Sudan Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Oct 05, 2006
This Travel Warning for Sudan reminds U.S. citizens of the continued threat of terrorism in Sudan and notes restrictions on travel by American citizens outside Khartoum. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued for Sudan on August 31, 2006.
The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan, particularly in the Darfur area where there is a continuing buildup of Government and rebel military forces and where violence has increased significantly, and to remind travelers that the U.S. Government has received indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in Sudan. Terrorist actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate, and commercial operations associated with U.S. or Western interests. As physical security remains high at official facilities, terrorists may turn towards softer targets, such as residential compounds.
Sporadic fighting instigated by militias is often reported in the southern parts of the country. Travel outside of the capital city of Khartoum is potentially dangerous. Threats have been made against foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile state.
As a result of violence and banditry, the United Nations has declared many parts of Darfur "No-Go" areas for UN personnel. Due to the potential for banditry and general lawlessness in rural areas, land travel at night should be avoided.
On October 1, the Government of Sudan announced that the movements of all U.S. citizens visiting Sudan would be restricted to a 25-mile radius of the Republican Palace in Central Khartoum. The Sudanese government has not clarified whether Americans who already possess travel permits will be allowed to go beyond the 25 mile radius. Americans who have valid travel permits and plan to travel outside Khartoum should check with local authorities.
In August, five foreigners, including two Americans, were arrested and detained in Darfur after entering Sudan via the Chadian border town of Bahai without the appropriate documentation. Several of these individuals had solicited and obtained escorts in Chad who allegedly promised to facilitate entry into Sudan but who were ultimately unable to follow through with their commitments. Americans who travel to Sudan despite this travel warning must possess a valid passport with at least six months of validity and a Sudanese visa. Travelers must apply for a visa in their own country of residence. The Sudanese Government requires that anyone seeking to enter the Darfur area, or to take photographs or perform other journalistic functions anywhere in Sudan, must obtain a special permit. This includes journalists, photographers, and other press/media employees. Additional information about entry requirements for Sudan and other countries is located on the State Departments Bureau of Consular Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov.
Failure to possess the appropriate travel documents and permits can result in the travelers arrest and detention for multiple crimes, including illegal entry, publication of false information, and espionage. If convicted, sentences range from deportation to life in prison or the death penalty.
U.S. citizens who travel to Sudan despite this Travel Warning are strongly urged to register with the Embassy in Khartoum or through the State Departments Travel Registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum; tel. (249-183) 774-701/2/3 (outside Sudan); tel. (0183) 774-701/2/3 inside Sudan. For after-hours emergencies, please call 249-183-774-705 and leave a message with Post One for the Consular Duty Officer.
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of States most recent Consular Information Sheet for Sudan, located on the Departments Consular Affairs 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 holidays).