Cablegate: Freetown Grants G/Tip Country Clearance Request


DE RUEHFN #0957/01 3261452
R 221452Z NOV 06




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Post welcomes and grants country clearance for the visit
of Amy Lemar, Program Analyst for Africa in the Office to
Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP), to
Freetown December 10 - 14. A contract expediter meets all
visitors - see para 9 below. Visitors are urged to read the
contents of this telegram, as it provides useful information
intended to ensure the success of your visit to Freetown.

2. Control officer for the visit: Martin A. Dale
Embassy Freetown Switchboard: 232-22-515-000 or
232-76-515-000 (in country 076-515-000).
Embassy after-hours number (local guard): 232-76-634-603 (in
country 076-634-603).
CELL PHONE: in country: 076-616-609; 232-76-616-609
E-Mail: daleMA@state.Gov.
Address of New Embassy Compound: American Embassy, Leicester
Square/Regent, Freetown, Sierra Leone

3. All visiting USG personnel are required to receive a
security briefing from the Regional Security Officer (RSO)
upon arrival. (See Paragraph 10.)

4. Visitors should consult the State Department Intranet
(Opennet: HTTP://Freetown.State.Gov/) or Internet
(HTTP://Freetown.Usembassy.Gov) sites for further information
on the post and country.

5. Accommodations: Reservations have been made at the Country
Lodge Hotel (Tel: 232-22-235-589 / 235-098) at USD 120.00 per
night, which is within per diem. Credit cards are generally
not accepted. Please bring cash or travel orders with valid
fiscal data.

6. Visa Information: A passport and visa are required for
entry and visitors should obtain a visa in advance. The
latest information can be obtained from the Embassy of Sierra
Leone, 1701 19th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009, Tel:
(202) 939-9261 or the nearest overseas Sierra Leonean
Embassy. There is no charge for diplomatic or official
passport holders. There is a charge of 100.00 USD for tourist
passport holders.

Airport visas may be obtained only in extreme circumstances,
as they are very difficult to arrange and are not encouraged.
Therefore, visitors coming from countries without a Sierra
Leonean Embassy should contact their Control Officer at
Embassy Freetown and fax a copy of their passports well in
advance of travel.

7. Health/Medical: Medical facilities in Sierra Leone fall
critically short of U.S. standards. Presently, the only
reliable medical facility is located 45 minutes outside of
Freetown. Official visitors who do not possess a Class I
medical clearance or have serious health concerns, e.g.,
diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or who are on blood thinners
(with the exception of aspirin) are discouraged from
traveling to Sierra Leone. The Embassy Health Unit stocks
only limited medical supplies and is not equipped to handle
serious illnesses. All visitors and permanently assigned
employees traveling to Sierra Leone must have their
vaccinations current to include, but not limited to, tetanus,
yellow fever, polio, meningitis, and rabies (for those
staying longer than 30 days). The cholera vaccine is not
required. Visitors should begin taking malaria prophylaxis
two weeks prior to arrival. It is mandatory that visitors
bring their own supply of medications, as local pharmacies in
Freetown are usually unable to fill prescriptions. The
International Certificate of Vaccinations yellow card should
be hand carried as proof of current yellow fever inoculation.
Avoid eating uncooked vegetables and salads at restaurants
and hotels.

8. Medical Insurance: Non-Department of State personnel or
contractors are required to have medical evacuation insurance
prior to traveling to Sierra Leone.

9. Travel to/from Freetown: SN Brussels Airlines services
Freetown on Sunday, Monday and Thursday from Brussels.
British Mediterranean services Freetown via London/Heathrow
on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Regional air service into
Freetown is sporadic, thus be prepared to handle alternate
ticketing and/or increased food and lodging expenses.

Arriving passengers should proceed through immigration,
baggage claim, and customs. The Embassy contract expediter
(Lungi Hotel) will meet all official passengers and arrange
for transportation to Freetown since Lungi International
Airport is located across the harbor from Freetown.

Transport to Freetown may be by helicopter or hovercraft.
Passengers are required to pay the expediter for the cost of
travel from Lungi to Freetown. The cost of the helicopter is
50.00 USD (payable in local currency). The cost of the
hovercraft is USD 35.00, but it is often out of order.

Passengers departing Freetown for locations within Africa
must pay an Airport Tax of $40.00 at the airport. (This tax
is already included in tickets for European destinations.)

10. Threat Assessment - Security Advice: All visiting USG
personnel will be required to receive a security briefing
from the Regional Security Officer (RSO) upon arrival.
Sierra Leone is rated high for crime. Visitors will be
provided a two-way radio and instructions on how to summon
assistance in the event of an emergency. All travel outside
of Freetown must have the approval of the Control Officer and
the RSO. The following guidance is provided to ensure your
visit to Sierra Leone is safe and uneventful:

-Do not use credit cards and personal checks in the local
economy; -Do not carry or wear any items that may attract
attention by thieves. Carry needed items deep in your
pockets; -Do not walk around the city alone, especially at
night; -Do not use taxis or public transportation; -Do not
accept the assistance of strangers; -Do not take photographs
of people without first asking as they can easily become
offended. Do not photograph government or military
facilities, including the airport; -If confronted by
criminals, do not make threatening movements, comments, or
gestures. Immediately give the criminals what they want.

11. Computer Systems Access: If you are a DOS employee
and would like to access OpenNet during your visit (without
taking the 30-60 minute systems security briefing), please
bring confirmation that you have attended, within the last
year, the "Security Awareness Briefing on OpenNet Plus".
This must a copy of the certificate you received when you
completed the briefing. Ask your systems administrator if
you need help locating the DS Security Awareness Briefing

12. Post Policy on Laptops and Thumb Drives: The RSO must
approve the use of any laptop computer in the Embassy. Thumb
drives are not authorized for use on Embassy computers unless
officially issued with a Dept. of State classification label
on it or approved by the IMO. Thumb drives are absolutely
not/not allowed on the CLASSNET. Thumb Drives brought into
the Embassy must be cleared by the RSO Office.

13. General Information: Travelers with TDY orders and
fiscal data may cash checks at the Embassy cashier. The
current exchange rate is 2900 Leones to one USD.

© Scoop Media

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