US Issues Travel Warning for Zambia Ahead of Elections

Posted August 11th, 2011 at 8:00 pm (UTC-5)
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The United States is urging its citizens to take precautions when traveling to Zambia ahead of next month's national and local elections, saying there is a potential for unrest.

The U.S. State Department Thursday urged Americans traveling to Zambia during or immediately following the September 20 elections to monitor local news, assess travel routes when making plans, and to avoid all demonstrations. It said even peaceful protests can quickly become unruly.

During the September vote, Zambia's President Rupiah Banda will seek his first full term in office.

The president took power during special elections in 2008, after the death of his predecessor, Levy Mwanawasa. During that

election, Mr. Banda narrowly defeated rival Michael Sata.

Efforts by the opposition to create an alliance to challenge Mr. Banda in the upcoming vote have so far failed.