as lack of documentation could hinder U.S. citizens' ability to depart the country. U.S. Legal Permanent Residents should consult with the Department of Homeland Security before they depart the United States to ensure they have proper documentation to re-enter. Further information on the Department's role during emergencies is provided on the Bureau of Consular Affairs' website.

For more information:

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Turkey Travel Warning UPDATE July 27, 2016, 8:05AM MTN TIME

The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey. The U.S. Department of State is updating this Travel Warning to reflect the July 25, 2016, decision to authorize the voluntary departure of family members of employees posted to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey. The Department of State made this decision following the July 15 attempted coup and subsequent declaration by the Turkish government of a 90-day State of Emergency. The Department continues to monitor the effect of these developments on the overall security situation in the country and advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Turkey at this time. During this period, U.S. citizens in Turkey may see an increase in police or military activities and restrictions on movement.

This replaces the Travel Warning dated July 18, 2016.

Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations. As stated in the Worldwide Caution dated March 3, 2016, throughout Europe extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events. U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times. U.S. government personnel in Turkey remain subject to travel restrictions in the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig. U.S. citizens should avoid areas in close proximity to the Syrian border.

The Department of State will extend its March 29, 2016 ordered departure of family members of U.S. government personnel posted to the U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. government civilians in Izmir province. The U.S. Consulate in Adana remains open and will continue to provide all routine consular services.

For your safety:

  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
  • Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations.
  • Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.
  • Stay away from political gatherings and rallies.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  • Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures in place.
  • Monitor local media.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution,Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Turkey's Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and help us locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara, at +90-312-455-5555, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The after-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000 (U.S. Consulate General Istanbul).
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, at +90-212-335-9000.
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate in Adana, located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana at +90-322-455-4100.
  • Contact the Consular Agency in Izmir at Izmir@state.gov.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Kenya Travel Alert JULY 14, 2016, 9:20AM MTN TIME

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens that the 14th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is scheduled to take place in Nairobi, Kenya from July 17 - 22, 2016. As with all large events, there is the opportunity for criminal elements to target participants and visitors. Large-scale public events can also be a target for terrorists.

Expect road closures, hotel room shortages, and movement restrictions in and around Nairobi's Central Business District during the conference. Protests, rallies, and demonstrations could occur with little notice. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

U.S. citizens should:

  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions, particularly in central Nairobi.
  • Monitor media and local information sources regarding UNCTAD-related developments and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
  • Avoid crowds, and remain alert when using public transportation.
  • Report specific safety concerns to local law enforcement authorities.
  • Stay in touch with family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Kenya.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, at telephone (+254) (20) 363-6000, 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is (+254) (20) 363-6000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Kenya Travel Warning UPDATE JULY 5, 2016, 1:05PM MTN TIME

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the border areas of Kenya because of threats by the terrorist group al-Shabaab. U.S. citizens should also be aware of potential terrorist threats and the high risk of crime throughout the country. This replaces the Travel Warning dated November 10, 2015.

Thousands of U.S. citizens travel to Kenya without incident. For your safety:

  • Avoid travel to the northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa (including the cities of El Wak, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera and Liboi), the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu, the area of Kilifi county north of Malindi, and the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.
  • In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and avoid using the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.

Terrorist attacks involving shootings, grenades, or other explosive devices have occurred, killing and injuring many in Wajir, Garissa, and Mandera counties, and also in the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi. Potential terrorist threats, such as bombings, kidnappings, and attacks on civil aviation, remain in Kenya, including within the Nairobi area, along the coast, and within the northeastern region of the country.

Al-Shabaab targets have included government sites, police stations and vehicles, public transportation, nightclubs and bars, religious institutions, universities, and shopping areas. The most deadly of these took place on April 2, 2015 at Garissa University College, where al-Shabaab terrorists killed almost 150 people, primarily students, and wounded many others. Additionally, there was an attack at the Westgate Mall in September 2013 that killed 67 people and wounded many others.

Violent and sometimes fatal crimes, including armed carjackings, grenade attacks, home invasions and burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time and in any location, including Nairobi. U.S. citizens and U.S. Embassy employees have been victims of such crimes in the past.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an updated Notice to Airmen for Kenyan airspace. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration's Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

To be safe, you should review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Kenya.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi located on United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, at telephone (+254) (20) 363-6000, 7:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. Citizens is (+254) (20) 363-6000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Nicaragua Travel Alert  JULY 5, 2016, 1:05PM MTN TIME

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens about increased government scrutiny of foreigners' activities, new requirements for volunteer groups, and the potential for demonstrations during the upcoming election season in Nicaragua. This Travel Alert expires on November 30, 2016.

Nicaragua is conducting Presidential and National Assembly elections on November 6, 2016. During the period leading up to and immediately following elections, U.S. citizens in Nicaragua should be aware of heightened sensitivity by Nicaraguan officials to certain subjects or activities, including:

  • elections,
  • the proposed inter-oceanic canal,
  • volunteer or charitable visits,
  • topics deemed sensitive by or critical of the government.

Nicaraguan authorities have denied entry to, detained, questioned, or expelled foreigners, including U.S. government officials, academics, NGO workers, and journalists, for discussions, written reports or articles, photographs, and/or videos related to these topics. Authorities may monitor and question private U.S. citizens concerning their activities, including contact with Nicaraguan citizens. This situation may persist in the post-election period.

The Government of Nicaragua has indicated it is worried about the safety and security of travelers. The government began requiring special notification for official U.S. travelers holding diplomatic or official passports. Additionally, Nicaraguan authorities now require advance coordination for any volunteer group, charitable or medical brigade, or any other assistance visit organized by NGOs, religious groups, schools, or any other group doing this type of work in Nicaragua, regardless of whether the group has worked in Nicaragua previously or has a local office. To coordinate visits from the United States contact the Embassy of Nicaragua in Washington, DC. To coordinate visits from Nicaragua, contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX).

During previous election cycles, violent demonstrations occurred involving tear gas, fireworks, rock-throwing, road blocks, burning of vehicles and tires, as well as physical altercations between law enforcement and protestors or rival political parties/individuals. Activities tend to intensify in violence beginning in the early afternoon. Stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Avoid demonstrations and exercise caution around large gatherings near government buildings and major intersections or roundabouts.

For further information:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Nicaragua.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua, located at Km 5 ½ C. Sur Managua, Nicaragua at +(505) 2252-7100, 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Friday. The American Citizen Services unit is also available by email during regular business hours at ACS.Managua@state.gov. For after-hours emergencies, call the same number and ask for the Embassy Duty Officer.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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Turkey Travel Warning UPDATE JUN, 28, 2016, 8:05AM MTN TIME

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey and to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey. This replaces the Travel Warning dated March 29, 2016.

Foreign and U.S. tourists have been explicitly targeted by international and indigenous terrorist organizations. As stated in the Worldwide Caution dated March 3, 2016, throughout Europe extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, aviation services, transportation systems, and public venues where people congregate as well as religious sites and high-profile events. U.S. citizens are reminded to review personal security plans and remain vigilant at all times. U.S. Government personnel in Turkey remain subject to travel restrictions in the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Kilis, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa, Sirnak, Diyarbakir, Van, Siirt, Mus, Mardin, Batman, Bingol, Tunceli, Hakkari, Bitlis, and Elazig. U.S. citizens should avoid areas in close proximity to the Syrian border.

The Department of State extended its March 29, 2016 ordered departure of family members of U.S. Government personnel posted to the U.S. Consulate in Adana and family members of U.S. Government civilians in Izmir province through July 26, 2016. The Department of State terminated its March 29, 2016 ordered departure declaration for Mugla province. The U.S. Consulate in Adana remains open and will continue to provide all routine consular services.

For your safety:

  • Avoid travel to southeastern Turkey, particularly near the Syrian border.
  • Stay away from large crowds, including at popular tourist destinations.
  • Exercise heightened vigilance and caution when visiting public access areas, especially those heavily frequented by tourists.
  • Stay away from political gatherings and rallies.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities in an emergency.
  • Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures in place.
  • Monitor local media.

For further detailed information regarding Turkey and travel:

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Turkey's Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and help us locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, located at 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara, at +90-312-455-5555, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The after-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +90-312-455-5555 or +90-212-335-9000 (U.S. Consulate General Istanbul).
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, located at 2 Uçsehitler Sokagi, 34460, Istinye, Sariyer, at +90-212-335-9000.
  • Contact the U.S. Consulate in Adana, located at 212 Girne Bulvari, Guzelevler Mahallesi, Yuregir, Adana at +90-322-455-4100.
  • Contact the Consular Agency in Izmir at Izmir@state.gov. ¥ Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Europe Travel Alert UPDATE JUN, 1, 2016, 2:45PM MTN TIME

The U.S. Department of State issued an updated Europe Travel Alert on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The alert replaces the Travel Alert issued on March 22, 2016 and will expire on August 31, 2016.

Due to the large number of tourists visiting Europe during the summer months, there is a concern that visitors will be a greater target for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events.

The alert specifically mentions that France has extended its state of emergency through July 26, 2016 as the country will host the European Soccer Championship, which will be held in France from June 10 to July 10, 2016 as well as the Tour de France cycling race, which will be held from July 2 to 24, 2016.

Additionally, the alert mentions the Catholic Church's World Youth Day, which will be held in Krakow, Poland from July 26 to 31, 2016. Poland will impose border controls at all of its national borders from July 4 to August 2, 2016.

The U.S. Department of State has provided the following safety precautions for U.S. citizens traveling throughout Europe this summer:

  • Exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation.
  • Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places.
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.
  • Monitor media and local event information sources and factor updated information into your travel plans and activities.
  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
  • Stay in touch with your family, have a plan if you are separated and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

For further information:

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