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Travel Warning: Zimbabwe

Originally released March 16, 2005, this information is current as of Tuesday, May 31, 2005. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid a certain country.

This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on security issues relating to elections and demonstrations, and to remind American citizens of the continuing political, economic and humanitarian crises in Zimbabwe. This supersedes the Travel Warning of July 2, 2004.

The Department of State cautions U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Zimbabwe, a country in the midst of political and economic turmoil. All U.S. citizens in Zimbabwe are advised to take those measures they deem appropriate to ensure their personal safety.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in a protracted state of decline, with extremely high rates of unemployment and inflation. Food shortages continue to be an on-going problem. Deteriorating economic conditions have led to a significant increase in crime. Periodic fuel shortages in areas throughout Zimbabwe can hinder travel and some tourist facilities have closed on short notice as a result.

In the past, there have been incidents of violence in periods leading up to and following major elections. Reports of violent incidents are running well below levels prior to previous elections, but the possibility of increased violence before elections, including parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2005, cannot be excluded. Accordingly, American citizens should avoid political rallies and other events with potential political sensitivities. Avoid commercial farms, especially those occupied by settlers or so-called "war veterans," who are typically young government supporters acting with impunity outside the law.

All Americans who travel to or reside in Zimbabwe are urged to register and obtain updated information on travel and security in Zimbabwe with the U.S. Embassy in Harare or on the State Department’s travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/. The U.S. Embassy in Harare is located at 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue and can be contacted by phone at (263) 4-250-593/4/5.

Updated information on travel and security in Zimbabwe may be obtained from the Department of State by calling 1-888-407-4747, or from overseas 1-202-501-4444. For further information, please consult the Consular Information Sheet for Zimbabwe, and the current World Wide Caution Public Announcement, which are located on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.

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