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Sudan Travel Warning

Issued by U.S. Department of State

Mar 14, 2008

This updated Travel Warning alerts U.S. citizens to the threat from armed conflicts and warns of continued threats from terrorism in Sudan. The Department of State continues to warn against all travel to Sudan.  American citizens who choose to remain in Sudan should review their security posture, and take appropriate precautions in light of the January 2008 murder of an American Embassy official.  This supersedes the Travel Warning issued for Sudan on September 6, 2007.

On January 1, 2008, an official with the American Embassy and his Sudanese driver were shot and killed in their vehicle while returning to the officials residence.  The Embassy has implemented heightened security measures to protect Embassy personnel when traveling in Sudan, which include obtaining advance permission for all travel and modes of transportation to be used.  American citizens residing in Sudan are urged to carefully review and assess their safety and security situations, and to practice situational awareness at all times to ensure personal safety.

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan, particularly in the Darfur area, where violence between government forces and various armed militias continues.  Americans and other westerners have been victims of carjacking and armed robbery while traveling in Sudan.  Land travel at night should be avoided.

Travelers are reminded 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.  

Travel outside of the capital city of Khartoum and the adjacent town of Omdurman is potentially dangerous.  Sporadic fighting instigated by militias often is reported in the southern parts of the country.  Threats have been made against foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile state.   

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.  In August 2006, five foreigners, including two Americans, were arrested and detained in Darfur after entering Sudan via the Chadian border town of Banal 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.  Without appropriate travel documents and permits, travelers may face arrest and detention for crimes including illegal entry, publication of false information, and espionage.  If convicted, sentences range from deportation to life in prison or the death penalty.  

The Sudanese Government requires that anyone seeking to enter the Darfur area, and some other areas, obtain a special travel permit.  This includes humanitarian workers, journalists, photographers, and other media employees.  Separate additional permits are required to take photographs, even for private use, and to conduct journalism anywhere in Sudan.  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.

U.S. citizens 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.

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