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Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Heather Byrnes To

VZCZCXRO1647
RR RUEHJO
DE RUEHTO #1464/01 3480740
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140740Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 0759

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 001464

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: BBSR SF MZ

SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR HEATHER BYRNES TO
TRAVEL TO MOZAMBIQUE.

REF: Johannesburg 328

1. Embassy Maputo welcomes and grants country clearance for
Heather Byrnes, to travel to Mozambique, from December 14,
2007 through December 18, 2007. The purpose of this visit
is to conduct training for Embassy Maputo staff on
commercial service products, and attend the G.E. open day.
Please advise as soon as possible regarding any schedule or
itinerary changes; refer to paragraph 13 regarding visa
requirements.

2. Point of Contact: Robert Doughten, Economic Officer,
will be control officer. He can be contacted at:

-- Office telephone: (258) 2149-27-97, ext.3422
-- Office fax: (258) 2149-35-74
-- Cellular: (258) 82-300-0834

3. Hotel Reservations and Expeditor: Post understands that
Ms. Byrnes has made reservations at Hotel Polana.

An Embassy expeditor will meet the traveler at the airport.

4. Medical Services: Maputo has limited medical facilities.
Visitors will have to be medevaced in the event of a major
injury or illness. In the past, we have had visitors face
serious medical difficulties because details of their
medevac insurance were not readily available. Direct Hire
employees (not contractors) of the Department of State,
USAID, Department of Defense, CDC, and Peace Corps need not
take any further action. Direct Hire employees of other
U.S Government agencies are requested to provide to their
control officer before arrival a name and 24-hour point of
contact for their agency that can authorize medical
evacuation. Contractors are requested to provide to their
control officer before arrival the name, phone number, and
policy number of their medevac insurance provider(s) for
use in case of emergency.

5. Health: Travelers are advised that chloroquine
resistant malaria is present in Mozambique. The most
recent guidance from the Department of State Medical Office
recommends weekly use of mefloquine as the drug of choice
for malaria prophylaxis in chloroquine-resistant areas.
Mefloquine must be started one to two weeks before arriving
at post. Daily doxycycline is an alternative regimen.
Doxycycline must be started three days before arriving at
post. Both malaria prophylaxis medications must be
continued for four weeks after departing post.

6. Security and Required Briefing: TDY visitors spending
more than 48 hours in Mozambique must obtain a security
briefing from the Embassy's Regional Security Office. The
biggest threat facing U.S. citizens visiting Mozambique is
crime. The State Department has designated Mozambique a
critical-threat post for crime. Street crime and vehicle
hijackings are common and can be violent. Visitors must be
vigilant when out in public areas and should not display
jewellery or other items of high value. Visitors should
avoid carrying backpacks or purses, as these can draw
unwanted attention of would-be muggers. Isolated areas,
such as along the Marginal (the Maputo road along the sea),
should be avoided as joggers and pedestrians have been
mugged frequently, even during daylight hours.

7. There are no known terrorist groups active in Mozambique
and no current indications that U.S. citizens are being
targeted by terrorist organizations.

8. The police are poorly paid, poorly equipped, and lack
the professionalism that U.S. citizens are accustomed to in
the United States. Visitors requiring emergency assistance
should not rely on local emergency services, but should
contact the Marine Security Guard at Post One at +258 (21)
49-07-23. Mozambican law requires that all persons carry
an identity document, such as a passport, when out in
public and produce it if requested by police. A copy of
passport identity and visa pages is acceptable. There are
certain areas in the city of Maputo where pedestrian
traffic is prohibited, e.g., in front of the presidential
offices located north of the Hotel Polana on the seaside of
Avenida Julius Nyerere and on the Monument to Mozambican
Heroes near the Maputo airport. Such areas are sometimes
marked with international "no trespassing" signs/symbols.

9. Overland travel after dark is extremely dangerous due to
poor road conditions, lack of emergency services, and the
increased potential for vehicle hijackings. Official
Americans serving in Mozambique, including those on TDY,
are prohibited from overland travel outside city limits
during the hours of darkness.


MAPUTO 00001464 002 OF 003


10. Consular Registration: All TDY visitors spending more
than two workdays in Maputo are required to register with
the Consular Section in the Chancery to ensure that the
Mission has current emergency contact information for each
visitor.

11. Financial Matters: With the exception of the main
hotels, Mozambique is essentially a cash economy. Credit
cards are of limited utility. Vendors will accept U.S.
dollars (or at times South African rand) in lieu of the
local currency, the metical. For a day trip to Maputo, we
recommend visitors bring with them USD 100 in cash for
spending money. Dollars can be exchanged at any bank or
currency exchange facility. Embassy Maputo recommends
against the use of travelers checks, as transaction charges
are uniformly high. Please note that Embassy Maputo will
need fiscal data in the event that extensive services or
goods are required during the visit. Mozambican Airlines
(LAM) accepts the American Express credit card. Please
note that charge limits are in effect on most credit card
transactions, and hotel bills need to be settled every few
days.

12. Currency: On July 1, 2006, Mozambique introduced its
new currency: the New Metical (abbreviated MTn.) At
current exchange rates, 1 USD equals approximately 26 MTn.
The largest New Metical note is 1,000 MTn and the smallest
New Metical note is 20 MTn. For further guidance, please
refer to the images of the New Metical on our intranet site
at http://maputo.state.gov/Sections/FMO/fmo.htm.

13. Visas and Airport Departure Taxes: Visas are required
for entry into Mozambique, and Embassy Maputo urges
travelers to have them prior to travelling. Travelers
arriving from a country without a Mozambican embassy can
get visas at the airport or land border entry points for 20
USD or 300 MTn. Those arriving from a country with a
Mozambican embassy can obtain visas at the airport or land
border entry points for 25 USD. Diplomatic visitors
without visas will be issued visas at their border entry
point -- a process that may take up to 30 minutes. There
is an airport departure tax payable only in cash, of 20 USD
or equivalent in Metical or Rand for regional flights, 8
USD for domestic flights and 20 USD for intercontinental
flights.

14. Please note that non-permanent personnel, assigned 90
days or less, are granted a one-year multi entry visa with
a time stipulation determined by the time they requested to
stay in country. Recently, there have been problems with
the time stipulation written for TDY personnel. It is
imperative to review the visa granted to ensure that the
time stipulation exceeds the required length of stay.
Otherwise, a trip out of the country is required to prevent
an overstay. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will not
change the visas issued at the Mozambican Embassy in
Washington, DC. Incoming TDY personnel should verify the
length of their visa before arriving to post.

15. Luggage Precautions: Post urges travelers to keep in
mind restrictions on carry-on luggage on international
flights. At present, there are restrictions on carrying
liquids, gels, and cosmetics on board international flights
leaving the United States.

16. Travelers also should bear in mind that security of
checked baggage is a significant problem for travelers who
transit Johannesburg airport. Many items have been stolen
from checked bags, including the checked bags themselves.
The items stolen most often are electronics (including I-
Pods, cameras, and alarm clocks), toiletries (such as
cosmetics, soap, shaving kits and cologne) and shoes
(especially running/athletic shoes). Please note that a
locked bag does not ensure security. One security measure
that seems to meet with some success is to have your
luggage stretch-wrapped at your point of departure. The
stretch-wrapping makes it more difficult for the thieves to
gain access to your luggage. Be aware that flights between
Johannesburg and Maputo are often serviced by a small plane
with little space for carry-on luggage. This may require
passengers to check their larger carry-on items. Please
ensure your valuables are kept in a bag small enough to
carry on your lap to keep them with you at all times. We
take this problem very seriously and are doing what we can
to help aid a solution. In brief, please:

-- Leave behind irreplaceable valuables;
-- Always lock your bags;
-- Have your luggage stretch-wrapped when possible;
-- Keep your valuables with you in a small carry-on;
-- Make sure that your carry-on luggage complies with
current international restrictions/regulations.

MAPUTO 00001464 003 OF 003

Chapman

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