News Watch

In Papua New Guinea, tribal clashes rarely occur in densely populated areas, but when a security guard was killed in a hotel brawl in Mount Hagen on Feb. 4, truckloads of tribesmen of the dead man’s family poured into the city to seek revenge against a clan of settlers in makeshift houses.

Initially, one settler was killed before police drove everyone off, but the tribesmen returned, and in the end six people had been killed, several were injured, hundreds were homeless after their...


As of Feb. 20, 2008, the Paraguay Ministry of Health had reported seven confirmed cases of yellow fever from the department of San Pedro in the east central region, the first cases of yellow fever disease identified in Paraguay in more than 30 years.

Some rural, forested areas of Paraguay are known risk areas for yellow fever, but the report suggests the presence of the mosquito-vector virus in other areas.


As ITN went to press, the State Department had travel warnings on 29 destinations: Serbia, Chad, Timor-Leste, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Afghanistan, Colombia, Eritrea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Somalia, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Lebanon, Indonesia, Yemen, Nepal, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Haiti, Central African Republic, Iraq and Israel/West Bank/Gaza.

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


On Feb. 1, an agreement to stop the violence in Kenya within 14 days was reached after Kofi Annan met with parties of the two political opponents.

Nearly 1,000 people have died in the violence that erupted after the contested results of the December presidential election were announced. Most of the violence and demonstrations have taken place in the western part of the nation, with some incidents in the southern region. Two opposition party legislators were killed in what appeared to...


In a hopeful move, the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on Jan. 21, 2008, reached an agreement with rebel generals to end hostilities.

They will withdraw troops from some positions and allow the UN to set up a buffer zone. In return for ending the rebellion, the insurgents will be granted amnesty and be integrated into the national army. If the truce holds, it is good news for the over 400,000 people displaced during the last year of civil war.

In a prior...


The State Department advises avoiding travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border area.

On Oct. 16, 2007, the government of Chad declared a State of Emergency in response to interethnic violence and rebel activity throughout the country, especially in the east. The Chadian national army continues to mobilize and move additional troops to the east and has placed police and military checkpoints in N’Djamena.

The recent “Arche de Zoe” affair, in which a...


Some elements of the Iranian regime and the population remain hostile to the United States. As a result, American citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran.

The Department of State continues to warn dual-national Iranian-American citizens that they may encounter difficulty in departing Iran. Former Muslims who have converted to other religions as well as persons who encourage Muslims to convert are subject to arrest and prosecution.



Muslim insurgents have been acting in Thailand’s southern provinces for four years now, creating risks for those traveling overland in Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala and Songkhla provinces. (Coastal resort areas have not been affected.)

They are suspected of killing eight soldiers in an ambush on Jan. 14, 2008, and the next day setting off a motorcycle bomb in a Yala marketplace, wounding 39.