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Old 03-05-2004, 04:42 PM   #1
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Haiti Travel Warning
February 21, 2004
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC

This Travel Warning is being issued to inform American citizens that it is unsafe to remain in Haiti in view of the deteriorating security situation.

The Department of State has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, and continues to strongly urge American citizens remaining in Haiti to depart immediately while commercial carriers are still operating. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued February 19, 2004.

The Department of State has determined that the security situation in Haiti has deteriorated to unsafe levels and consequently ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel of the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince. The Department warns U.S. citizens to defer travel to Haiti and strongly urges American citizens to depart the country immediately.

Americans are reminded of the potential for spontaneous demonstrations and violent confrontations between pro- and anti-government supporters, students, and other groups. The U.S. Embassy has imposed a curfew from 8:00pm to 6:00am on its remaining staff until further notice. The curfew hours may change. Since the beginning of the year, some international organizations have decided to draw down their staffs in Haiti. The Peace Corps has ordered its volunteers to depart Haiti until the situation stabilizes. American citizens should be aware that the U.S. Embassy has prohibited travel by its staff outside of Port-Au-Prince, and that the Embassy's ability to provide emergency services to American Citizens outside of Port-Au-Prince is extremely limited and has drastically decreased in recent days due to numerous random roadblocks set up by armed groups. These roadblocks have cut off several major roads, making travel to Port-au-Prince and other cities difficult.

There has been significant political tension over recent weeks in Port-au-Prince, Gonaives, Cap Haitien, St. Marc, Petit Goave, Grand Goave, Jacmel, and other parts of Haiti. The U.S. Embassy was closed several times due to civil unrest. It is expected that the Embassy will again close temporarily to assess its security posture. The Embassy's Regional Security Office has recommended that persons associated with the Embassy not remain in downtown Port-au-Prince after sunset and has directed that they remain in their homes during the hours covered by the curfew.

Groups opposed to the government have mounted demonstrations and attacked government facilities around the country, and pro-government groups have counter-attacked. Haiti's security environment has been deteriorating as President Aristide has continued to politicize the Haitian National Police and used government resources to pay for violent gangs to attack opposition demonstrators. The government of Haiti has failed to maintain order in Port-au-Prince or in other cities and in some instances has assisted in violently repressing the demonstrations.

American citizens who remain in Haiti, despite this Travel Warning, should remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and should register at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince and enroll in the warden system (emergency alert network) to obtain updated information on travel and security in Haiti. The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy is located at 104, rue Oswald Durand, Port-au-Prince. The telephone numbers are (509) 223-7011, 223-6440, 223-6443, 223-6421, 223-6426, 223-6424, 223-6407, 223-7008, 222-0200, the fax number is (509) 223-9665, and the email address is acspap@state.gov
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