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Travel Warning: Yemen

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Yemen On May 25, 2011.  It reads as follows:

Yemen

May 25, 2011

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high security threat level in Yemen due to civil unrest. The Department urges U.S. citizens not to travel to Yemen. U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart while commercial transportation is available. The Department of State has ordered all eligible family members of U.S. government employees as well as certain non-emergency personnel to depart Yemen. Due to the fluid security situation in Sana’a, the Consular Section will only be able to provide emergency American citizen services. In addition, terrorism remains a serious threat in Yemen. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning for Yemen issued on March 6, 2011 to provide updated information on violent confrontations at demonstrations, increased security measures, and to note the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. Embassy personnel and all family members.The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high. There is ongoing civil unrest throughout the country and large-scale protests in major cities. Violent clashes are taking place in Sana’a, and may escalate without notice. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration. Terrorist organizations continue to be active in Yemen, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The U.S. government remains concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. Piracy in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean is also a security threat to maritime activities in the region. See our International Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet.

U.S. government-facilitated evacuations occur only when no safe commercial alternatives exist. Evacuation assistance is provided on a cost-recovery basis, which means the traveler must reimburse the U.S. government for travel costs. The lack of a valid U.S. passport may hinder U.S. citizens’ ability to depart the country and may slow the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide assistance. U.S. citizens in Yemen should ensure that they have proper and current documentation at all times. For more information, see “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis”. Evacuation options from Yemen are extremely limited due to the lack of infrastructure, geographic constraints, and other security concerns outlined below. The U.S. government typically evacuates U.S. citizens to a safe haven, and travelers are responsible for making their own onward travel plans. Travelers should not expect to be evacuated to the United States.

U.S. citizens remaining in Yemen despite this Travel Warning should limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Yemen through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.

The U.S. Embassy Sana’a is located at Dhahr Himyar Zone, Sheraton Hotel District, P.O. Box 22347. The telephone number of the Consular Section is (967) (1) 755-2000, extension 2153 or 2266. For after-hours emergencies, please call (967) (1) 755-2000 (press zero for extension) or (967) 733-213-509. From time to time the Embassy may temporarily close or suspend public services for security reasons. Emergency assistance to U.S. citizens during non-business hours (or when public access is restricted) is available through Embassy duty personnel.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and Country Specific Information can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers in other countries by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Please direct inquiries regarding U.S. citizens in Yemen to YemenEmergencyUSC@state.gov.

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Written by OSB

26/05/2011 at 21:43

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