Cameroon Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Sep 30, 2015
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the high risk of traveling to Cameroon, and urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the North and Far North regions of the country because of the general threat of violent crime, terrorism, and the targeting of westerners for murder and kidnappings, particularly by the extremist terrorist group Boko Haram. There is also a growing threat in the East Region, where former Seleka and criminal elements from the Central African Republic (CAR) occasionally cross the border of Cameroon to steal property and take hostages for ransom. Because of the security situation in country, the U.S. Embassy’s ability to provide consular services in remote and rural areas is extremely limited. This replaces the Travel Warning of August 5, 2015 to emphasize the continuing threat of armed attacks, bombings and kidnappings in the Far North region of Cameroon and Boko Haram’s aspirations to extend the threat to other parts of the country
The Boko Haram terrorist group is active in the Far North region, and has actively targeted foreign residents, tourists, and government leaders. Boko Haram’s leaders have stated and demonstrated through their actions that they are actively seeking to kidnap westerners, which may place U.S. citizens traveling to or living in the Far North and North regions of Cameroon at risk. Twenty-one foreigners have been reported kidnapped since 2013. The U.S. Embassy continues to maintain restrictions on travel by U.S. official personnel to the North, Far North, and now the East Region of Cameroon, as well as any travel north of Ngaoundere in the Adamawa Region.
U.S. citizens should exercise extreme caution when traveling within 60 miles/100 kilometers of the border with Nigeria’s Adamawa State in the North and Adamawa Regions of Cameroon, the border area with Chad, and the border areas with CAR. Violence, banditry, and military operations in border areas can quickly spill over into Cameroon. Note there are Travel Warnings for neighboring Nigeria, Chad, and Central African Republic (CAR). The threat of piracy is present in the waters of the Bakassi peninsula in the Gulf of Guinea.
Criminal activity continues to be a major concern particularly in Yaounde, Douala, and other towns. Burglaries, armed robberies, theft by intimidation, and snatch-and-grab crimes are commonplace in these areas. High unemployment and an under-equipped police force exacerbate the situation. An influx of refugees fleeing conflict in CAR and Nigeria has strained Cameroon’s economy and added population to already crowded urban areas. Road banditry, especially along the eastern border with CAR, is reported periodically.