Congo Travel Alert
Issued by US Department of State
Dec 09, 2011
The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for civil unrest or violence following the announcement of Presidential election results in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Some gunfire and civil unrest has occurred since the announcement of the results, as expected. This situation will remain fluid and U.S. citizens should take all safety and security precautions while in the DRC. The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa has deferred all non-essential temporary duty official travel to the DRC from November 15 - December 31, 2011. U.S. citizens should also defer travel to the DRC for this time period.
U.S. citizens should be aware that U.S. Embassy employees are not permitted to travel outside the Gombe residential area of Kinshasa until further notice. During the time when Embassy employee travel is restricted, the ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency is limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation. Periodically, Embassy personnel may also be further restricted to their residences, as the security situation demands.
Several international airlines have cancelled flights into and out of Kinshasa, and have done so on very short notice. Travelers should confirm their flight reservations and stay attuned to travel route conditions before travelling to the airport. U.S. citizens already in the DRC should closely monitor local news, assess local conditions and travel routes, and consult the Embassy’s website for Emergency Messages to U.S. citizens while in the DRC.
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 unexpectedly become a victim of harassment or more serious violence. 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 you take this opportunity to ensure that passports for all family members are up to date and that 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 Democratic Republic of the Congo Travel Warning and Travel Alert 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. +243-081-556-0151 (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; (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.
This Travel Alert expires on January 3, 2012.