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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens (March 15, 2012)

U.S. Embassy Asmara
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens (March 15, 2012)
Ethiopian Military Action

 U.S.  Embassy Asmara has received press reports that Ethiopian military forces attacked Eritrean positions up to 10 miles inside of Eritrea on Thursday, March 15, 2012. 

All U.S. government personnel have been instructed to exercise extra caution and be aware of their surroundings due to heightened tensions between Eritrea and Ethiopia.  U.S. citizens are urged to maintain a high state of vigilance and personal awareness, and to take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.  For additional information, please refer to A Safe Trip Abroad.

The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens that they should avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and the Southern Red Sea region.  U.S. citizens considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political tensions between the two countries.  On January 16, 2012, a group of tourists were attacked in Ethiopia not far from the Eritrean-Ethiopian border.  Five tourists were killed, and four persons were kidnapped.  Military tensions remain high in this region.  

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Eritrea are strongly advised to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in the event of an emergency.

U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Embassy in Asmara for up-to-date information.  The Embassy is open Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  The U.S. Embassy can be reached by telephone, including after-hours emergencies, at +291(1) 120-004. 

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.