Saturday, April 14, 2012

Guinea-Bissau: US Department of State Issues Travel Warning Following Attempted Coup

The US Department of State alerts its citizens traveling to, or living in, Guinea-Bissau to the continuing possibility of sporadic unrest following reports of fighting and violence in Bissau, as a result of an attempted coup d’état.

There have been reports of explosions and heavy weapons fire in Guinea-Bissau’s capital city. Radio and television are reportedly off the air, and military forces are attempting to restrict movement.

The airport was closed on April 13, and its future operating status is not known. The airport's operating status may well fluctuate repeatedly during the course of this crisis. The threat of continued violence and an increased potential for political instability and civil or military unrest in Guinea-Bissau remains high.

US citizens are urged to shelter in place and avoid the downtown area of Bissau. US citizens should also remain alert to local security developments, and be vigilant regarding personal security. This Travel Alert expires on July 12, 2012.

Travelers are encouraged to stay informed and to practice good situational awareness when moving about in Guinea-Bissau. They should carefully consider the current security situation before making plans to travel in Bissau. We remind US citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly, and with no advance warning, turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

There is currently no permanent U.S. diplomatic or consular presence in Guinea-Bissau. The US Embassy in Dakar, Senegal is accredited for all diplomatic and security concerns. The US Liaison Office in Bissau (BLO) can provide limited services to US citizens in the event of an emergency. The U.S. Liaison Office is located at: Edifício SITEC, Rua José Carlos Schwarz 245, Bairro d’Ajuda (Telephone: 245-325-6382). The US Embassy in Dakar is located on at Avenue Jean XXIII, Dakar; the mailing address is B.P. 49, Dakar, Senegal.

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 consulardakar@state.gov . The Embassy telephone number is (221) 33 829-2100.

See http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_guineabissau

COMMENT: The US Embassy Dakar is located 233 miles (374 kilometers) from Bissau. US citizens traveling in unpredictable countries should enroll in the US Department of State's STEP program, which can provide timely emergency alerts to US citizens' mobile phones.
See http:///www.travel.state.gov.

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