School is just around the corner, and many of you are enjoying your time abroad. As we reported back in July, it’s important to keep up to date with the international environment. The Department of State in the United States monitors the global climate to make sure that you are informed about the latest current events and how they may affect your travel plans. Here are the latest in travel warnings summarized to give you an overview of August 2012 Travel Warnings:
- Travel Warning in Kenya – July 5, 2012 – Replacing the travel warning from April, the updated statement continues to warn travelers of terrorist threats and violent crimes. According to the State Department, “Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports.” If you plan to travel to Kenya, you should avoid demonstrations and political rallies as there are concerns of possible violence outbreaks.
- Travel Warning in Central African Republic – July 11, 2012 – This travel warning also replaces an existing travel warning from January 2012. The advisory states that all unessential travel should be delayed especially travel outside the capital, Bangui. “Armed militia groups, bandits, and poachers present real dangers, and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country.” Both violent and petty crime is possible throughout the country and US Embassy services are limited as only “basic services” are available.
- Travel Warning for Congo – July 25, 2012 – This warning is a replacement from January and the advisory continues to warn against travel to eastern and northeastern Congo. Security issues include armed groups and bandits which may not distinguish between civilians. Hazards that exist include motorists and pedestrians; be sure to keep all vehicles locked and windows closed while driving. There have also been outbreaks of deadly viruses and diseases that present a public health concern so it is important to get the necessary vaccinations and immunizations before traveling.
- Travel Warning for Syria – August 1, 2012 – This travel warning replaces the existing advisory from July, recommending against travel to Syria. If currently located in the country, the advisory recommends departing immediately. U.S. citizens in Syria who are in need of emergency assistance should call the Department of State at 0969-333644 within Syria.
The Department of State has a Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) available to US citizens who want to stay informed of the latest updates. If you will be in an area that has existing travel warning or alert, as listed in our August 2012 Travel Warning, you can also provide your contact information in case an emergency happens while abroad.