News Watch

In Bangladesh, Cyclone Sidr wiped out villages, infrastructure, livestock and crops and killed nearly 3,300 people in November 2007. The worst-affected districts were in the Bay of Bengal, including Patua­khali, Barguna, Bagerhat, Barisal and Pirojpur. The damage to roads, power systems and telecommunications continues to disrupt travel and services to the region.

Regions of Indonesia were hit by the worst landslides in 25 years in December, destroying villages and roads and killing more than 81 people.

In Indonesia’s Central Java province, the Karang Anyar, Wonogiri and Sukoharjo districts were hit. In the Madium district a bridge was washed away. Flooding and landslides also caused damage on Sumatra and Sulawesi and in Gianyar, Bali.

The World Health Organization has issued a warning of higher risk of malaria for the region of Southern Africa because of unusually wet weather. Countries affected include Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Use malaria-prevention medications and insecticide-treated nets.

As ITN went to press, the State Department had travel warnings on 28 destinations: Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Somalia, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Lebanon, Indonesia, Yemen, Nepal, Pakistan, Syria, Timor-Leste, Sudan, Haiti, Central African Republic, Iraq, Israel/West Bank/Gaza, Chad, Colombia, Iran, Philippines, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Afghanistan.

For details, call the State Department at 202/647-5225 or visit http://travel.state....


The Department of State advises avoiding travel to northern Mali. Areas of particular concern include the Mali-Niger and Mali-Algeria borders, the Kidal region and the city of Tinzawaten. The presence of a terrorist organization and other armed groups in the north present potential dangers.

On Aug. 26-27, 2007, Tuareg dissidents attacked and kidnapped civilian and military convoys near the Mali-Niger border. On Aug. 30, a truck transporting civilians from Algeria to Tinzawaten hit a...


The Department of State continues to warn against all travel to Somalia, including to the self-proclaimed “independent Republic of Somali­land.”

Interclan and interfactional fighting can flare up with little warning. Armed conflicts among rival militias have occurred in southern Somalia, particularly in and around Mogadishu. Extremist elements continue to maintain a presence in southern Somalia and have launched attacks against officials and Ethiopian forces. Kidnapping, murder and...


The Government of the State of Eritrea (GSE) continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals. To travel outside Asmara city limits, all visitors and residents must apply with the GSE 10 days in advance for permission.

Those considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the large presence of Eritrean and Ethiopian military forces along the undemarcated Eritrean-Ethiopian border plus rising political tensions between the two countries.


The Department of State continues to warn of the possible dangers of travel to Nigeria.

Violent crime committed by ordinary criminals as well as persons in police and military uniforms can occur throughout the country. Visitors and resident Americans have experienced armed muggings, assaults, burglary, kidnappings and extortion, often involving violence. Carjackings, roadblock robberies and armed break-ins are common in many parts of Nigeria.

After armed clashes between heavily...