COMOROS

Country Description: The Comoros is a developing island nation located in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa. Facilities for tourism are limited and telecommunications links are extremely unreliable.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Mission and Embassy of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros, 336 E. 45th Street, Second Floor, New York, NY 10017; telephone (212) 972-8010, or the Embassy of the Republic of Senegal, 2112 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20008; telephone (202)234-3712. Overseas, inquiries may be made at the nearest Comorian or Senegalese embassy or consulate.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Comoros has experienced frequent strikes and civil unrest since early 1997, which have sometimes resulted in violent clashes between police and demonstrators. Foreign residents and visitors have not been targeted, however, the potential for further outbreaks of civil disorder in urban areas remains high.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities in the Comoros are limited. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health care services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the united states. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide for payment of medical services outside the united states. Travelers have found supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas and medical evacuation coverage to be useful. For additional health information, travelers can contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559. Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Petty thievery is common. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. The pamphlets "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to Sub-Saharan Africa" provide useful information on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strictly enforced. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Traffic Safety/Road Conditions: Roads are generally adequate, but poorly lit at night. Travelers should exercise extreme caution when driving at night. Taxis are preferable to public transportation.

U.S. Representation: The United States has no embassy in the Comoros. U.S. citizens in the Comoros are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy in Port Louis, Mauritius and obtain updated information on travel and security in Comoros. The address is Rogers House (Fourth Floor) on John F. Kennedy Street. The telephone numbers are (230) 208-9764 thru 208-9767, and 208-2354; fax (230) 208-9534. If more convenient, travelers may contact U.S. embassies in neighboring Dar es Salaam, Nairobi or Antananarivo.

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