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World Watch Wire
US Dept of State Wire
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Egypt to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest, incidents of which have led to recent violence. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. This Travel Alert supersedes the Travel Alert for Egypt dated March 29, 2013, and has been updated to include information about a knife attack on a private U.S. citizen near the Embassy on May 9. This Travel Alert expires on August 15, 2013.
Political unrest, which intensified prior to the constitutional referendum in December 2012 and the anniversary in 2013 of Egypt's 25th January Revolution, is likely to continue in the near future. Additionally, violent protests followed the January 2013 sentencing of persons involved in deaths and injuries at a February 2012 soccer match in Port Said. These demonstrations have, on occasion, degenerated into violent clashes between police and protesters, resulting in deaths, injuries, and extensive property damage. Participants have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails and security forces have used tear gas and other crowd control measures against demonstrators. There are numerous reports of the use of firearms as well. While violent protests have occurred in major metropolitan areas, including downtown Cairo, Alexandria, and Port Said, the security situation in most tourist centers, including Luxor, Aswan, and Red Sea resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh, continues to be calm. Of specific concern is a rise in gender-based violence in and around protest areas where women have been the specific targets of sexual assault.
On May 9, a private U.S. citizen was attacked with a knife outside of the Embassy after being asked whether he was an American. Egyptian police have a suspect in custody and an investigation is ongoing. Additionally, Westerners and U.S. citizens have occasionally been caught in the middle of clashes and demonstrations. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security by knowing the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations in Egypt, as even peaceful ones can quickly become violent, and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse. Because of the proximity of the U.S. Embassy to Tahrir Square in Cairo, the U.S. Embassy has sometimes been closed to the public on short notice due to violent protests. The Embassy will notify U.S. citizens as quickly as possible of any closing and the types of emergency consular services that will be available. Should security forces block off the area around the U.S. Embassy during demonstrations, U.S. citizens should contact the American Citizens Services section before attempting to come to the U.S. Embassy during that time. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to carry identification and, if moving about alone, a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Egypt.
The U.S. Embassy restricts its employees and their family members from traveling to specific areas listed in the Country Specific Information Sheet and advises all U.S. citizens to do the same. We continue to urge U.S. citizens to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Please check our Country Specific Information Sheet for further security guidance.
Unless otherwise indicated in a public announcement, the U.S. Embassy is open for all routine American Citizens Services by appointment. U.S. citizens needing emergency assistance do not need an appointment. Visit the Embassy website to check the latest changes to Embassy hours or services. U.S. citizens with routine phone inquiries may call the Embassy's American Citizens Services section at 2797-2301, Sunday to Thursday from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on 2797-3300. The U.S. Embassy is closed on U.S. federal holidays. U.S. citizens in Egypt are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Internet website at travel.state.gov where theWorldwide Caution, Country Specific Information for Egypt, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. Download our free Smart Traveler app, available through iTunes or Google Play, to have travel information at your fingertips.
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 outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. Thesenumbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
The U.S. Embassy in Egypt is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo. For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on 2797-3300.
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Kenya to the upcoming Kenyan elections, scheduled for March 4, 2013, with a possible run-off election at a later date, potentially extending election activities through April 18.
This will be Kenya's first national election since the post-election violence that claimed over 1,000 lives, displaced as many as 600,000 people, and disrupted communications and transportation systems for several weeks in 2007-2008. U.S. citizens were not targeted during the 2007-2008 election violence and the U.S. Embassy currently has no specific threat information indicating U.S. citizens in Kenya might be targeted during this election. Nevertheless, local situations can change rapidly, especially with more than 30,000 polling stations open around the country on Election Day; there is a potential for some general localized violence and/or civil unrest to occur. Isolated instances of violence seemingly linked to political activities have already occurred in some regions of the country, and more are likely to occur before the elections are completed. Also, extremist groups such as al-Shabaab may use violence to exploit election-related tensions and common criminals may take advantage of stretched police resources to commit crimes.
U.S. citizens in Kenya are strongly urged to avoid voter polling places, demonstrations, political rallies, or large crowds of any kind during the election period. Even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn violent with little or no warning.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is closely monitoring election activity throughout Kenya and will provide updates as the situation warrants on the Embassy website and via Facebook and Twitter. U.S. citizens should monitor these sites, as well as local media. U.S. citizens are advised to be aware of their surroundings and exercise good judgment in the coming weeks. General information on preparing for emergencies is available on U.S. Embassy Nairobi's website at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi will be closed for non-emergency services on March 4, 2013, for a Kenyan holiday. For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens should contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on 020-363-6170.
U.S. citizens in Kenya are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, U.S. citizens gain access to vital security information and enable the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Internet website at travel.state.gov, where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information for Kenya, Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Kenya, and Travel Alerts can be found. An archive of messages to U.S. citizens in Kenya can be found on the Embassy website. Download our free Smart Traveler iPhone or Android app to have travel information at your fingertips.
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 outside the United States and Canada, 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).
For more information, please call 254 (0) 20-363-6622 from outside of Kenya or 020-363-6622 within Kenya, or you may contact ACS by email at Kenya_Acs@state.gov.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is located on UN Avenue in Gigiri, Nairobi. All visitors seeking consular services including American Citizen Services enter at the main Consular entrance located at the front of the Embassy compound off of UN Avenue. The consular entrance is directly adjacent to the Warwick Center opposite the U.N. Complex.
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