This Travel Warning is being issued to inform U.S. citizens that based on the deteriorating political and security situation in Cote d’Ivoire and growing anti-western sentiment, the Department of State has now ordered the departure of all non-emergency personnel and family members. The Department warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Cote d’Ivoire until further notice. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 16, 2010 to inform U.S. citizens of the U.S. Embassy drawdown and to update the security information.
Following the contested results of presidential elections, which were held on November 28, 2010, soldiers and loyalists of former President Laurent Gbagbo have now called for wide-spread demonstrations which are expected to turn violent. Hostility against westerners, including U.S. citizens, cannot be ruled out.
On December 20, the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency personnel and family members. U.S. citizens who remain in Cote d’Ivoire despite this Travel Warning should consult the Department of State’s latest Country Specific Information for Cote d’Ivoire and Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States or Canada or 1-317-472-2328 from overseas.
The U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section in Abidjan has temporarily curtailed all consular services except emergency services for U.S. citizens. Due to drawdown of consular staff, the Embassy has diminishing ability to assist U.S. citizens wishing to depart the country. The State Department recommends that U.S. citizens who are concerned about their safety take advantage of commercial means of transportation while they are available and while borders remain open.
U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Cote d’Ivoire are encouraged to enroll with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at http://travel.state.gov, by sending contact information including email and cell phone to[email protected] or by leaving a voice mail at the citizen security information line: +225 2249-4001. Citizens without Internet may also leave a brief message by calling that same number and following the prompts.
Current information on safety and security may also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).