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Central African Republic Travel Warning

Issued by US Department of State

Aug 19, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) and recommends against all but essential travel outside the capital, Bangui. Travelers in the CAR should exercise extreme caution. This replaces the Travel Warning of April 1, 2009, to make note of the recent incursion of the Lord’s Resistance Army in southeastern CAR between Zemio and the border with Sudan.

Armed rebel groups, bandits, and poachers present real dangers, and the Central African government is unable to guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the country. Northwestern and northeastern CAR, especially the areas bordering Chad, are particularly dangerous due to clashes between government and rebel forces. There have been repeated attacks on Central African and expatriate travelers throughout CAR, including in and around the Parc National de Bamingui-Bangoran. In August 2009, the Lord's Resistance Army conducted incursions into southeastern CAR between Zemio and the border with Sudan.

U.S. government employees may only visit the northwestern or northeastern CAR prefectures on a case-by-case basis and with specific authorization of the embassy's Chief of Mission.

Bangui itself, though safer, suffers from elevated crime rates, as well as severely limited transport and medical options. CAR military and civilian security forces (and people posing as such) staff checkpoints throughout the city, frequently harassing local and expatriate travelers for bribes. The U.S. Department of State advises U.S. citizens against travel outside of the capital Bangui.

American citizens should avoid public demonstrations, as even those intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence.

The small U.S. Embassy staff in Bangui can provide only limited services to U.S. citizens at this time.

American citizens may register with the embassy online by visiting https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs. Americans without internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in Bangui. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.

The U.S. Embassy in the CAR is located at Avenue David Dacko, B.P. 924, Bangui; tel. (236) 2161-0200; fax (236) 2161-4494. Americans may also obtain updated information from the U.S. Embassy in N'djamena, Chad, at telephone (235) 51-70-09, 51-92-33 or 51-90-52; fax (235) 51-56-54.

For additional information on travel to the CAR, see the Department of State's most recent Country Specific Information Sheet for Central African Republic. Up-to-date information on safety and security is also available at 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers from other countries, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

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