The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of traveling to Cote d'Ivoire. U.S. citizens who reside in or travel to Cote d'Ivoire should monitor conditions carefully, maintain situational awareness, and pay very close attention to their personal security. Although the security situation significantly improved in 2013, security conditions can change quickly and without warning. This Travel Warning updates U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Cote d'Ivoire, replacing the Travel Warning of November 16, 2012.
In April 2013, municipal and regional elections were held and were generally peaceful; however, there were limited and localized incidents of violence in the days following the election, as results were announced. Local security forces responded to these events, which were quickly resolved.
If you are planning travel to Cote d’Ivoire, particularly to destinations outside of Abidjan, you should review the most recent U.S. Embassy, or your host organization’s, security assessment for your travel destination. The U.S. Embassy does not restrict its personnel’s travel within Abidjan, Grand Bassam, Assine, Yamoussoukro and Bouake; however, travelers are advised to remain alert and exercise the same level of caution that they would in any major city. Mission staff must inform the Regional Security Office (RSO) of official travel to Abidjan’s Abobo and Yopougon neighborhoods and the Banco Forest. RSO notification is required when traveling to the outer regions of Abidjan, Grand Bassam, Assinie, Yamoussoukro and Bouake, in order to assess current security situations.
Crimes, such as muggings, robbery, burglary, and carjacking, pose risks for foreign visitors in Abidjan and around the country. You should take precautions when stopped in heavy traffic or at road blocks due to the threat of assault and/or robbery, and avoid travel outside Abidjan after dark to minimize risk. Additionally, the generally poor road conditions are also a factor in driving after sunset. Local law enforcement authorities have limited capacity to respond to emergencies.
The U.S. Embassy instructs its staff to avoid large gatherings, crowds, demonstrations, and political events. Peaceful demonstrations and/or political events can turn confrontational and possibly become unsafe. You are therefore urged to avoid demonstrations and to exercise caution within the vicinity of demonstrations or political events.
U.S. citizens traveling and residing in Cote d’Ivoire are urged to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the most up-to-date security information.