WASHINGTON -- The
State Department updated its existing, separate travel warnings for
the Central African Republic, Togo and Lebanon advising U.S.
citizens against visiting those countries.
The department noted
that in March 2003, rebel forces seized power in the Central
African Republic (CAR) and installed a new leader for the country
who remains in power.
According to the
warning, Although the country held peaceful elections in March
2005, the situation remains fluid and U.S. citizens who remain in
the CAR despite this Travel Warning are urged to exercise caution
at public gatherings.
continue to be reports of armed robberies along roads outside of
Security remains a
challenge in Togo, where recent president elections were held. The
results of the election have been strongly contested and have led
to violence and protests throughout the country.
department has authorized the departure of nonemergency personnel
and all eligible family members of U.S. Embassy personnel. The
Department urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Togo, and asks
those Americans already in Togo to evaluate carefully their
personal security when deciding whether to depart.
security situation in Lebanon remains volatile.
warning noting that former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri was
assassinated Feb. 14, 2005, in a car-bomb attack in which at least
19 other people were killed and many others were seriously wounded.
Syria subsequently pledged to withdraw from Lebanon. Protests
related to these events, including against the U.S. Embassy,
continue in Beirut and other cities; there remains the potential
for violent clashes. In addition, four late-night bombings north of
Beirut occurred in March and April, resulting in at least three
advised U.S. citizens in Lebanon to pay close attention to their
personal security at locations where Westerners are generally known
to congregate, and said they should avoid demonstrations and large
the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Michael
Milligan at [email protected].