Democratic Republic of the Congo Travel Warning
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid unnecessary travel to the DRC. On December 23, 2016, family members of U.S. government personnel and non-emergency personnel were allowed to return to Kinshasa. This replaces the Travel Warning dated December 2, 2016.
There is ongoing instability and sporadic violence in many parts of the DRC. Very poor transportation infrastructure throughout the country and poor security conditions in eastern DRC make it difficult for the U.S. Embassy to provide consular services anywhere outside of Kinshasa. All U.S. citizens should have evacuation plans that do not rely solely on U.S. government assistance.
Armed groups, bandits, and some elements of the Congolese armed forces operate in the provinces of North and South Kivu, Bas-Uele, Haut-Uele, Ituri, Tanganyika and Haut-Lomami. These groups have been known to kill, rape, kidnap, pillage, and carry out military or paramilitary operations in which civilians may be indiscriminately targeted.
Congolese military and United Nations forces continue to operate throughout North and South Kivu and near the DRC's borders with the Central African Republic and the Republic of South Sudan, particularly in and around Garamba National Park. Travelers in the region may encounter troop movements, armored vehicles and attack helicopters. Kidnapping for ransom is also common, particularly in areas north and west of Goma, North Kivu.
For further information:
- See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- U.S. citizens who travel to or remain in the DRC despite this Travel Warning are urged to provide their current contact information and next-of-kin information through STEP.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in the DRC, located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs in Kinshasa, at +243-081-884-6859 or +243-081-884-4609 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is 081-556-0151.
- Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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