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Emergency Messages and Announcements
 

Below please find recent public announcement(s) and emergency message(s) issued by the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon.

 

                               WORLDWIDE CAUTION

October 16, 2014

1. The Department of State is updating the Worldwide
Caution to provide information on the continuing threat of
terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and
interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens are reminded
to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take
appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated April 10, 2014.

2. The Department of State remains concerned about the
continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and
other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests
overseas. On September 22, 2014, the United States and
regional partners commenced military action against the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated
terrorist organization in Syria and Iraq. In response to
the airstrikes, ISIL called on supporters to attack
foreigners wherever they are. Authorities believe there is
an increased likelihood of reprisal attacks against U.S.,
Western and coalition partner interests throughout the
world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa,
Europe, and Asia.

3. Kidnappings and hostage events involving U.S. citizens
have become increasingly prevalent as ISIL, al Qa`ida and
its affiliates have increased attempts to finance their
operations through kidnapping for ransom operations. ISIL,
al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qa'ida in
the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are particularly effective with
kidnapping for ransom and are using ransom money to fund
the range of their activities. Kidnapping targets are
usually Western citizens from governments or third parties
that have established a pattern of paying ransoms for the
release of individuals in custody.

4. Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-
conventional weapons, and target both official and private
interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile
sporting events, residential areas, business offices,
hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools,
public areas, shopping malls, and other tourist
destinations both in the United States and abroad where
U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during
holidays.

5. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for
terrorists to attack public transportation systems and
other tourist infrastructure. Extremists have targeted and
attempted attacks on subway and rail systems, aviation,
and maritime services. In the past, these types of attacks
have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid,
Glasgow, and New York City.

6. EUROPE: Current information suggests that ISIL, al-
Qa'ida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist
groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and
Western interests in Europe. Authorities believe the
likelihood of a terror attack in Europe is increased as
European members of ISIL return from Syria and Iraq.
Additionally, there is a continuing threat in Europe from
unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major
terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual
basis.  In the past several years, organized extremist
attacks have been planned or carried out in various
European countries. European governments have taken action
to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made
official declarations regarding heightened threat
conditions.

7. MIDDLE EAST and NORTH AFRICA: Credible information
indicates terrorist groups also seek to continue attacks
against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North
Africa. The U.S. government remains highly concerned about
possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities,
businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests.

8. No part of Syria should be considered immune from
violence.  The security situation remains dangerous and
unpredictable as a civil war between government and armed
anti-government groups continues throughout the country.
There is an increased threat of terrorism from groups such
as ISL, al-Nusrah, as well as other extremists whose
tactics include use of suicide bombers, kindappings, use
of small and heavy arms, and improvised explosive devices
(IEDs). Since the start of the uprising against Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad's regime in March 2011, the
United States has received reports of numerous foreigners
kidnapped in Syria, many of whom are still in captivity.
The majority of the victims are journalists and aid
workers. U.S. citizens and other Westerners have been
murdered by ISIL in Syria. Violent extremists from various
countries operate in Syria and may be planning attacks
against the United States and other Western targets.

9. A number of extremist groups also operate in Lebanon
and the potential for death or injury in Lebanon exists
because of periodic terrorist bombing attacks throughout
the country. As a result of spillover violence from the
Syria crisis, Sunni groups are active and Hizballah, a
group designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist
organization, has been present and active for many years.
10. U.S. citizens in Iraq remain at high risk for
kidnapping and terrorist violence. Numerous insurgent
groups, including ISIL, previously known as al-Qa'ida in
Iraq, remain active and terrorist activity and violence
persist in many areas of the country. ISIL and its allies
control Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, and have
captured significant territory across central Iraq and
continue to engage with Iraqi security forces in that
region.
11. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the Movement
for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), and al-
Murabitun remain active and operate primarily in southern
Algeria, southwestern Libya and Tunisia in the wake of
French and African intervention in northern Mali. In
Algeria, terrorists sporadically attack Westerners and
Algerian government targets, particularly in the Kabylie
region, and near Algeria's borders with Libya and Mali. In
September, a French tourist was kidnapped and murdered by
an Algerian-based terrorist group. Terrorists have
targeted oil processing plants in Algeria, Saudi Arabia,
and Yemen. In Libya, various groups have called for
attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests.
Terrorist organizations continue to be active in Yemen,
including al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
12. AFRICA: Al-Qa'ida  continues to operate primarily in
North Africa. Vestiges of extremist elements, including
AQIM, MUJAO, and al-Murabitun continue small scale
operations in northern Mali mostly related to planting
land mines on lines of communication used by UN
peacekeeping troops. The major parts of these groups were
forced to move to southern Algeria, southwestern Libya and
Tunisia in the wake of French and African intervention in
northern Mali. Terrorist groups have stepped up their
rhetoric calling for additional attacks or kidnapping
attempts on westerners and others, particularly those
linked to support for international military
intervention.

13. Additionally, the terrorist group AQIM has declared
its intention to attack Western targets throughout the
Sahel (an area that stretches across the African continent
between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea to include
Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea).
It has claimed responsibility for kidnappings, attempted
kidnappings, and the murder of several Westerners
throughout the region, including southern Algeria.

14. Al-Shabaab assassinations, suicide bombings, hostage
taking, and indiscriminate attacks in civilian-populated
areas are frequent in Somalia. Terrorist operatives and
armed groups in Somalia have demonstrated their intent to
attack Somali authorities, the African Union Mission in
Somalia, and non-military targets such as international
donor offices and humanitarian assistance providers. Al-
Shabaab retains its demonstrated capability to carry out
attacks in government-controlled territory in Somalia and
in neighboring countries such as Kenya and Djibouti.

15. Boko Haram, an extremist group based in northeast
Nigeria, has claimed responsibility for many attacks,
mainly in northern Nigeria. The first months of 2014 have
seen a continued increase in Boko Haram attacks and
clashes with Nigerian government security forces in
northern Nigeria. Boko Haram has also targeted women and
children for kidnapping, reportedly kidnapping women in
northern states for marriage as "slave brides," and
kidnapping more than 200 school girls from a private
school in Borno state. Boko Haram is known to descend on
whole towns, robbing banks and businesses, attacking
police and military installations, and setting fire to
private homes. U.S. citizen missionaries in northern
Nigeria have received specific written threats to their
safety and well-being, although none have yet been harmed.

16. U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn
of Africa, the Gulf of Guinea, or in the southern Red Sea
should exercise extreme caution, as there have been armed
attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by pirates.
The threat of hijacking to merchant vessels continues to
exist in Somali territorial waters and as far as 1,000
nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya
in international waters. There has also been a recent rise
in piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea,
including hijackings.

17. U.S. government maritime authorities advise mariners
to avoid the port of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200
nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. In addition, when
transiting around the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Guinea,
or in the Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels
travel in convoys and maintain good communications at all
times. U.S. citizens traveling on commercial passenger
vessels should consult with the shipping or cruise ship
company regarding precautions that will be taken to avoid
hijacking incidents. Commercial vessels should review the
Department of Transportation Maritime Administration's
Horn of Africa Piracy page for information on maritime
advisories, self-protection measures, and naval forces in
the region.

18. SOUTH ASIA: The U.S. government continues to receive
information that terrorist groups in South Asia may also
be planning attacks in the region, possibly against U.S.
government facilities, U.S. citizens, or U.S. interests.
The presence of al-Qa'ida, Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-
Tayyiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror
organizations, many of which are on the U.S. government's
list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, poses
a potential danger to U.S. citizens in the region.
Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their
willingness and ability to attack locations where U.S.
citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit.
19. The presence of several foreign and indigenous
terrorist groups poses a danger to U.S. citizens
throughout Pakistan. Across the country, terrorist attacks
frequently occur against civilian, government, and foreign
targets. Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily
guarded sites, including Pakistani military installations
and airports. The Government of Pakistan maintains
heightened security measures, particularly in the major
cities. Terrorists and criminal groups regularly resort to
kidnapping for ransom.
20. No province in Afghanistan should be considered immune
from violence and crime, and the strong possibility exists
throughout the country for hostile acts, either targeted
or random, against U.S. and other foreign nationals at any
time. Elements of the former Taliban regime and members of
other terrorist organizations hostile to the Government of
the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and foreign nationals
remain active in every province of the country.
Furthermore, travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains
unsafe due to ongoing military combat operations,
landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and
tribal groups, and the possibility of insurgent attacks,
including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised
explosive devices. U.S. citizens are increasingly targeted
for kidnapping. The threat situation in Afghanistan is
still considered critical and is expected to remain so
through the current political and military transition.
21. India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent
activities which may affect U.S. citizens directly or
indirectly. Anti-Western terrorist groups active in India
include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-
i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-
e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e Tayyiba. Past attacks have
targeted public places, including some frequented by
Westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train
stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in
large urban areas. Attacks have taken place during the
busy evening hours in markets and other crowded places,
but could occur at any time.

22. CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as
the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qa'ida, the Islamic
Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement
remain active in Central Asia. These groups have expressed
anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S.
government interests.

23. EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC: Information from credible
sources suggests that there is a continued risk of armed
terrorist and criminal groups operating and planning
attacks against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, in
the East Asian and Pacific region. Jemaah Islamiyah (JI)
and the Abu Sayyaf Group, have cells operating throughout
Southeast Asia and JI is linked to al-Qaida and other
regional terrorist groups.

24. There is a risk of travel to the southern Philippines,
specifically related to kidnapping threats in the Sulu
Archipelago and the ongoing threat of violence on the
island of Mindanao, particularly in Central Mindanao.

25. Over the past year there have been several
kidnappings-for-ransom targeting foreigners in the Eastern
Sabah province of Malaysia and in the southern Sulu Sea
area by terrorist or insurgent groups based in the Sulu
Archipelago of the Philippines. In addition to incursions
on the coastal and island resorts themselves, criminal or
terrorist bands may attempt to intercept boats ferrying
tourists in the area.
26. Indonesian security forces have disrupted a number of
terrorist cells, including JI, a terrorist organization
that carried out several significant bombings in Jakarta
and Bali over the past decade. Although Indonesian
counterterrorism efforts have been successful in
preventing terrorists from conducting large-scale attacks
in recent years, extremists in Indonesia may demonstrate a
willingness and ability to carry out small-scale violent
attacks with little or no warning.

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Before You Go
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27. The Department of State urges U.S. citizens living
overseas or planning to travel abroad to enroll in the
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). When you enroll
in STEP, we can keep you up to date with important safety
and security announcements.  Enrolling will also make it
easier for the Embassy to contact you in the event of an
emergency.  You should remember to keep all of your
information in STEP up to date; it is particularly
important when you enroll or update your information to
include a current phone number and e-mail address.

28. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a
high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and
take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal
security.  For additional information, please refer to
Traveler's Checklist.

29. U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a
heightened state of alert.  These facilities may
temporarily close or periodically suspend public services
to assess their security posture.  In those instances,
U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to
provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.  U.S.
citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and
maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate.

30. As the Department of State continues to develop
information on potential security threats to U.S. citizens
overseas, it shares credible threat information through
its Consular Information Program documents, including
Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Country Specific
Information, and Emergency and Security Messages, all of
which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs
website at http://travel.state.gov. Follow us on Twitter
and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as
well.

31. In addition to information on the internet, travelers
may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions
by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States
and Canada or, from other countries, on a regular toll
line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from
8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time
(except U.S. federal holidays).

32. Minimize considered.

 

Message for U.S. Citizens 

Town Hall Meeting for American Citizens

Friday, October 24, 5-7pm

U.S. Embassy Rangoon

All American citizens living in Burma are welcome to attend a Town Hall Meeting at the U.S. Embassy on Friday, October 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Ambassador Derek Mitchell will present an overview of recent developments in United States – Burma bilateral relations. American citizens will have an opportunity to meet new Embassy Staff to answer questions and address concerns.  Information about basic health and security issues will also be discussed. 

Attendance is limited to fifty persons; if you would like to attend the event, please RSVP to: ConsularRangoon@state.gov.  If you have any specific questions or issues that you would like addressed, please let us know.

The event will start at 5:00 sharp.  Visitors should plan to arrive no later than 4:30 for security screening.  Please bring your U.S. passport for entry into the Embassy.  Note that large bags or back packs, cell phones, computers, cameras, or electronic items will not be allowed inside the Embassy.

 

 

Security Message for United States Citizens

October 8, 2014

Bomb explosion in Taunggyi

While there are no known specific threats against U.S. citizens in Burma, the recent explosion of one bomb and the discovery of two other unexploded bombs near police offices in Taunggyi, Shan State, prompt the Embassy to advise U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Taunggyi to exercise good situational awareness, especially in the approach to the upcoming Thadingyut Festival.

Stay clear of all demonstrations or large public gatherings, including festival crowds.  Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence without warning.  If you see something suspicious, leave the area immediately and report it to local authorities.  Do not touch, move, or tamper with any suspicious package.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including at local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.  We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Burma enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Burma.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Rangoon is located at 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. M-F. The Embassy Telephone is (95)-(1)-536-509.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is (95)-(9)-512-4330. If calling the 24 Hour Embassy Telephone, explain that you want to speak to the Duty Officer or a Consular Officer.

 

 

Security Message for United States Citizens

September 30, 2014

Violence in Kayin and Mon States

While there are no known specific threats against U.S. citizens in Burma, recent clashes along the Burma-Thai border near Myawaddy, Kayin State and in Kyaik Mayaw Township, Mon State, the discovery of two Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Myawaddy, Kayin State, and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attack on a passenger bus near Kyone Doe Township in Kayin State prompt the Embassy to advise U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Hpa An, Myawaddy Township, or elsewhere in Mon and Kayin States to exercise good situational awareness and to stay informed of developments.  

The situation in Myawaddy is currently stable, but tensions remain.  Stay clear of all demonstrations or large public gatherings.  If you see something suspicious, leave the area immediately and report it to local authorities.  Do not touch, move, or tamper with any suspicious package.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates.  Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.  We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Burma enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at www.Travel.State.Gov. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department's website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read the Country Specific Information for Burma.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Rangoon is located at 110 University Avenue, Kamayut Township, and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. M-F.  The Embassy Telephone is (95)-(1)-536-509.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is (95)-(9)-512-4330.  If calling the 24 Hour Embassy Telephone, explain that you want to speak to the Duty Officer or a Consular Officer. 

Archived Messages

  1. Security Message for United States Citizens - Thailand Travel Alert - May 28, 2014
  2. Internal Revenue Service Webinar on Reporting Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts - May 27 2014
  3. Security Message for United States Citizens - Curfew in Sittwe, Rakhine State - May 14, 2014
  4. Security Message to United States - Burmese Water Festival (Thingyan) - April 4, 2014
  5. Security Message for United States Citizens - Ongoing Violence in Rakhine State- March 29, 2014
  6. Security Message to United States Citizens – Recent Bombings in Burma and General Security Awareness - October 15, 2013
  7. Emergency Message: 8.7 magnitude quake strikes off Indonesia; travelers are advised to heed regional tsunami warnings.
  8. Security Message to United States Citizens – August 21, 2013
  9. Warden Message – Burma’s Elections
  10. World Caution

Going abroad? Be a Smart Traveler!