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THE US State Department yesterday issued a travel alert for United States citizens travelling to, and for those living and working in Jamaica, in the wake of tension in sections of the city over the pending arrest of Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
In the meantime, the Canadian and British high commissions have updated 'travel advice' on their websites to warn citizens about the possibility of civil unrest in Kingston.
"Due to ongoing political developments, there is an increased risk of civil disorder and street violence in Kingston and possibly other urban areas in Jamaica. UK citizens are urged to take extra care when travelling away from their homes or hotels," the British High Commission posted on its website.
The Canadian Government, on the other hand, warned its citizens to "exercise extreme caution in downtown areas of Kingston due to the possibility of civil unrest".
"There is a possibility of isolated disturbances, riots, and violence due to ongoing political tensions. The security situation could deteriorate with little or no notice, and the potential for civil unrest and violent clashes remains," the advice said.
Yesterday, US State Department Spokesman Andy Laine told the Observer that the travel alert "will remain in force until May 31". He said the decision to issue the alert reflected the unstable situation existing in a section of the Jamaican capital of Kingston.
Parts of downtown Kingston have remained tense since Monday, after Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced that the authorisation to proceed on the extraditon request by the US for Coke would be signed.
Supporters of Coke, who have vowed to die for him, have since blocked entrances to Tivoli Gardens since a warrant for his arrest was issued by a magistrate on Tuesday.
And the State Department's Laine said that a "travel alert runs for a shorter period than a travel advisory", which is considered to be more serious and lasts longer