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USA issues new Sudan travel warning

March 30 - 2017 WASHINGTON DC
US Embassy in Khartoum (File photo)
US Embassy in Khartoum (File photo)

The US Department of State today issued a new warning to US citizens not to travel to Sudan “due to the risks of terrorism, armed conflict and violent crime”.

The warning, which replaces one issued on January 21, 2016 reads that “US citizens should avoid all travel to the Darfur region, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan states and consider carefully before planning travel to other areas of Sudan due to the risks of terrorism, armed conflict and violent crime.”

The State Department says that the ability of the US Embassy to provide services outside of Khartoum is extremely limited.

Particularly prevalent in Darfur

“Terrorist groups are active in Sudan and have stated their intent to harm Westerners and Western interests through suicide operations, bombings, shootings, and kidnappings. Violent crimes targeting Westerners, including kidnappings, armed robberies, home invasions, and carjacking occur everywhere in Sudan but are particularly prevalent in the Darfur region.

“US citizens who choose to travel to Sudan despite this warning should be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when at public gatherings and any location frequented by foreigners. Exercise extreme caution, monitor reliable news sources for information on the local security situation, and follow the instructions of local authorities. All US citizens in Sudan should periodically assess their personal security and have evacuation plans that do not rely on US government assistance.

Tensions remain high

“Despite numerous cease fires declared by the Government of Sudan and opposition forces, tensions in the Darfur region, along the border between Chad and Sudan, and in areas that border South Sudan, including the disputed area of Abyei‎ remain high and violence continues. In addition to risking injury or death, US citizens who go to these areas without the permission of the Sudanese government may be detained by security forces.

The statement concludes that the US Embassy requires US government personnel in Sudan to use armoured vehicles for all travel, and prohibits travel outside of Khartoum without advance permission and extra security precautions. Family members of US government employees assigned to Sudan must be at least 21 years old in order to live there.


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