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This Travel Alert is being issued to update U.S. citizens on safety and security concerns throughout Zimbabwe due to ongoing political instability following the March 29 national elections, and recommends deferral of non-essential travel to Zimbabwe at this time. This supersedes the Travel Alert for Zimbabwe dated April 11, 2008 and expires on July 1, 2008.
U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to Zimbabwe. While the country prepares for a runoff of the presidential elections between President Robert Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwean security forces, including some military and police, as well as so-called war veterans, are creating a climate of intimidation and fear across the country, particularly in rural areas and high-density suburbs. There have been attacks on opposition supporters, renewed farm invasions, and arrests 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 practicing journalism without accreditation, 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.
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.