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Reviewed: 23 December 2010, 16:00 NZDT
Still current at: 25 May 2013
There is extreme risk to your security in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) due to the highly volatile situation and escalation in violence following disputed Presidential elections and we advise against all travel. New Zealanders currently in Cote d’Ivoire are advised to depart.
On 21 December 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned there is a real risk of a return to civil war in the country. The UN has received reports of people being abducted from their homes at night by armed assailants in military uniforms. The level of violence in the country is escalating with reports of many people being killed. Foreign nationals, amongst others, have been the target of violence.
Any New Zealanders in Cote d’Ivoire are advised to depart the country, if it is safe to do so, while commercial options are still available. The country’s borders and airports were temporarily closed following the election in November 2010 due to the deteriorating security situation. Further closures are possible.
New Zealanders who decide to remain in Cote d’Ivoire against our advice should keep a low profile, avoid all demonstrations, political rallies and public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent. Any areas of military or security force activity should be avoided – this includes areas with a UN troop presence, as UN troops may be targeted. The area near the Hotel Gold in Abidjan should also be avoided as this is where one of the Presidential candidates has based his government. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice. Such measures may mitigate the risks to your safety but cannot eliminate them entirely.
Violent crime, including armed robbery and carjackings occur throughout Cote d’Ivoire, particularly in Abidjan. Walking alone or travelling after dark is not recommended. A high degree of personal security awareness should be exercised at all times.
We strongly advise against all travel to the Dix-Huit Montagnes and Moyen Cavally regions of western Cote d’Ivoire and the city of Bouake, due to the unpredictable security situation and presence of armed militias.
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Cote d’Ivoire, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens who get into trouble is severely limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Cote d’Ivoire should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your insurance policy covers travel in Cote d’Ivoire - exclusions may well apply.
New Zealanders travelling or resident in Cote d’Ivoire are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Print this page Tuesday, 02 April 2013, 16:05 NZDT