Congo-Kinshasa Travel Warning
Issued by US Department of State
Jan 28, 2004
This Travel Warning is being issued to update information on the security
situation and to note that the Department continues to warn U.S. citizens
against travel to Congo-Kinshasa despite the improved security situation in
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo-Kinshasa). This Travel Warning
supersedes the Warning issued April 7, 2003.
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against travel to
Congo-Kinshasa. While the April 2003 signing of peace accords between rebel
groups and Kinshasa authorities resulted in the formation of a power-sharing
government of transition and brought about an improvement in security in the
capital, Kinshasa, and parts of the rest of the country, Congo-Kinshasa
remains unstable. Travel in the eastern provinces, especially in rural
areas, remains unsafe due to continued sporadic attacks by uncontrolled
militias operating there. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to or live in
Congo-Kinshasa despite this warning should continue to review their personal
security situations and exercise caution.
A United Nations observer force is deployed to a number of locations
throughout the country, and in many of these areas, security has improved.
Nevertheless, unofficial armed groups and active duty troops operating in
some parts of the country are responsible for pillaging, vehicle thefts,
carjackings, extra-judicial killings, rapes, kidnappings, ethnic tensions,
and continued military/paramilitary operations. The large number of rebel
and government soldiers to be decommissioned as a result of the peace
process poses another source of potential security concerns.
Travelers may be subject to detention and questioning by ill-disciplined
security forces. Any area where demonstrations are occurring or where
crowds are gathered should be avoided. There are numerous military
roadblocks throughout the country. While government-imposed curfews are no
longer in effect, they could be reinstated if the security situation
In years past, U.S. citizens, English-speaking individuals of other
nationalities and travelers who appeared to be members of military or
missionary groups have at times been targeted for arrest, detention,
deportation, and increased scrutiny. They also have experienced
difficulties at the airport and other ports of entry. Some travelers
arriving with Rwandan, Ugandan or Burundian visas or entry/exit stamps in
their passports also have experienced problems at the airport.
U.S. citizens who plan to enter Congo-Kinshasa despite this Travel Warning
are urged to register at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa upon their arrival and
to obtain updated information on safety and security within Congo-Kinshasa.
The U.S. Embassy is located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs,
tel. 243-81-225-5872. Entrance to the Consular Section of the Embassy is on
Avenue Dumi, opposite Ste. Anne residence. The Consular Section of the
Embassy may be reached at tel. 243-81-700-7383, 243-81-884-4609; fax
243-88-00228. Cellular phones are the norm, as other telephone service is
Updated information on travel and security in Congo-Kinshasa may also be
obtained by calling
1-888-407-4747 in the United States, and 1-317-472-2328 from overseas. U.S.
citizens should also consult the Department of State's Consular Information
Sheet for Congo-Kinshasa, and the most recent Worldwide Caution Public
Announcement, which are located on the Department's Internet web site at