TRAVEL ALERT - GUINEA BISSAU (April 14, 2012)
1. The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens
traveling to, or living in, Guinea-Bissau to the
continuing possibility of sporadic unrest following
reports of fighting and violence in Bissau, as a result
of an attempted coup d'itat. Embassy Dakar has received
reports of explosions and heavy weapons fire in Guinea-
Bissau's capital city. Radio and television are
reportedly off the air, and military forces are
attempting to restrict movement. The airport was closed
on April 13, and its future operating status is not
known. The airport's operating status may well fluctuate
repeatedly during the course of this crisis. The threat
of continued violence and an increased potential for
political instability and civil or military unrest in
Guinea-Bissau remains high. U.S. citizens are urged to
shelter in place and avoid the downtown area of Bissau.
U.S. citizens should also remain alert to local security
developments, and be vigilant regarding personal
security. This Travel Alert expires on July 12, 2012.
2. U.S. citizens are encouraged to stay informed and to
practice good situational awareness when moving about in
Guinea-Bissau. You should carefully consider the current
security situation before making plans to travel in
Bissau. We remind U.S. citizens that even demonstrations
intended to be peaceful can quickly, and with no advance
warning, turn confrontational and escalate into violence.
The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to avoid crowds,
political gatherings, and street demonstrations, even if
they appear to be peaceful, and to exercise caution if
within the vicinity of any demonstrations or apparent
fighting. U.S. citizens should stay current with media
coverage of local events and be aware of their
surroundings at all times.
3. There is currently no permanent U.S. diplomatic or
consular presence in Guinea-Bissau. The U.S. Embassy in
Dakar, Senegal is accredited for all diplomatic and
security concerns. The U.S. Liaison Office in Bissau
(BLO) can provide limited services to U.S. citizens in
the event of an emergency. However, all security and
consular services should be coordinated through the
American Citizens Services Section and the Regional
Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.
The U.S. Liaison Office is located at: Edifmcio SITEC,
Rua Josi Carlos Schwarz 245, Bairro d'Ajuda (Telephone:
245-325-6382). The U.S. Embassy in Dakar is located on
at Avenue Jean XXIII, Dakar; the mailing address is B.P.
49, Dakar, Senegal. If you have questions or concerns
about safety or related issues, you are encouraged to
contact the consular section at the Embassy by sending an
email message to firstname.lastname@example.org . The Embassy
telephone number is (221) 33 829-2100.
4. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens can contact
the Embassy Duty Officer at +221 33-829-2209. If you are
going to live in or travel to Senegal or Guinea-Bissau,
please take the time to tell us about your trip by
enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
(STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with
important safety and security announcements. It will
also help your friends and family get in touch with you
in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your
information in STEP up to date. When you are enrolling
or updating information, it is important to include your
current phone number and current email address so we can
reach you in case of an emergency.
5. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens
traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S.
Embassy Dakar website, the Consular Affairs website where
you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel
Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific
Information. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of
Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well, or you can
download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel
information at your fingertips.
6. Up to date security information 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