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Cablegate: Travel Warning: Central African Republic

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UNCLAS STATE 018090

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC PTER ASEC CT XA ZF
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING: CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC

1. The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the
risks of traveling to the Central African Republic (CAR),
and recommends against all but essential travel outside
the capital, Bangui. Travelers in the CAR should exercise
extreme caution. This replaces the Travel Warning of
August 19, 2009, in light of the incursion of the Lord's
Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern CAR, and uncertainty
surrounding the ongoing Disarmament, Demobilization, and
Reintegration process.

2. Armed rebel groups, bandits, and poachers present real
dangers and the Central African government is unable to
guarantee the safety of visitors in most parts of the
country. There have been repeated attacks on Central
African and expatriate travelers in the countryside.
Poachers and armed men also pose a threat to game hunters
in the north central CAR. The LRA poses a similar threat
to hunters in eastern CAR.

3. Bangui itself, though safer, suffers from elevated
crime rates, petty and violent, as well as particularly
limited transport and medical options. CAR military and
civilian security forces (and people posing as such)
staff checkpoints throughout the city, frequently
harassing local and expatriate travelers for bribes.

4. U.S. citizens should avoid public demonstrations
because even those intended to be peaceful can turn
confrontational and escalate into violence.

5. The small U.S. Embassy staff in Bangui can provide
only limited services to U.S. citizens at this time.

6. U.S. citizens residing in, or planning to travel to,
the CAR are strongly urged to register through the State
Department's Travel Registration website. U.S. citizens
without internet access may register directly with the
U.S. Embassy in Bangui. By registering, U.S. citizens
make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of
emergency. While the Embassy's ability to provide
emergency consular services is limited, registration will
enable electronic receipt of warden messages.

U.S. Embassy Bangui
Avenue David Dacko,
B.P. 924
Bangui
Tel: (236) 2161-0200
Fax: (236) 2161-4494
Emergency after-hours telephone:
(236) 7554-2276 AND (236) 7550-1293


Americans may also obtain updated information from the
U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena, Chad, at telephone (235) 51-
70-09, 51-92-33 or 51-90-52; fax (235) 51-56-54;


Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security
conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the
U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on a
regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.

For information on general crime and security issues,
U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of
State's Country Specific Information of Central African
Republic as well as The Worldwide Caution located on the
Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

7. Minimize considered.
CLINTON

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