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Travel Warning: Chad

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Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Chad today.  It reads as follows:

Chad

March 29, 2012

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Chad and recommends U.S. citizens avoid all travel to eastern Chad and border regions. High levels of violent crime and a continuing risk of clashes between the Chadian government and armed groups exist in these areas. In particular, there is a heightened risk of carjacking and kidnapping for ransom within these conflict zones. The U.S. Embassy in Chad has prohibited travel by official U.S. government personnel to all areas outside the capital, N’Djamena, and its immediate environs without express advance authorization. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime. U.S. citizens residing in Chad should exercise caution throughout the country. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Chad dated August 16, 2011, to make note of a change in the Embassy’s policy toward minor dependents, and to update U.S. citizens on the current security situation in Chad. 

The U.S. Embassy in Chad is now authorized to operate as a fully accompanied post, meaning minor dependents of U.S. government employees are now permitted to again travel to or accompany family members to N’Djamena. The security situation in Chad has slowly but steadily improved since the conclusion of an effective peace agreement between Sudan and Chad in early 2010. Citizens should note, however, that despite recent stability, the security environment has been historically volatile and can still deteriorate unexpectedly. The Embassy, therefore, strongly recommends that all U.S. citizens in Chad be prepared to implement their personal evacuation or safe haven plans on short notice should the situation warrant, and exercise extreme caution. U.S. citizens in Chad should closely monitor news media and the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena website.

The incidence of violent crime in rural Chad is highly variable. Outbreaks of robbery and carjacking at gunpoint, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, and murder follow periods of calm without warning. Violence is often associated with car accidents and other events causing injury to Chadian nationals. Robbery victims have been beaten and killed, surgeons conducting unsuccessful medical interventions have been threatened with bodily harm, and law enforcement/military units have been implicated in violent crime. In addition, armed groups continue to be a threat in border regions.  The Government of Chad has few resources to guarantee the safety of visitors in rural Chad.

U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in rural Chad are strongly urged to adhere closely to the policies and procedures of their host organizations to mitigate risks from violent crime. The Government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in refugee-affected areas in Chad to obtain movement permits issued by the Ministry of Territorial Administration in N’Djamena, and to register in Abéché upon arrival in eastern Chad. U.S. citizens intending to enter Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, or Sudan from Chad should consult the Department’s Travel Warnings for those countries and obtain any requisite visas or travel permits prior to traveling.

The U.S. Embassy communicates with U.S. citizens residing in Chad through its warden system; however in the case of an emergency, including an evacuation, the support that can be offered to those in remote and rural areas is limited. All U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad must have an evacuation plan developed with the United Nations agency coordinating their work on the ground.

Embassy updates are available at the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena web site. The currentWorldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Informationas well as global updates are available at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or from other countries on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well or you can download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips.

U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Chad are encouraged to inform the Department prior to traveling and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling in STEP, the Department can keep travelers apprised of important safety and security announcements. Enrolling in STEP will also make for easier communication in the event of an emergency. Travelers should remember to keep all of their information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important to include a current phone number and e-mail address in order to receive the Embassy’s emergency messages.

The U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena is located on Avenue Felix Eboue in N’Djamena; mailing address BP 413 N’Djamena Chad. The Embassy telephone numbers are 235 2251-62-11, 2251-70-09, 2251-77-59, 2251-90-52, 2251-92-18 and 2251-92-33,. The Embassy fax number is 235 2251-56-54.

For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens in N’Djamena should call ( 235) 6662-2100 and ask to speak with the duty officer.

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Written by OSB

29/03/2012 at 16:20

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