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USA renews Sudan travel warning

October 19 - 2017 WASHINGTON
US Capitol, Washington D.C. (File photo)
US Capitol, Washington D.C. (File photo)

The US Department of State today issued a new travel warning to US Citizens of the risks of travel to Sudan. “US citizens should avoid all travel to the Darfur states, Blue Nile state, and South Kordofan state and consider carefully before planning travel to other areas of Sudan due to the risks of terrorism, armed conflict, and violent crime”.

The latest warning replaced one issued at the end of March. It states that “the US Embassy's ability to provide services outside of Khartoum is extremely limited. Terrorist groups are present 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 can occur anywhere in Sudan, but are particularly prevalent in the Darfur states. Several aid workers and private citizens have been kidnapped and held hostage for ransom in the Darfur states over the last year.”

‘Be vigilant and aware’

US citizens who choose to travel to Sudan should be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when at public gatherings and locations 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,” the statement warns.

‘Significant reduction in conflict’

“Despite a significant reduction in the past year in military conflict between the Government of Sudan and opposition forces in Darfur, Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan states, tensions in the Darfur states, 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.

Armoured vehicles

The Embassy warning instructs “US government personnel in Sudan to use armoured vehicles for official travel, and prohibits most 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,” the warning concludes.

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