released March 30, 2005, this information is current as of
Thursday, June 02, 2005. Travel
Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that
Americans avoid a certain country.
This Travel Warning for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa)
is being issued to update security information and registration
requirements, and to note the Department of State continues to
warn U.S. citizens against travel to the country. This Travel Warning
supersedes the Travel Warning issued August 19,2004.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to
Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite efforts to advance the
peace process following the 2003 formation of a transitional government,
there has been periodic fighting in North and South Kivu and other
areas of eastern Congo. Wide-scale civil unrest occurred in May
and June 2004; rioting and looting took place in many cities, including
the capital Kinshasa, resulting in United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeper
and civilian casualties. Likewise, demonstrations in several areas
of Kinshasa in January 2005 resulted in civilian and police casualties.
The challenges of implementing national elections scheduled for
2005 raise the possibility of further civil disturbances over the
next several months.
Though a U.N.
observer force is deployed to a number of locations throughout
unofficial armed groups and active duty
troops operating in some parts of the country are responsible for
pillaging, vehicle thefts, carjackings, extra-judicial killings,
rapes, kidnappings, ethnic tensions, and continued military/paramilitary
operations. The large number of rebel and government soldiers to
be decommissioned as a result of the peace process poses another
source of potential security concerns. Travelers may be subject
to detention and questioning by ill-disciplined security forces.
There are numerous military roadblocks throughout the country.
While government-imposed curfews are no longer in effect, they
could be reinstated upon short notice if the security situation
deteriorates. Travelers to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
have routinely experienced difficulties at the airport and other
ports of entry, being temporarily detained by immigration and security
personnel demanding payment of unofficial “special fees.” Entry
visas at the port of entry are not available. All foreigners, including
Americans, are required to register at the office of the Direction
General de Migration (DGM) in the commune of their place of residence.
Foreigners may be required to produce their “jeton” (registration
ticket) at security checkpoints and when departing the country.
Travel in the eastern provinces, especially in rural areas, remains
unsafe due to continued sporadic attacks by uncontrolled militias.
Land borders with Rwanda may temporarily close with little or no
Americans should avoid demonstrations and areas where crowds are
gathered, exercise extreme caution, and continuously review their
personal security posture. Changing security conditions result
in periodically restricted travel by U.S. Mission personnel.
who travel to or reside in Congo-Kinshasa despite this Travel
strongly advised to register through the
State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov.
Americans without Internet access may register directly with the
nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens
make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in
case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 310 Avenue des
Aviateurs, tel. 243-81-225-5872. Entrance to the Consular Section
of the Embassy is on Avenue Dumi, opposite Ste. Anne residence.
The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached at tel. 243-81-884-6859,
243-81-884-4609; fax 243-81-301-0560. Cellular phones are the norm,
as other telephone service is often unreliable. Website: http://kinshasa.usembassy.gov/
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's most
recent Consular Information Sheet for Democratic Republic of the
Congo, and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, which are
located on the Department's Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov.
Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained
by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or for callers
outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.
These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern
Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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