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Home | ZimCrisis -- US Department of State Travel Warning

Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2000 06:13:25 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis -- US Department of State Travel Warning
Cc: "Australian government":;, "British government":;,
"Canadian government":
;, "South African government":;,
Commonwealth:;, Press:;

Hi everyone,

Just a taste of the warnings that countries are sending to their citizens regarding Zimbabwe. Apparently a not-too-bright British diplomat didn't heed the warnings of his own employer and found himself and his wife and child in a spot of trouble on a farm that a relative had already abandoned!


ZIMBABWE - Public Announcement June 2, 2000

The U.S. Embassy in Harare wishes to advise U.S. citizens of continuing conditions that could affect their safety in Zimbabwe. These conditions include the occupation of commercial farms, the potential for civil unrest during the run-up to the parliamentary elections in June 2000, and fuel shortages.

Zimbabwe is continuing to experience political tension, as members and supporters of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association are currently occupying over 1000 commercial farms throughout the country. Police authorities view these farm occupations as a political issue and have been reluctant to dislodge the trespassers. At least 25 Zimbabweans have been killed. This figure includes farmers, farm workers suspected of supporting opposition political parties, urban youth and police involved in skirmishes on the occupied farms. The war veterans have not specifically targeted U.S. citizens for violence; however, U.S. visitors and residents are urged not to visit any occupied commercial farm. In addition, travelers are advised to re-confirm their lodging immediately prior to departure for Zimbabwe, as numerous game reserves and lodges around the country have closed due to the presence of war veterans on or near their properties.

During the run-up to the parliamentary elections scheduled for June 24 and 25, 2000, U.S. citizens should avoid political rallies and street demonstrations and maintain security awareness at all times in both rural and urban areas. These demonstrations and rallies have the potential to turn violent, and typically occur in the central business districts of cities or in high-density suburbs. Pending the easing of political tensions, the peace corps has temporarily withdrawn from rural areas and downscaled its program to 30 volunteers who have been reassigned to carefully reviewed sites in the larger cities.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing serious nationwide fuel shortages since the beginning of the year. The situation has begun to subside, but travelers should be aware that shortages may persist. Therefore, travelers should carefully assess their fuel situation before setting out on long distance journeys.

For additional information on travel to Zimbabwe, please consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Zimbabwe.

This Public Announcement replaces the one issued on May 12, 2000 and updates information regarding the situation on the commercial farm occupation and the recent departure of Peace Corps volunteers. This Public Announcement expires on August 31, 2000.

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk