Burundi Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Apr 25, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on safety and
security in Burundi, including attacks on vehicles throughout the country
and gunfire and mortar attacks in the region of the capital, Bujumbura, as
well as other areas of the country. It supersedes the Travel Warning issued
August 9, 2002.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to Burundi due to
the uncertain security situation within Burundi, and among the several
states in the surrounding Great Lakes region.
Burundi has been plagued by civil war since 1993. As the result of a peace
process undertaken by many of Burundi's political parties, a three-year
transition government was installed on November 1, 2001. One major rebel
faction, however, has yet to sign a cease-fire agreement with the
government. Fighting between rebel forces and government troops can be
intense, and often involves non-government, non-combatant targets.
Throughout the second half of 2002, vehicles on the nation's major roads
were attacked regularly. In addition, there is frequently gunfire in the
suburban areas of the capital, Bujumbura. On April 17, 2003, rebels
launched rocket and mortar attacks on Bujumbura and other major cities that
continued sporadically for three days. Approximately 40 persons were
injured, and perhaps 12 killed in those attacks. The Embassy assesses that
further attacks are possible. Prior to the recent attacks, rebels had since
March 2003 fired mortar rounds at night on several occasions in the outer
suburbs of Bujumbura. The United Nations compilation of violent incidents
enumerates more than 40 such incidents throughout the country, most
involving one or more fatalities, in the month of February 2003 alone.
The U.S. Embassy in Burundi operates with a reduced staff and restricts the
travel of U.S. Government personnel within the capital, while travel outside
the capital is limited to travel by air only. Family members are prohibited
from accompanying U.S. Government employees assigned to Burundi, and
personnel assigned to Burundi on a temporary basis may have their visits
cancelled or curtailed. U.S. Government personnel are strictly prohibited
from flying to, from, or within Burundi during the hours of darkness.
The Government of Burundi maintains a curfew for Bujumbura, which is
currently from midnight to
5:00 a.m. The U.S. Embassy maintains a curfew for its staff, which is
currently from 9:00 p.m. to
6:30 a.m. Please note that these curfews change from time to time due to
changing security conditions. Please contact the U.S. Embassy for the most
up-to-date curfew information.
U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Burundi despite this Travel Warning
should establish and maintain contact with the U.S. Embassy and consider
their own personal safety in determining whether to remain in the country.
American citizens needing updated travel and security information should
contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy at Avenue Etats-Unis,
telephone (257) 223-454,
fax (257) 222-926.
For further information on travel to Burundi, please consult the Department
of State's latest Consular Information Sheet for Burundi and the Worldwide
Caution Public Announcement, which are available at http://travel.state.gov.