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Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Potential for Violence and Severe Travel Restrictions in and Around Phnom Penh

Released on January 4, 2014

This security message is being issued to alert U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Cambodia to the developing political situation.  Today, the Royal Government of Cambodia announced a prohibition on all public demonstrations in and around Phnom Penh.  Separately, the main political opposition party has stated it intends to conduct a mass rally and march through Phnom Penh on Sunday, January 5, 2014.  There is a potential for violence should security forces attempt to disperse demonstrations in the capital over the next several days.  Based on the government’s handling of past protests, the U.S. Embassy anticipates that major roads into Phnom Penh will be blocked and significant restrictions on vehicular movements will be imposed within the city, resulting in severe traffic disruptions coming into and throughout Phnom Penh.  The Embassy recommends that U.S citizens within Phnom Penh limit any unnecessary travel away from their residences and avoid large crowds and immediately leave any area where crowds are gathering.  U.S. citizens outside of Phnom Penh should expect significant delays traveling into the city.  The Embassy also notes that violence, including fatalities, has occurred at roadblocks in the recent past.  You should remain alert to local security developments by monitoring local news reports, be vigilant regarding your personal security and preparedness, be aware of your surroundings, and plan your activities accordingly.  Please continue to monitor our website for updates regarding the Embassy’s operating status.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Cambodia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). 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 Cambodia.  For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy 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 Phnom Penh is located at 1, Street 96 (near Wat Phnom), Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and is open Monday thru Friday (except for U.S. federal holidays) from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The telephone number is 023-728-000.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance during regular office hours, please call (+855) 023-728-402, 023-728-051, or 023-728-234.  In the event of an emergency after hours, please call (+855) 023-728-000, then press 1 and then 0 to be transferred to the operator.