Warning: Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo
released June 24, 2005, this information is current as of
Monday, November 28, 2005. Travel
Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that
Americans avoid a certain country.
Warning for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa)
reiterates the Department of State’s warning to U.S. citizens
against traveling there in light of recent unrest and the potential
for more unrest in the near future. This Travel Warning supersedes
that of March 30, 2005.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to
the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Despite efforts to advance
the peace process following the 2003 formation of a transitional
government, periodic fighting continues in North and South Kivu,
Ituri District, and other areas of eastern Congo. Wide-scale civil
unrest broke out in May and June 2004, with rioting and looting
in many cities, including the capital Kinshasa, and resulted in
United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeper and civilian casualties. There
were also civilian and police casualties during demonstrations
in several areas of Kinshasa in January 2005 and in Mbuji Mayi
in May 2005. The challenges of implementing national elections
raise the possibility of further civil disturbance over the next
several months. The extension of the transitional government beyond
June 2005 has prompted some opposition groups to call for large-scale
demonstrations in Kinshasa and throughout the country on or about
June 30, 2005.
observer forces are deployed throughout the country, unofficial
groups and active duty troops in parts of the
country are known to pillage, carjack and steal vehicles, kill
extra-judicially, rape, kidnap, stir up ethnic tensions, and carry
out military/paramilitary operations. The large number of rebel
and government soldiers to be decommissioned as a result of the
peace process is also a security concern. Travelers may be detained
and questioned by ill-disciplined security forces at numerous military
roadblocks throughout the country. Government-imposed curfews,
not currently in effect, could be reinstated upon short notice
if the security situation deteriorates. Visitors should restrict
their travel, particularly at night, to areas of Kinshasa where
they are familiar. In the event of political disturbances, they
should avoid the parts of the city where the disturbances occur,
especially at night. There are increased police patrols and checkpoints
throughout Kinshasa as the government seeks to maintain order and
quell any disturbances by those opposed to extending the transition.
This often results in long traffic delays and the payment of “fines” to
be allowed to pass.
the Democratic Republic of the Congo routinely experience difficulties
airport and other ports of entry, such as temporary
detention and demands by immigration and security personnel for
unofficial “special fees.” Visas are not available
at ports of entry. 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 asked to show 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 all public demonstrations and areas where
crowds are gathered, exercise extreme caution, closely watch and
listen for news from reliable sources, and continuously review
their personal security posture. Changes in security conditions
occasionally restrict the travel of U.S. Embassy personnel.
who travel to or remain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
this Travel Warning are strongly urged to
register with the Embassy in Kinshasa or through the State Department’s
travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov.
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; entrance to the Consular
Section is on Avenue Dumi, opposite Ste. Anne residence. The Embassy’s
24-hour number is 243-81-225-5872; callers within DRC should dial
081 225-5872. Cell phones are best as landlines are often unreliable.
The Embassy website is http://kinshasa.usembassy.gov/.
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State's most
recent Consular Information Sheet for the Democratic Republic of
the Congo and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement, both located
on the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.
Up-to-date information on safety and security is available toll
free at 1-888-407-4747, or at regular toll rates at 1-202-501-4444
for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00
p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal
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