MOZAMBIQUE

Country Description: Mozambique, a developing country in southern Africa, ended a 16-year civil war in 1992 with the signing of a peace agreement between the Government and the rival opposition group. Following the country's first multiparty election in October 1994, the country has remained basically stable. Facilities for tourism are severely limited outside of Maputo.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A visa is required and must be obtained in advance. Mozambique authorities impose a fine of 300 U. S. dollars per day for each day travelers overstay the period of validity of their visas. Travelers should obtain the latest information and details from the Embassy of Mozambique, Suite 570, 1990 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, telephone (202) 293-7146. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Mozambique Embassy or Consulate.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: The security situation in Mozambique requires extreme caution, despite the peace process that has brought relative calm to the country. Although de-mining efforts continue, hundreds of thousands of landmines, laid during the civil war, are still a problem. Maputo streets are patrolled by police and soldiers who normally carry automatic weapons. Their authority should not be challenged.

Medical Facilities: Medical facilities are minimal and many medicines are unavailable. Maputo's special clinic, which requires payment in hard currency, can provide general, non-emergency services. Doctors and hospitals often require 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 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.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Economic conditions and years of war have led to the increase of violence, armed robberies, break-ins and auto thefts. Victims, including foreigners, have been killed. The responsibility to fight crime rests with a police force that is poorly trained, poorly paid and ill-equipped. Crime in cities is serious and rising. Traveling alone or at night is particularly risky. There are certain areas in Maputo where pedestrian traffic is prohibited. People walking or jogging, particularly in isolated areas, such as along the "marginal" in Maputo, have frequently been mugged during daylight hours.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported 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 protecting personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the region in general. Both are available from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Road Safety and Automobile Travel: Banditry along major highways continues to threaten the safety of road travelers. Periodically, the U.S. Embassy has restricted Embassy personnel from traveling on certain roads or has imposed certain restrictions on road travel. Due to the physical conditions of roads, travel outside Maputo often requires four wheel vehicles which create an additional security risk since these vehicles are high theft items. Public transportation is extremely limited. Travelers contemplating surface travel may wish to contact the U.S. Embassy for the most current information on road travel.

Currency Information: Currency can be converted at locations authorized by the Government. It is against the law to destroy Mozambican currency, offenders can expect jail sentences and fines. Credit cards are not widely accepted in Mozambique. A large number of merchants prefer to be paid in U.S. dollars.

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 strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.

Airline Information: Recent incidents involving Mozambique's national airline, LAM, have raised concern about LAM's safety practices. Because of these concerns and a record of unreliability, travelers may wish to review all available options for air travel in, to, or through Mozambique.

Embassy Location/Registration: U.S. Citizens are encouraged to register with the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Maputo at 193 Avenida Kenneth Kaunda, and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Mozambique. The Emassy's telephone number is (258-1) 49-27-97. The after hours telephone number for use in emergencies is (258-1) 49-07-23.

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