United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
August 16, 2011
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The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Chad and recommends that you avoid all travel to eastern Chad and all border regions. This Travel Warning is due to the insecurity caused by high levels of violent crime, the continuing risk of clashes between Chadian government and armed opposition forces, and the risk of sudden outbreak of conflict among the populations living in these areas. In particular, the risks of carjacking and kidnapping for ransom increase as part of factional conflict. The U.S. Embassy in Chad has prohibited official government travel to all areas outside of N’Djamena without express authorization. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime. If you are residing in Chad, you should exercise caution throughout the country. This replaces the Travel Warning for Chad dated December 8, 2010 to remind U.S. citizens of continuing security concerns in Chad.
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. The level of violence in each incident has increased significantly in recent months. 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 to the region. The overall security situation remains fluid and potentially dangerous. Violent criminal gangs are difficult to impede. The Government of Chad has few resources to guarantee the safety of visitors in rural Chad. If armed groups approach, or civil unrest grows in the capital, N’Djamena, the U.S. Embassy may decide to evacuate non-emergency personnel and family members of embassy personnel on short notice. Family members of embassy personnel under the age of 21 are not authorized to reside in Chad. Commercial flights operate from N’Djamena International Airport, but flights are subject to change when political instability intensifies.
If you are affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in rural Chad, you are strongly urged to adhere closely to the policies and procedures of your organizations to mitigate risks from violent crime. You should coordinate travel plans with your UN partner agency security officers in Abéché and N’Djamena, and follow UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) guidance. 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. If you intend to enter Sudan or South Sudan from Chad, despite the Department’s Travel Warnings for all three countries, you must obtain the appropriate visas and permits in advance of entry. Further information is available in the Department’s Travel Warnings for Sudan and South Sudan.
The U.S. Embassy is not able to support evacuation from rural Chad. 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. These agencies have access to aircraft and other logistical support. The Embassy 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 it, and exercise extreme caution. U.S. citizens in Chad should closely monitor news media and the U.S. Embassy’s website.
You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy N’Djamena web site. You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution,Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.