The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to the Republic of South Sudan and strongly recommends U.S. citizens pay careful attention to existing in-country conditions when planning to visit. This replaces the Travel Warning dated March 29, 2013, and updates information on services to U.S. citizens in the Republic of South Sudan.
The Department of State strongly recommends that you avoid all travel to the states in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan (Upper Nile, Unity, and Western Bahr el Ghazal states in South Sudan; Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan; and the Abyei Special Administrative District). Although fighting between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has declined since spring 2012, the potential for troop build-ups along the border and renewed fighting remains.
You should exercise caution in all areas of South Sudan. In addition to sporadic clashes in the border region, there are armed militia forces that engage in violent clashes with SPLA forces in various areas of South Sudan, particularly in Jonglei State; these clashes can flare up with little warning and may exacerbate ethnic tensions throughout the country, leading to further violence.
The Government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers throughout the country, including in the capital city of Juba.
The risk of violent crime is high in Juba. In addition to the risk of criminality, U.S. citizens have been subject to arrest and detention without cause and there have been allegations of physical abuse by South Sudanese security services. The U.S. Embassy in Juba has imposed a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. to better ensure the safety of its personnel. In addition to the curfew, the embassy has implemented other measures to protect U.S. government personnel living and working in South Sudan. These include requiring personnel to travel in armored government vehicles at all times at night, and to obtain advance permission for any travel outside of Juba. At this time, spouses and family members of U.S. government personnel are not permitted to reside in South Sudan.
If you are currently working on humanitarian relief or development efforts in Juba, or anywhere in South Sudan, you should take measures to reduce your exposure to violent crime, and should closely follow the security policies and procedures of your organization.
There are likely to be disruptions or long delays in services provided by the Government of South Sudan, including health care and sanitation.
The U.S. Embassy currently provides limited consular services to U.S. citizens. The ability to provide emergency consular services outside the capital may be constrained. Routine consular services are available through the U.S. embassies in Uganda, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
U.S. citizens can obtain global updates from the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information. 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 outside the United States and Canada, 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 South Sudan despite this Travel Warning, the Embassy strongly urges you to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling in STEP, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling in STEP will also make it easier for us to contact you in the event of an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date; it is particularly important when you enroll or update your information to include a current phone number and e-mail address. U.S. citizens in South Sudan without internet access may enroll directly at the U.S. Embassy in Juba by filling out and submitting a registration form.
U.S. citizens in South Sudan can obtain the latest security information by contacting the consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Juba, South Sudan (e-mail address: ACSJuba@state.gov), or by visiting the U.S. Embassy website. In the event of an emergency, please contact the U.S. Embassy in Juba by calling 211 912 105 188 during regular office hours or 211 912 105 107 after hours to reach the Embassy Duty Officer.