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Cablegate: Travel Warning - Eritrea

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O 112131Z JUN 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
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INFO RUESBKC/ATO ASIA IMMEDIATE 1681

UNCLAS STATE 063141

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ASEC KPAO PTER ER
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - ERITREA

1. (U) This Travel Warning updates information on
Eritrea's current security situation. It reiterates
the Department of State's recommendation that U.S.
citizens defer non-essential travel to Eritrea due to
restrictions on travel outside the capital city of
Asmara and heightened tensions along Eritrea's borders
with Ethiopia and Djibouti. This supersedes the
Travel Warning for Eritrea issued on March 26, 2008.
2. (U) American citizens considering travel within
Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large
numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the
Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political
tensions between the two countries. In March 2008,
the Government of the State of Eritrea's (GSE)
restrictions on diesel fuel supplies caused UNMEE
detachments to withdraw from the Temporary Security
Zone (TSZ), leaving no international observers
monitoring the border. On June 10, 2008, Djiboutian
and Eritrean troops exchanged fire along their shared
border. U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid
travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border.
3. (U) U.S. citizens should also avoid non-essential
travel to the Southern Red Sea region, including the
port of Assab. Since April, Djiboutian and Eritrean
troops have been deployed along the northeastern
border of Djibouti. The Djiboutian government claims
Eritrean troops have crossed into its territory and
political tensions between the countries remain high.
4. (U) The GSE continues to restrict the travel of
all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats.
These restrictions require all visitors and residents
to apply with the GSE 10 days in advance for
permission to travel outside Asmara city limits. As a
result, the U.S. Embassy cannot provide consular
assistance in an emergency outside of Asmara.
Travelers also should be aware that that the GSE does
not inform the U.S. Embassy when American citizens
have been arrested or detained.
5. (U) Americans currently living or traveling in
Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the
U.S. Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State
Department's travel registration web site,

https://travelregistration.state.gov

and to obtain
updated information on travel and security within
Eritrea. By registering, American citizens make it
easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an
emergency and provide updates on the security
situations. The U.S. Embassy is located at 179 Alaa
Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-
04; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site

http://asmara.usembassy.gov

6. (U) For additional information, consult the
Department of State's latest Country Specific
Information sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide
Caution at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens
may also obtain up-to-date information on security
conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the
United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from
overseas.
7. (U) Minimize considered.
RICE

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