Cablegate: Sudan Country Clearance Granted for Spg Desk Officer
DE RUEHKH #0373/01 0700835
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 110835Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 6421
UNCLAS KHARTOUM 000373
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA AMGT APER ACOA ASEC SU
SUBJECT: Sudan Country Clearance Granted for SPG Desk Officer
Ref: STATE 027159
1. (SBU) Embassy Khartoum welcomes and grants country clearance for
SPG Desk Officer Rebecca Jovin to travel to Khartoum and Darfur for
consultations from March 10 to 17, 2007.
2. (SBU) U.S. citizens are reminded that Sudanese visas are now
required for travel to all parts of Sudan. The Sudanese Government
has informed us that it no longer recognizes SPLM clearances (see
paragraph 7 for details.)
3. (SBU) CONTACT INFORMATION: Point of Contact for the visit is
Political Officer Jennifer Larson, who can be reached on cell phone
number 011-249-917-8522. The Embassy switchboard number is
249-183-774-700 or 249-183-774-702. The Embassy may be contacted
after hours by calling the local guard at Post One at
249-183-774-701. The Embassy is open from 08:00 to 16:30 Sunday
4. (U) Assistance will be provided at Khartoum International Airport
5. (U) EXCHANGE RATE: Current exchange rate at post is 200 Sudanese
Dinars to one USD.
6. (U) PASSPORT/VISA:
A. U.S. Citizens are reminded that Sudanese visas are now required
for travel to all parts of Sudan. It is the traveler's
responsibility to obtain a Sudanese visa prior to arrival in
Khartoum. Please note that the Government of Sudan does not/not
issue airport visas and currently does not permit entry of a
traveler whose passport bears an Israeli stamp.
B. IF TRAVELING FROM THE UNITED STATES AND/OR A U.S. MISSION
ABROAD: The Sudanese Government has a restrictive policy in regards
to visa issuances to official American travelers. Official
Americans should not begin their travel to Sudan without having
obtained a Sudanese visa or having received notice that a visa has
been authorized for issuance in another city. Recently the Sudanese
Government has advised that official American travelers coming from
Washington, DC, no longer need post's assistance in preparing
diplomatic notes for visa issuance; travelers may apply directly to
the Sudanese Embassy in Washington. For visa issuance from other
Sudanese Embassies, official American travelers may have to contact
the American Embassy in Khartoum for assistance.
7. (U) MEDICAL CLEARANCE:
A. All employees, including WAEs and civil service employees who
are in TDY status for more than 60 days (cumulatively) in a calendar
year, are required to have an up-to-date medical clearance from the
Department of State Office of Medical Services (M/MED) in order to
receive full State Department medical benefits from an Embassy
Medical Unit, to include Embassy Khartoum Medical Unit.
B. MEDICAL CLEARANCE FOR PSC AND NON-PSC: As per State cable
201464, all contract workers (PSC and non-PSC, to include
institutional contractors and grantees) must have a medical
clearance issued from M/MED before arrival at post. A copy of this
clearance is required by the Medical Unit on arrival at post before
any Embassy Khartoum Medical Unit services can be provided.
C. IMMUNIZATIONS (DIRECT HIRE, WAE, TDYERS, PSC, AND NON-PSC):
Please ensure that you complete all immunizations recommended by
M/MED before arrival at post. Yellow fever and polio (IPV) are
required at least 10 days before departure. Malaria prophylaxis is
required for post and should commence 1 or 2 weeks before departure.
Please ensure enough prophylaxis is issued to cover your TDY period
at post. Upon arrival, travelers should visit the Medical Unit to
register and receive further health information. Travelers'
diarrhea is a common problem in Sudan. Only bottled water or
distilled water should be used for drinking (this includes ice).
Eat foods that are well cooked. Avoid fruits without peels, raw
vegetables, salads, and local dairy products, which might not be
pasteurized. At least 8-10 glasses of water or fluids are
recommended to avoid dehydration. A topical insect repellent and
sunscreen SPF 15-30 are also recommended.
8. (U) BRINGING IN COMPUTERS:
A. In accordance with 95 State 243815 and 95 State 244394,
Department of State policy prohibits the connection of official,
portable computers to OpenNet or ClassNet without the explicit
approval of the Bureau or Post ISSO (12 FAM 625).
B. Personally owned computers, personal digital assistants, cell
phones, digital cameras, and audio recorders may not be brought into
the Embassy without approval from the RSO or ISSO. Personally owned
computers may not be connected to OpenNet or ClassNet under any
circumstances and may not be used within USG Controlled Access Areas
(CAA)(12 FAM 625). Unclassified government-owned portable computers
intended for use any place within overseas facilities, and
particularly within the CAA, cannot be taken in and out of the CAA,
unless specifically authorized by the RSO. Classified portable
computers must remain within the CAA at all times.
C. COTRs/CORs are responsible for their contract employees, and
must ensure that all contracted employees receive required systems
security training before accessing OpenNet or any other post or
D. (U) Transport and use at post:
1) As stated in reftels (paragraph 9.A above), official travelers
on temporary duty, including non-state personnel, must coordinate
the transport of official unclassified portable computers that will
be used within USG controlled access facilities with the RSO and
ISSO. A country clearance request cable containing a statement to
this effect will meet the requirement.
2) Unclassified portable computers intended for use within the CAA
on a long-term basis (over 30 days), must be shipped via
professional or non-pro diplomatic courier (classified pouch).
3) An official traveler can personally transport a USG portable
computer to post only under the following conditions:
-- The official traveler must have at least a secret level security
-- The official traveler will be on temporary duty at the Embassy
for a period not to exceed 30 days;
-- The portable computer must have been transported under the
continuous personal control of the official traveler;
-- Under no circumstances may the computer have been left unattended
outside of the CAA or in a public area, nor should it be checked in
as luggage on public transport; and
-- All wireless and audio features on the portable computer must be
disabled or de-installed, to include infrared ports and sound card,
before entering the CAA, regardless of mode of transport.
9. (U) SECURITY:
A. All visitors to Khartoum are required to make an appointment,
within 24 hours of arrival, with the Regional Security Officer.
Adherence to and compliance with all mission security directives is
mandatory; violating these directives may result in disciplinary
action and/or revocation of country clearance.
B. The Department of State has a Travel Warning in effect for Sudan
and strongly urges all travelers to review this document. Visitors
should follow all prudent personal security measures such as, but
not limited to, varying routes and times of travel, avoiding
becoming involved in demonstrations, attending non-official events
at large public venues, avoiding predictable patterns of activities,
and being aware of surroundings for potential threats. Anti-U.S.
street demonstrations always remain a strong possibility; however
they are usually well controlled by the host country government and
generally peaceful. The criminal environment does not specifically
target Americans in Khartoum. Crimes of opportunity are the most
typical incidents that may affect any visitor in country.
10. (U) TERRORISM: Visitors are also reminded that Sudan is a
critical threat terrorism environment and that the country is still
listed as a state sponsor of terrorism. The Department acknowledges
that the Sudanese government has taken steps to address the presence
of terrorist groups in country; however, Sudan still might harbor
extremists and those who are supportive of known terrorist
organizations. Presently, we are not aware of any information
concerning an immediate, specific, or credible terrorist threat
against official U.S. interests in Sudan.
11. (U) TRAVEL OUTSIDE KHARTOUM WITHIN SUDAN:
A. Post requires at least 3-days advance notice for proposed travel
to any area outside Khartoum. (See Paras B and D below for Darfur
and Juba specific restrictions). Fighting continues in specific
parts of Southern Sudan and Darfur, especially along the Chad,
Uganda and Kenya borders. The humanitarian crisis in Darfur as well
as the instability in Southern Sudan poses collateral security
issues for all expatriates operating in country. Banditry is
prevalent in outlying areas and it is not uncommon to see illegal
roadblocks, especially in regions that lack a formal security
B. TRAVEL TO DARFUR: All official travel to the Darfur region is
contingent upon an RSO security assessment of the specific area to
be visited immediately prior to the proposed travel. Darfur
continues to be an area of instability and the potential for
official travelers being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time
is a growing concern. Some areas have erupted in factional fighting
with little or no warning. The RSO continues to monitor the
temperament of the local populace and any reporting concerning
threats and/or incidents directed at Western NGOs operating in this
area. A recent Sudanese newspaper headline quoted the Sudanese
President declaring Darfur aid agencies the "real" enemy of the
Government of Sudan. Extensive ground travel outside the major
cites in Darfur is generally not advisable due to the fluid and
unpredictable security situation.
C. If official travel is approved to the Darfur region, the
following information must be provided to the Embassy a minimum of
96 hours (4 days) prior to the departure date for Darfur: a clean,
color, scanned copy of information page of valid passport, as well
as extension pages if applicable, and the valid Sudanese visa page
in order for appropriate Government of Sudan approvals to be
obtained. A clean, color, scanned passport photo is also needed for
the Darfur permit. If the traveler also wants to take photos, a
photo permit is also required for Darfur. One clean, color, scanned
passport size photograph must also be provided to the Embassy a
minimum of 96 hours prior to travel to the Darfur area. Sending all
this required information at one time is most convenient for
expediting the processing procedures.
D. TRAVEL TO SOUTHERN SUDAN: As with Darfur, all travel to
Southern Sudan is contingent upon an RSO security assessment of the
specific area to be visited immediately prior to the proposed
travel. High unemployment, banditry, the presence of Ugandan rebels
(LRA) and an ineffective police presence have contributed to a very
tenuous security structure in much of Southern Sudan. At this time,
overland travel anywhere south of Juba is strictly prohibited
without an armed United Nations escort. All USG personnel in Juba
are expected to stay at the U.S. Consulate General there. Other
accommodations will not be permitted except in the most
extraordinary circumstances. Landmines and unexploded ordinance
remain a problem in some areas of Southern Sudan, thereby requiring
further travel precautions and restrictions.
E. Effective October 1, 2005, the UN Humanitarian Air Service
(UNHAS) in Sudan will commence charging $100 per fixed-wing aircraft
flight and $40 per helicopter flight within Sudan. Charter flights
will be charged at the actual expense level. Although no charge was
made for flights in the past, higher costs, a high rate of no-shows,
and frequent non-essential travel made the fee necessary for the
continued functioning of the UNHAS. Travelers to Sudan should be
aware of these charges, which are done at the time of booking, and
include a provision for such in their travel orders.
12. (U) WEATHER: Sudan for most of the year is hot and dry, with
summer (March - October) temperatures reaching 120 plus degrees
Fahrenheit. Winter (November - February) temperatures average 80-90
degrees. Although the heat in Southern Sudan is not as intense as
that in Khartoum, it is nonetheless humid, with frequent rains
during the summer months (May - September).
13. (U) ATTIRE: In public, it is recommended that men and women do
not wear shorts or non-sleeved shirts or blouses, including
participants in running/walking activities, and that woman wear
ankle-length skirt or dresses, or pants. Lightweight, cotton
clothing is recommended, including a hat and sunglasses.
14. (U) Please contact your Post Point of Contact if you have any
questions. Have a safe journey; we look forward to your visit.