News Watch

At press time, protesters had disrupted air traffic at Thailand’s two major airports since Nov. 25 in order to block the return of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from an international summit in Peru. An estimated 300,000 tourists were waiting to exit the country. Nearly a week later, a number of planes were allowed to fly off empty.

Protesters had occupied the Prime Minister’s office in Bangkok for three months, calling for his resignation. A constitutional court was to rule on a...


The Department of State on Nov. 21 warned US citizens against nonessential travel to Pakistan. Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack targets where Westerners are known to congregate or visit.

Sectarian and extremist violence has resulted in fatal bomb attacks in Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore and other Pakistani cities in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Since 2007, over 1,000 bombings have killed more than 1,000...


The US government continues to receive indications of potential terrorist threats aimed at American, Western and Kenyan interests in Kenya.

In November 2008, armed groups based in Somalia crossed into Kenya near the town of El Wak and kidnapped two Westerners. Travel by US Embassy personnel to border areas of Kenya northeast of the town of Wajir has been restricted until further notice.

Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings and home invasions...


In Kenya, gangsters have been setting up roadblocks on highways, especially at night, and robbing passengers in matatus, shared taxi-vans that sometimes hold up to 14 people. The victims usually are not injured if they do not resist.

This is common in the North Eastern Province, Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province and the northern part of the Rift Valley Province. Highways of frequent attacks include those from Nairobi north to Nyeri, the Thika-Karatina area, the...


The Department of State warns that certain regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), particularly in the east, remain dangerous. Travelers should avoid Goma and environs. Fighting between armed rebels, Congolese military forces and UN peacekeeping troops has increased in North Kivu and continues in the provinces of South Kivu, Orientale, northern Katanga and, sporadically, Bas Congo.

Armed groups as well as active-duty and demobilized Congolese troops in parts of the country...


The Department of State warns against all travel to Somalia.

On Oct. 29, 2008, terrorists launched several coordinated attacks involving multiple car bombs against local and international targets in Somaliland and Puntland. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent and capability to attack air operations at Mogadishu International Airport. Kidnapping, murder, illegal roadblocks, banditry and other violent incidents can occur in many regions....


The Department of State continues to warn against all travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border area due to insecurity caused by banditry and clashes between government and rebel forces.

Rebel activity tends to increase during the dry season, which lasts from late September to July. The security situation in general remains fluid and potentially dangerous. 

The Department of State recommends deferring travel to Eritrea due to restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara and heightened tensions along Eritrea’s borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti, with large numbers of troops stationed there.

Since Sept. 13, the government of Eritrea has repeatedly interfered with the delivery of the US Embassy’s diplomatic pouches, thus the consular section has had to suspend all nonemergency services.