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WORLD TRAVEL WATCH

Region of Russian Republic Should Be Avoided

December 01, 1991|LARRY HABEGGER and JAMES O'REILLY | Habegger and O'Reilly are free-lance writers based in San Francisco

World Travel Watch is a monthly report designed to help you make informed judgments about travel. Because conditions can change overnight, always make your own inquiries before you leave home. In the United States, contact your passport agency office; abroad, check in with the nearest American embassy.

Soviet Union/Europe

Soviet Union: A state of emergency and curfew are in effect in the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Republic in the northern Caucasus mountain region of the Russian Republic. Avoid travel here. Conditions have stabilized in the Republic of Georgia, but demonstrations still occur sporadically in Tblisi and could lead to violence. Avoid such gatherings. Crime continues to be a problem in urban areas, particularly in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Europe

Yugoslavia: Fighting in Croatia has intensified, both on its eastern border and along the Adriatic Coast. Avoid all travel to Yugoslavia.

Asia

India: Travel is not recommended at this time to the troubled region of Kashmir, where Muslim rebels continue their quest for self-rule. There are as many as 140 militant groups in conflict with Indian security forces, and their demands range from autonomy to outright independence to union with Pakistan.

Africa

Chad: Armed clashes between rival military factions occurred recently in the capital city of N'Djamena, and tribal violence led to civilian deaths. There has been an increase in looting and vehicle theft. The threat of violence remains, and all travel here should be avoided.

Kenya: Street crime continues to be a problem in Nairobi, and travelers should exercise caution when visiting game reserves due to occasional robberies.

Madagascar: The state of emergency and curfews imposed during a time of political unrest in July have been lifted, and the situation has stabilized. The country is in a transitional period leading to new elections, however, and increased political activity is likely. Exercise caution when encountering rallies and demonstrations, and be aware that street crime continues to be a problem, especially in the capital city of Antananarivo. Avoid public transit and do not walk alone at night.

Middle East

Yemen: Avoid travel to remote regions because of the possibility of getting caught up in local tribal disputes, which in the past have involved kidnapings of Westerners and vehicle hijackings. Permission is required for travel outside the cities of Sanaa and Aden, and also for the use of video cameras. Independent travel is difficult to accomplish, and travel arrangements should be made through agencies.

South America

Colombia: Galeras Volcano near Pasto, Narino Department, has been under close scrutiny by Colombian and U.S. volcanologists and is expected to erupt by mid-December. The volcano erupts about every 30 years, and the danger this time is expected to come from hot gases and rocks rather than lava flows. Travelers should defer travel to Pasto until the danger passes.

Suriname: The situation throughout the country has stabilized after sporadic unrest the last several months. Travelers should still exercise caution outside the cities of Paramaribo and Nieuw Nickerie, and especially on the road between Zanderij and Apura. Travel at night should be avoided.

Caribbean

Haiti: The political crisis in Haiti prompted by the military coup and exile of elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide continues. All travel here should be deferred, and Americans currently in Haiti are advised to leave because the American Embassy may not be able to offer assistance in the event of a crisis.

Oceania

East Timor: Indonesian soldiers fired on a peaceful independence demonstration in the capital city of Dili on Nov. 11, killing 115 people. Two American reporters were beaten severely by the soldiers. Travel should be avoided here due to the possibility of further trouble.

Papua New Guinea: Police curfews that were placed in effect last summer in the capital district and the provinces of Morobe, Western Highlands and Oro have been lifted. Crime is still a serious problem, however, in Port Moresby, Popondetta, Lae, Mount Hagen and along the Highlands Highway and the Mount Hagen to Mendi Highway.

Southeast Asia

Philippines: Floods caused by a devastating typhoon killed thousands on the islands of Leyte and Negros in November. The worst-hit area, the town of Ormoc, will need time to recover, but most of the country was unaffected.

For more information on safety concerns in countries you may be visiting, contact the Citizens Emergency Center, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520, (202) 647-5225.

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