Burundi Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jul 23, 2003
This Travel Warning is being issued to alert Americans to increased fighting
and mortar attacks in and around Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, as well
as continuing attacks on vehicles on major roadways and on other towns
throughout the country. The Department of State has ordered the departure of
non-emergency personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Burundi. This supersedes the
Travel Warning of April 23, 2003.
Due to intensified fighting between government and rebel forces, the
Department of State has ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel at
the U.S. Embassy in Burundi. The Department recommends that private American
citizens in Burundi evaluate their personal security situation in light of
the continuing fighting and consider departure while commercial flights
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. Two rebel factions
continue combat operations, one concentrated around Bujumbura and the other
in several areas of the country. Fighting between rebel forces and
government troops can be intense, and often involves non-government,
Rebels have launched rocket and mortar attacks on Bujumbura and other major
cities. There has been gunfire in and around the capital resulting in
numerous injuries and deaths. Vehicles on the nation's major roads have been
attacked regularly. The Embassy assesses that further attacks are possible.
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, as does the U.S.
Embassy. Curfew hours may be adjusted from time to time due to changing
security conditions. Please contact the U.S. Embassy for the most up-to-date
U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in Burundi despite this Travel Warning
should establish and maintain contact with the U.S. Embassy. 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 abroad, please consult the Department of
State's latest Consular Information publications, including the Worldwide
Caution Public Announcement, which are available at http://travel.state.gov.