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This Travel Alert updates safety and security concerns in Zimbabwe, and urges U.S. citizens to defer all travel to Zimbabwe at this time, and to consider relocating if necessary to ensure their security during the election period. The U.S. Embassy may periodically restrict the travel of U.S. government personnel outside the capital city or within Harare during certain hours. This supersedes the Travel Alert for Zimbabwe dated June 2 and expires on August 1, 2008.
U.S. citizens should defer all travel to Zimbabwe. U.S. citizens resident in Zimbabwe should carefully review their personal circumstances, avoid all travel after dark, and consider moving to a more secure location in advance of, and immediately following the scheduled June 27 runoff of the presidential election. Due to the uncertain security situation, the U.S. Embassy may periodically restrict the travel of official U.S. government personnel outside the capital city or within Harare during certain hours. Since the March 29 general election, Zimbabwean security forces, including some military and police, as well as so-called war veterans, have created a climate of intimidation and fear across the country. There have been numerous and widespread attacks on opposition supporters, renewed farm invasions, and arrests and beatings of election officials accused of vote tampering. There is a continued risk of arbitrary detention or arrest.
Americans should be particularly cautious when using still, video or telephone cameras in any urban setting or in the vicinity of any political activity, as this could be construed by Zimbabwean authorities as misrepresenting oneself as an accredited journalist, a crime punishable by arrest, incarceration and/or deportation.
American citizens traveling to or resident in Zimbabwe should register with the U.S. Embassy by completing a registration form online at https://travelregistration.state.gov. Registration enables the Embassy to contact American citizens in case of emergency and provide updates on the security situation. Important notices for American citizens are posted on the U.S. Embassy in Harare's website at http://harare.usembassy.gov/warden2008.html.
As the Department of State continues to develop information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.