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PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman

This information is current as of today,

Zimbabwe

May 11, 2007

This Public Announcement informs U.S. citizens of security concerns in Zimbabwe and advises them to carefully consider the risks of travel to Zimbabwe.  This Public Announcement is valid until July 31, 2007.

In response to growing public protests against deteriorating conditions in Zimbabwe, the Government has authorized its security forces to suppress any and all dissent by whatever means deemed necessary.  Political leaders at the highest levels of the Zimbabwean government are condoning the security forces’ use of violence, including lethal force, against anyone the Government perceives as an opponent.  Security forces increasingly are using force against protestors and civilians, often without provocation.  The security forces increasingly are acting with impunity.  The Government publicly has defended its right to treat individuals roughly, including those in custody, and has warned of more such abuses.  A particular concern is the Government’s use of youth militia to suppress dissent.  The so-called “Green Bombers” who have perpetrated some of the worst offenses, are undisciplined, and often are under the influence of drugs. 

While heavily-populated urban areas remain the focal point for the Government’s crackdown, the Embassy is receiving reports that indiscriminate state-sponsored violence has spread to rural areas, including tourist, hunting, and safari areas.  American citizens in Zimbabwe who choose to remain should minimize travel within the country and, to the extent practicable, avoid public places and gatherings.  The Government makes frequent use of road blocks to enforce order.  Road blocks can be particularly dangerous, and extreme caution should be used when approaching them.  When instructed by police or other security officials to stop at a roadblock, comply with these instructions.  Travelers are advised to carry a mobile phone or other means of communication.

In light of the current circumstances, U.S. citizens are advised to consider the risks before traveling to Zimbabwe at this time.  American citizens already in Zimbabwe should monitor regularly the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov where the current Consular Information Sheet for Zimbabwe, the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, and other travel information can be found.  Up to date information on security also can be obtained by emailing consularharare@state.gov or calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada.  Callers outside the United States and Canada may call a toll line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are answered from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

All Americans in Zimbabwe are urged to register either online at https://travelregistration.state.gov or by phone or in person directly with the U.S. Embassy in Harare.  Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Zimbabwe and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency.  Security updates are e-mailed to all registered Americans with an e-mail address.

The U.S. Embassy is located at 172 Herbert Chitepo Ave.  The 24- hour telephone number is (263) 4-250-593; fax (263) 4-590-593.  The U.S. Embassy website is http://harare.usembassy.gov/. In the event of an after-hours emergency, please call the above number and ask to be transferred to the duty officer.





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