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Cablegate: Travel Warning - Burundi

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O 221943Z APR 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHFSI/DIR FSINFATC
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA 6646
RUCPDOC/ALL USDOC DISTDIR COLLECTIVE WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/CDRAMC FT BELVOIR VA//AMCMI-SS//
RUEAHQA/HQ USAF WASHINGTON DC//XOXXI//
RHMCSUU/HQ AFOSI DOQ ANDREWS AFB MD//IVOA//
RHMCSUU/FAA NATIONAL HQ WASHINGTON DC//ACI-400//
RHMCSUU/COMNAVAIRSYSCOM PATUXENT RIVER MD//AIR1031B//
RHMFIUU/NRC WASHINGTON DC//INFOSEC//
RHMFISS/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL//CCJ2-JIT//
RUCPCIM/CIM NTDB WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/COGARD INTELCOORDCEN WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI IMMEDIATE 0018
INFO RUESBKC/ATO ASIA IMMEDIATE 1646

UNCLAS STATE 042511

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC OTRA PREL BY
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - BURUNDI


1. This Travel Warning updates American citizens on
security conditions in Burundi. American citizens should
exercise caution while traveling in the country. The U.S.
Embassy restricts the travel of its personnel in Burundi,
and certain areas of the capital, Bujumbura, are off-
limits. This supersedes the Travel Warning for Burundi
dated December 10, 2007.

2. The Department of State continues to caution U.S.
citizens traveling to Burundi. Burundi was plagued by a
civil war from 1993 to 2006 that often involved non-
government, non-combatant targets. In September 2006, the
government and the last remaining hold-out rebel group from
the peace process, the PALIPEHUTU-FNL, signed a cease-fire
agreement. Many of the cease-fire provisions have not been
implemented and the rebels still retain the capability to
conduct indirect fire attacks on the capital. In April
2008 rebel forces engaged Burundian military units just
outside of Bujumbura city limits. Rebels are still present
throughout Bujumbura Rural, which surrounds the capital
city.

3. Crime, often committed by groups of armed bandits or
street children, poses the highest risk for foreign
visitors to Bujumbura and Burundi in general. Common
crimes include muggings, burglaries, robberies, and
carjackings. Visitors should be careful when stopped in
heavy traffic due to the threat of robbery by roving bands
of criminals. The U.S. Embassy has received reports of
armed criminals ambushing vehicles, particularly on the
roads leading out of Bujumbura. U.S. Government personnel
are restricted from walking on the streets during hours of
darkness, and prohibited from using local public
transportation. Due to insufficient resources, local
authorities in any part of Burundi are often unable to
provide timely assistance in case of need.

4. The U.S. Embassy restricts the travel of Embassy
personnel and certain areas of the capital, Bujumbura, are
off-limits to Embassy personnel. In addition, the
Embassy's Regional Security Officer must pre-approve all
travel outside the capital by U.S. Embassy personnel, and
employees must travel in two-vehicle convoys. The Embassy
recommends that Americans not travel on national highways
from dusk to dawn.

5. Americans who travel to, or remain in, Burundi despite
this Travel Warning are urged to contact the U.S. Embassy
in Bujumbura for information on the latest Embassy security
guidelines, and to register at the State Department's
travel registration website,
https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering,
American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact
them in case of emergency. Americans without Internet
access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy in
Bujumbura at Avenue des Etats-Unis, telephone (257) 22-22-
34-54, fax (257) 22-22-29-26. Security information for
American citizens in Burundi is posted at
http://burundi.usembassy.gov/warden_informati on.html.

6. For further information, consult the Country Specific
Information for Burundi and the current Worldwide Caution
Travel Alert, available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs
Internet website at http://travel.state.gov. Updated
information on travel and security in Burundi is available
at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, and for
callers in other countries, 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).

7. Minimize considered.
RICE

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