Cablegate: Sudan Country Clearance Granted for Mitchell P. Benedict
DE RUEHKH #2573/01 3030406
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300406Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM
TO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI PRIORITY 1774
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5056
UNCLAS KHARTOUM 002573
FOR AF/E, AF/FO, AF/RSA, AF/SPG
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OTRA PREL SU
SUBJECT: Sudan Country Clearance Granted for Mitchell P. Benedict
REF: Nairobi 4591
1. (SBU) Embassy Khartoum welcomes and grants country clearance for
Mitchell P. Benedict, Political Officer, to Sudan on October 30,
2006, to attend talks sponsored by the League of Arab States and the
Intergovernmental Authority on Development between the Transitional
Federal Government of Somalia and the Council of Islamic Courts of
2. (SBU) U.S. Citizens are reminded that Sudanese visas are now
required for travel to all parts of Sudan. The Government of Sudan
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
Pol/Econ Counselor Eric Whitaker, who can be reached on cell phone
number 011-249-912-159-576. The Embassy switchboard number is
249-183-774-700 or 249-183-774-702. If you need to contact the
Embassy after hours, please call the local guard at Post One at
249-183-774-701. The Embassy is open from 08:00 to 16:30 Sunday
4. (SBU) Assistance at Khartoum International Airport will be
provided by an Embassy expediter. Travelers are not permitted to
use taxis or other forms of public transportation. Other ground
transportation options, to include United Nations and NGO vehicles,
must be approved by the RSO.
5. (U) EXCHANGE RATE: Current exchange rate at post is 210 Sudanese
Dinars to one USD.
6. (U) PASSPORT/VISA:
A. (U) 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. (SBU) 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. (U) 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. (U) 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. (U) 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. (U) 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. (U) 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. (U) 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. (U) Visitors will be provided with security guidelines upon
arrival. 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. (U) 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 TO SOUTHERN SUDAN: 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 sty 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.
12. (U) Action Request: Each visitor, regardless of length of
stay, must bring/forward fiscal data to pay for direct costs of the
visit. Each agency, organization, or visiting delegation will be
charged for the actual costs attributed to their visit. Direct
charge costs include, but are not limited to: American and LES
staff overtime, field travel by Embassy employees, vehicle rentals,
long distance telephone calls, equipment rentals, office supplies,
and all other costs directly attributable to the visit. Also, for
TDYers over sixty days, there may be a charge for ICASS support
services if the cumulative charges exceed $2,500 for the year.
13. (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
14. (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 women wear
ankle-length skirts or dresses, or pants. Lightweight, cotton
clothing is recommended, including a hat and sunglasses.