News Watch

On Feb. 17, 2008, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government Assembly of Kosovo (essentially its parliament) passed a proclamation of independence from Serbia. While Kosovo celebrated, the Serbian government strongly declared the illegality of the independence vote.

Kosovo’s declaration was recognized by several foreign states, including the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Turkey and Poland; however, Russia, Romania, Spain and Serbia deny it. Serbia has withdrawn...


On Feb. 8, the Department of State warned that while much of the widespread civil unrest, demonstrations and looting that affected Kenya following the disputed Dec. 27 presidential election had subsided, the potential for spontaneous violence remained.

Travelers were urged to defer all travel to Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza provinces, where road travel remained unsafe. And with sporadic illegal roadblocks by criminal elements, travel might be possible only with police- or military-...


The Department of State enumerates the risks of travel to Sri Lanka and specifically warns against travel to the northern and eastern areas.

Since early January 2008, attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) against civilians have increased. On Feb. 2, 2008, a bomb on a bus from Kandy headed for Anuradhapura exploded in Dambulla, killing 18 civilians and injuring over 50. On Feb. 3, 14 civilians were killed and about 100 were injured when a suicide attacker detonated an...


Security risks, including those due to terrorism, persist in the Philippines, the State Department warns. The southern island of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago are of particular concern.

On Jan. 3, 2008, a bomb exploded at a Cotabato City disco pub, killing one and injuring eight. The central and western areas of Mindanao have also experienced bombings targeting bus terminals and public buildings. While it appears foreigners were not targeted, travelers should remain vigilant....


Travelers should defer all travel to Chad due to the unstable security situation throughout the country, says the Department of State.

On Feb. 14, 2008, citing a need for heightened control over the country, Chadian President Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency, stating that he had signed a decree increasing governmental powers for 15 days. The decree enables the government to control the movement of people and vehicles, ban meetings, put restrictions on the press and set a...


In Timor-Leste, on Feb. 11, 2008, armed rebels attempted to assassinate President José Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. The president was shot at his home and evacuated to Australia for medical treatment, and the prime minister was unharmed.

The potential for violent civil unrest persists, and foreigners may be specifically targeted.

In addition, criminals have been known to operate illegal checkpoints for taxis and minibuses in some areas of Dili. Travelers are...


The Department of State continues to strongly warn that travel in all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe due to military operations, landmines, assassinations, kidnappings, carjackings, banditry, armed rivalry among political and tribal groups, and the possibility of terrorist attacks, including attacks using vehicular or other improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The number of attacks due to drug-related activity continues to be high in the south.

No part of Afghanistan should be...


The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Colombia.

While violence has decreased markedly in many urban destinations, including Bogotá, Medellín, Barranquilla and Cartagena, Cali continues to experience more violence than most other large cities, and the level of violence in Buenaventura remains high.

Small towns and rural areas of Colombia still can be extremely dangerous due to the presence of narco-terrorists. Common crime remains a...