Chad Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Nov 21, 2006
This revised Travel Warning reminds American citizens of ongoing rebel activity in Chad, and notes the declaration of a state of emergency. This supersedes the Travel Warning of October 27, 2006.
The Department of State urges American citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Chad. In response to the inter-ethnic clashes taking place in eastern Chad along its border with Sudan, the Government of Chad announced November 13 that it was instituting a State of Emergency for the eastern regions of Ouaddai, Wadi Fira, and Salamat, as well as the regions of Hadjer-Lamis, Bourkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (BET), Moyen Chari, Mondoul and for the capital city of N'Djamena. The Government has reinstated censorship of the independent media and has forbidden radio coverage of issues "affecting public order." Americans should exercise caution when traveling in Chad, including within N'Djamena. Americans should expect increased police and military patrols around the capital. The Chadian government may introduce travel restrictions outside N'Djamena, particularly to eastern Chad. Americans not affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should avoid travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border.
U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, street demonstrations, and government installations, including the Presidential Palace, which is across from the Parade Grounds. Vehicles should never stop in front of the Presidential Palace. When traveling anywhere in Chad, American citizens should travel in groups, keep a cell phone (for when service is available) or two-way radio in reach at all times, avoid travel after dusk, and leave detailed travel plans with a reliable point of contact. Americans traveling with Thurarya satellite phones should register the phones with Chadian authorities.
Reports indicate an increase in the number of "couper de routes," or highway banditry incidents, across the country. Some American citizens have reported harassment at Chadian government roadway checkpoints. Americans are urged to carry all necessary travel documents, including valid passports and visas, and any specific documents required for travel within the country. Americans who encounter problems at these checkpoints should contact the U.S. Embassy (See below for contact details).
In April 2006, rebels advanced across Chad and reached N'Djamena where they were defeated by government forces in a battle in and around the capital. There is a potential for further clashes between rebel movements and government forces in eastern and southeastern Chad and possibly closer to N'Djamena. In the east, there are also numerous reports of cross-border banditry and cattle rustling. United Nations (UN) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) vehicles have been targeted for carjacking in eastern Chad. At least one foreigner has been critically injured as a result of a carjacking, and another expatriate was seriously wounded during an armed robbery at an NGO compound. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad are strongly urged to coordinate travel plans with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) security offices in Abeche and N'Djamena, and to follow UNHCR guidance regarding safety and security. The government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in refugee-affected areas in eastern Chad to obtain permits issued by the Ministry of Territorial Administration in N'Djamena, and to register in Abeche upon arrival in eastern Chad.
American citizens who intend to enter Sudan from Chad despite the Department's Travel Warnings for both countries must obtain the appropriate visas and permits in advance of entry into Sudan. In August 2006, 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. Further information is available in the Department's Travel Warning for Sudan.
In southern Sudan, along Chad's border with the Central African Republic (CAR), the situation is volatile, with over 50,000 refugees in Chad who have fled ongoing fighting in the CAR between northern Central African rebels and CAR forces. In the northern Tibesti region and the area north of Lake Chad, there have been occasional clashes between government forces and a rebel group known as the Chadian Movement for Justice and Democracy (MDJT).
The U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena may close temporarily for general business from time to time to review its security posture. For the status of services, consult the Embassy web site at http://usembassy.state.gov/ndjamena.
American citizens visiting or resident in Chad are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy on line at https://travelregistration.state.gov and to provide contact information and specific travel data if traveling outside the capital. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency and provide updates on the security situation as necessary. The U.S. Embassy is located in N'Djamena on Avenue Felix Ebou; mailing address B.P. 413; telephone (including after hours): (235) 51-62-11, 51-70-09, 51-77-59, 51-90-52, 51-92-18, and 51-92-33; fax (235) 51-56-54; web site http://usembassy.state.gov/ndjamena.
For additional information, consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Chad and the Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at http://travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.