Cigna International Health Insurance

Congo Travel Alert

Issued by US Department of State

Nov 03, 2011

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for unrest or disruptions surrounding the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for November 28, 2011, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Results of the presidential election are scheduled to be announced on December 6, 2011. U.S. citizens planning to travel to the DRC before, during, or immediately following the elections should monitor local news, assess local conditions and travel routes, and consult the Embassy’s website for Emergency Messages to U.S. Citizens when making travel plans. Demonstrations and protests, including political rallies, commonly occur throughout the campaign season, which officially began on October 28, 2011. Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa has requested that all non-essential temporary duty official travel be deferred from November 15-December 31, 2011. This Travel Alert expires on January 3, 2012.

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could unwittingly become a victim of harassment or encounter more serious danger. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

For U.S. citizens already in the DRC, the U.S. Embassy recommends that you take this opportunity to ensure that passports for all family members are up to date and your children have also been documented as U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens should also store sufficient food, water, fuel, and medicine in the event that it becomes necessary to shelter in place.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Kinshasa web site. You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers from other countries, 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).

If you are going to live in or travel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa is located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, tel. +243-081-225-5872 (do not dial the zero when calling from abroad). The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached at tel. +243-081-884-6859 or +243-081-884-4609; fax +243-081-556-0173 (do not dial the first zero when calling from abroad) and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens in the DRC should call 081-556-0151 and ask to speak with the duty officer.

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