US updates travel warning for Ivory Coast

9th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (AFP) - The United States said Tuesday it had lifted the authorised departure status of non-emergency US diplomatic staff and their adult family members in Ivory Coast's capital, Abidjan.

WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (AFP) - The United States said Tuesday it had lifted the authorised departure status of non-emergency US diplomatic staff and their adult family members in Ivory Coast's capital, Abidjan.

In an updated travel warning superceding that of November 10, the State Department said, however, that US government employees' minor dependents, were still prohibited from travel there.

The State Department also repeated warnings to US citizens not to travel to Ivory Coast unless it was essential.

"Cote d'Ivoire has been relatively quiet since mid-November, but security remains volatile and there is a risk of renewed conflict throughout the country," the State Department said in a statement, referring to Ivory Coast by its French name.

Rebels have controlled the north of Ivory Coast since September 2002 following a failed coup attempt against President Laurent Gbagbo.

A fragile truce monitored by French and UN peacekeepers was broken last November when the Ivorian air force launched a series of strikes on rebel-held cities.

One raid killed nine French peacekeepers and a US aid worker.

The French wiped out the Ivorian air force in retaliation, an act which sparked days of violence in Abidjan and other southern cities, most of which targeted French nationals and other expatriates.

Some 8,000 foreign civilians fled the country, once a model of calm and stability in west Africa.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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