Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Central African Republic: US Department of State, Effective 5/13/14, Urges Citizens Avoid Travel, Leave

The US Department of State warns US citizens against all travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) and recommends that those who remain in CAR depart immediately by taking advantage of existing commercial flights.  

The Government of Chad closed its border with CAR May 12, 2014.  Only citizens of Chad returning home will be able to cross the Chad-CAR border. 

US citizens who have decided to stay in CAR despite this warning should review their personal security situation and seriously consider departing. 

US Embassy Bangui suspended operations in December 2012, and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to US citizens in CAR. 

The Government of the Republic of France, acting through its Embassy in Bangui, serves as Protecting Power for US interests in CAR. The range of consular services the French Republic provides to US citizens is extremely limited, and those services may require significantly more processing time than at US embassies or consulates outside of CAR. 

US citizens in CAR who seek consular services should contact the Embassy of the Republic of France in Bangui by calling 236 21 61 30 00.

US citizens in CAR who are in need of emergency assistance and are unable to reach the Embassy of the Republic of France, or must make contact outside business hours, should contact the US Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon: Telephone: +(237) 2220-1500 ext. 4341/4023 (Monday-Friday, 0900-Noon local time) Emergencies: +(237) 2220-1500, ext. 4531 or +(237) 2222-25-89; E-mail: YaoundeACS@state.gov

If you seek information about US citizen services in CAR from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, please e-mail: CARemergencyUSC@state.gov.

If you are going to live in or travel to the Central African Republic despite this Travel Warning, please take the time 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 in order to receive emergency messages.

For information on general crime and security issues, you should also consult the Department of State Country Specific Information for the Central African Republic; as well as the Worldwide Caution; located on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the US and Canada, or from other countries on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.