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Cablegate: Travel Warning: Somalia

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 132608

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC PTER ASEC SO KE
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING: SOMALIA

STATE 00132608 001.2 OF 002


1. The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks
of travel to Somalia and recommends that U.S. citizens
avoid all travel to Somalia. This replaces the Travel
Warning dated November 15 2008, to update information on
security concerns.

2. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against
all travel to Somalia, including northern Somalia. On
September 17, 2009, terrorists launched a coordinated
suicide-bomb attack against an African Union (AU)
peacekeeping base, involving multiple car bombs against
local and international targets. In another attack on
December 3, 2009, suicide bombers killed three Somalia
Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ministers during a
graduation ceremony for Banadir University medical
students in Mogadishu. There is no U.S. Embassy or
other U.S. diplomatic presence in Somalia.
Consequently, the U.S. Government is not in a position
to assist or effectively provide services to U.S.
citizens in Somalia.

3. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have
demonstrated their intent and capability to attack air
operations at Mogadishu International Airport.
Kidnapping, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry, and
other violent incidents and threats to U.S. citizens and
other foreigners can occur in many regions. Inter-clan
and inter-factional fighting flares up with little or no
warning. Unpredictable armed conflicts among rival
militias are prevalent in southern Somalia, particularly
in and around Mogadishu. This has resulted in the
deaths of hundreds of Somali nationals and the
displacement of nearly one million people.

4. The Sanaag and Sool Regions in eastern Somaliland,
bordering on Puntland (northeastern Somalia), are
particularly unsafe due to ongoing border disputes and
inter-clan fighting. Lines of control in Mogadishu are
unclear and frequently shift, making movement within
Mogadishu extremely hazardous. There also have been
several fatal attacks and violent kidnappings against
international relief workers throughout Somalia,
Somaliland, and Puntland. In July 2009, a U.S. relief
worker was kidnapped from a Kenyan border town and held
in Somalia for over two months before being released.

5. U.S. citizens are urged to use extreme caution when
sailing near the coast of Somalia. Merchant vessels,
fishing boats, and recreational craft all risk seizure
by pirates and having their crews held for ransom in the
waters off the Horn of Africa, especially in the
international waters near Somalia. If transit around
the Horn of Africa is necessary, it is strongly
recommended that vessels travel in convoys, and maintain
good communications contact at all times.

6. U.S. citizens who travel to Somalia despite this
Travel Warning are urged to register through the State
Department's travel registration website,
https://travelregistration.state.gov and obtain updated
information on travel and security from the U.S.
Embassies in neighboring countries. Travelers to the
self-declared ?Republic of Somaliland? should register
with the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti, and travelers to
Puntland or southern Somalia should register with the
U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.

7. The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti is located at Plateau du
Serpent, Boulevard Marechal Joffre, Djibouti City;
telephone (253) 35-39-95; after-hours telephone number

STATE 00132608 002.2 OF 002


(253) 35-13-43. The mailing address is Ambassade
Americaine, B.P. 185, Djibouti, Republique de Djibouti,
and their workweek is Sunday through Thursday. The U.S.
Embassy in Nairobi is located on United Nations Avenue,
Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone (254)(20) 363-6000;
after-hours emergencies (254)(20) 363-6170. The mailing
address is P.O. Box 606 Village Market 00621, Nairobi,
Kenya.

8. U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of
State's Country Specific Information for Somalia and the
Worldwide Caution, which are located on the Department's
internet website at http://travel.state.gov. Travelers
may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions
by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or
outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-
202-501-4444.

9. Minimize considered.
CLINTON

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