Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Rachel Bickford
DE RUEHTO #0761/01 1730613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 220613Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY MAPUTO
TO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 5473
INFO RUCLRFA/USDA FAS WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 000761
USDA FOR FAS/FAA/RANDALL HAGER
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR MZ
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR RACHEL BICKFORD
TO VISIT MOZAMBIQUE
REF: PRETORIA 02533
1. Embassy Maputo welcomes and grants country
clearance for Rachel Bickford, Ag Attache, Pretoria, to
travel to Mozambique on June 26 - 30, 2006 to review
the status for USDA food assistance programs in
Mozambique and from June 30 - July 5, 2006 to take
leave in Inhambane.
Please advise as soon as possible regarding any
schedule or itinerary changes; refer to para 8
regarding visa requirements.
2. Control Officer:
Brooke Williams, Econ Officer at the Embassy, will be
control officer. She 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:
Post understands that no hotel assistance is needed.
Expeditor will pick-up and drop off at airport.
4. Briefing by RSO on Security Situation: Please see
para 9 below. Foreigners have been crime targets
recently. TDY visitors staying longer than two days
must come to the Embassy for a security briefing from
the Regional Security Office shortly after arrival.
Guidance will include helpful do's and don'ts about
walking around Maputo, dangerous areas in the city, use
of taxis, etc.
5. 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 nearly die because details of their
medevac insurance were not readily available. Post is
therefore very strict in not granting country clearance
unless we are assured that the traveler is adequately
covered if a medevac is required.
Post has been provided the required medevac
6. Consular Registration: All TDY visitors spending
more than two work days 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.
7. Financial Matters: With the exception of the main
hotels in Maputo, Mozambique is essentially a cash
economy. Credit cards are of limited utility. Vendors
will accept U.S. dollars (or 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. There are no currency
import/export restrictions in affect at this time. The
American Express credit card is accepted by Mozambican
Please note that charge limits are in effect on most
credit card transactions, and hotel bills need to be
settled every few days.
8. Visas: Visas are required for entry into
Mozambique, and Embassy Maputo urges travelers to have
them prior to traveling. Travelers arriving from a
country without a Mozambican embassy can get visas at
the airport or land border entry points for USD 20 or
300,000 meticais. Those arriving from a country with a
Mozambican embassy can obtain visas at the airport or
land border entry points for USD 25. Diplomatic
visitors without visas will have their passports held
pending processing of a visa, which requires Embassy
Maputo to process a diplomatic note.
9. Security/Threat Assessment: The biggest threat
facing U.S. citizens visiting Mozambique is crime. The
State Department has designated Mozambique a critical-
MAPUTO 00000761 002 OF 003
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 jewelry 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 area along the
sea), should be avoided as joggers and pedestrians have
been mugged frequently, even during daylight hours.
There are no known terrorist groups active in Mozambique and
no current indications that U.S. citizens are being targeted
by terrorist organizations.
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 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.
Overland travel after dark is extremely dangerous due
to poor road conditions, lack of emergency services,
and the increased potential for vehicle highjacking.
Official Americans serving in Mozambique are prohibited
from overland travel outside city limits during the
hours of darkness.
TDY visitors spending more than two work days in
Mozambique must schedule a security briefing with the
Regional Security Officer.
10. Airport Departure Tax: There is an airport
departure tax, payable only in cash in U.S. dollars or
in meticais, of USD 20 or its equivalent for long-
distance international flights and USD 20 or its
equivalent for regional flights (those within Southern
Africa). A domestic departure tax of 55,000 meticais
11. Transiting Johannesburg Airport:
Please be aware that baggage security is a significant
problem at the 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, digital
cameras/cameras, and alarm clocks), toiletries (such
as soap, shaving kits and cologne)and shoes
(especially expensive running/athletic shoes). A
LOCKED BAG DOES NOT ENSURE SECURITY - please put items
such as these in your carry-on baggage. 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
- 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.
12. Airline Reservations: Changing airline tickets
after arriving in Maputo is often difficult. Passenger
reservations on all airlines can be changed through the
national airline and/or travel agents in South Africa,
but reissuing tickets have proven difficult. Travelers
should be sure to confirm onward flight reservations.
13. 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-
MAPUTO 00000761 003 OF 003
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