Chad Travel Warning
Issued by U.S. Department of State
Jan 03, 2008
This Travel Warning updates U.S. citizens on ongoing safety and security concerns in Chad. The Department of State advises American citizens not affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts to avoid travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border area. Travelers to other regions in Chad, including the capital, NDjamena, should consider postponing non-essential travel. This supersedes the Travel Warning of June 11, 2007.
The State Department advises American citizens not affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts to avoid travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border area due to insecurity caused by banditry and clashes between Government and rebel forces. Travelers to other regions in Chad, including the capital, NDjamena should consider postponing non-essential travel due to the unstable security situation throughout the country.
On October 16, 2007, the Government of Chad declared a State of Emergency in response to inter-ethnic violence and rebel activity throughout the country, especially in the east. The Chadian national army continues to mobilize and move additional troops to the east, and has placed police and military checkpoints in the capital of NDjamena. The recent "Arche de Zoe" affair, in which a French organization was accused of kidnapping Chadian children, has heightened government scrutiny of humanitarian and other organizations. Demonstrations targeting westerners have taken place and may recur.
Visitors (including journalists) traveling to Chad despite this Travel Warning should ensure all required permits and authorizations are obtained before their arrival.
American 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 use 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. American citizens traveling with Thurarya satellite phones should register the phones with Chadian authorities.
Reports indicate an increase in the number of highway banditry incidents across the country. Some American citizens have reported harassment at Chadian government roadway checkpoints. American citizens are urged to carry all necessary travel documents, including valid passports and visas, and any specific documents required for travel within the country. American citizens who encounter problems at these checkpoints should contact the U.S. Embassy.
Since 2006, clashes between Government forces and anti-government rebel groups occurred primarily in the east of Chad but on one occasion reached as far as the capital. There is a potential for further clashes between rebel movements and government forces in eastern and southeastern Chad and possibly closer to NDjamena. In the east, there are continued reports of cross-border banditry and United Nations (UN) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) vehicles have been targeted for carjacking. At least one foreigner was critically injured during a carjacking, and another was seriously wounded during an armed robbery at an NGO compound in 2006. 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 NDjamena, 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 NDjamena, and to register in Abeche upon arrival in eastern Chad.
American citizens who intend to enter Sudan from Chad despite the Departments 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 ultimately were unable to follow through with their commitments. Further information is available in the Departments Travel Warning for Sudan.
In southern Sudan, along Chads 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).
American citizens traveling to or resident in Chad should register with the U.S. Embassy by completing a registration form on line at https://travelregistration.state.gov and 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 NDjamena. By registering, the Embassy is better able to contact American citizens in case of emergency and provide updates on the security situation as necessary. The U.S. Embassy is located in NDjamena on Avenue Felix Ebou; mailing address B.P. 413; telephone (including after hours): (235) 251-70-09, 251-62-11, 251-90-52, 251-92-33, 251-77-59, 251-9218, 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 Country Specific Information for Chad and the Worldwide Caution Travel Alert 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. 202-501-4444.