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Cablegate: Travel Warning - Sudan

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 105536

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ASEC KPAO PTER PREL AF SU
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - SUDAN

1. This Travel Warning updates U.S. citizens to
security concerns in Sudan. The Department of State
continues to warn against all travel to Sudan due to the
threats from armed conflicts and from terrorism.
American citizens who choose to remain in Sudan should
review their security posture, and take appropriate
precautions in light of the January 2008 murder of two
American Embassy employees and ongoing violence in many
regions of the country. This supersedes the Travel
Warning for Sudan issued on March 14, 2008.
2. On January 1, 2008, two American Embassy employees
were assassinated while traveling in their vehicle in
Khartoum. In May 2008, the city of Omdurman, adjacent
to Khartoum, was attacked by armed militias. The
Embassy has implemented heightened security measures to
protect Embassy personnel when traveling in Sudan, which
include obtaining advance permission for all travel and
modes of transportation to be used. American citizens
residing in Sudan are urged to carefully review and
assess their safety and security situations, take
appropriate security precautions, and to practice
situational awareness at all times to ensure personal
safety.
3. The Department of State continues to warn U.S.
citizens against all travel to Sudan, particularly in
the Darfur area, where violence between government
forces and various armed militias continues. Americans
and other westerners have been victims of carjacking and
armed robbery while traveling in Sudan. Land travel at
night should be avoided.
4. Travelers are reminded that the U.S. Government has
received indications of terrorist threats aimed at
American and western interests in Sudan. Terrorist
actions may include suicide operations, bombings, or
kidnappings. U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk
of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public
places, which include tourist sites and locations where
westerners are known to congregate, and commercial
operations associated with U.S. or western interests.
Anti-western demonstrations periodically occur, mostly
in the capital city of Khartoum.

5. Travel anywhere in Sudan, including Khartoum and the
adjacent town of Omdurman, is potentially dangerous.
Sporadic violence instigated by militias has occurred in
South Sudan. Militia forces have also attacked
locations in the south. Threats have been made against
foreigners working in the oil industry in Upper Nile
state.
6. Enforcement of aviation safety standards in Sudan is
uneven; civil aviation in Sudan continues to experience
air incidents and accidents, including five crashes with
at least 64 fatalities between November 8, 2007, and
September 21, 2008. Incidents included engine failures,
collapsed landing gear, and planes veering off the
runway. In August, 2008, a domestic plane originating
in Nyala, Darfur was hijacked and forced to land in
Libya. Whenever possible, Americans traveling to Sudan
despite the ongoing travel warning are advised to travel
directly to their destinations on international carriers
from countries whose civil aviation authorities meet
international aviation safety standards for the
oversight of their air carrier operations under the
FAA's International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA)
program.

7. Americans who travel to Sudan despite this Travel
Warning must possess a valid passport with at least six
months of validity and a Sudanese visa. Travelers must
apply for a visa in their own country of residence. In
August 2006, five foreigners, including two Americans,

STATE 00105536 002 OF 002


were arrested and detained in Darfur after entering
Sudan via the Chadian border town of Banal without the
appropriate documentation. Several of these individuals
had solicited and obtained escorts in Chad who allegedly
promised to facilitate entry into Sudan but who were
ultimately unable to follow through with their
commitments. Without appropriate travel documents and
permits, travelers may face arrest and detention for
crimes including illegal entry, publication of false
information, and espionage. If convicted, sentences
range from deportation to life in prison or the death
penalty.

8. The Sudanese Government requires that anyone seeking
to travel outside a 25 kilometer radius of Khartoum
obtain a special travel permit. The Government has
placed additional permit requirements for travel to
Darfur. This includes humanitarian workers,
journalists, photographers, and other media employees.
Separate additional permits are required to take
photographs, even for private use, and to conduct
journalism anywhere in Sudan. Additional information
about entry requirements for Sudan and other countries
is located on the State Department's Bureau of Consular
Affairs web site at http://travel.state.gov
9. U.S. citizens are strongly urged to register with
the Embassy in Khartoum or through 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. The U.S. Embassy is
located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif, Khartoum; tel. (249-
183) 774-701/2/3 (outside Sudan); tel. (0183) 774-
701/2/3 (inside Sudan.) For after-hours emergencies,
please call 249-183-774-700 and ask to be connected to
the Duty Officer.

10. Minimize considered.
RICE

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