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Chad: Travel Warning

U.S. Department of State: Travel Warning - Chad

December 8, 2010

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Chad and recommends that U.S. citizens avoid all travel to eastern Chad and all border regions. This Travel Warning is due to the insecurity caused by high levels of violent crime, the continuing risk of clashes between Chadian government and armed opposition forces, and the constant risk of sudden outbreak of conflict among the populations living in these areas. In particular, as Chad enters its dry season, the risks increase for incidents of carjacking and kidnapping for ransom or as part of factional conflict. The U.S. Embassy in Chad has prohibited official government travel to eastern Chad without express authorization. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should review security precautions and consider measures to mitigate exposure to violent crime. If you are a U.S. citizen residing in Chad, you should exercise extreme caution throughout the country. This replaces the Travel Warning for Chad dated July 9, 2010 to remind U.S. citizens of continuing security concerns in Chad.

The incidence of violent crime in eastern Chad is highly variable. Outbreaks of robbery and carjacking at gunpoint, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping, and murder follow periods of calm without warning. Violence is often associated with car accidents and other events causing injury to Chadian nationals. The level of violence in each incident has increased significantly. Robbery victims have been beaten and killed; surgeons conducting unsuccessful medical interventions have been threatened with bodily harm. In addition, armed groups continue to be a threat to the region. Criminal and armed group activity tends to increase during the dry season, which this year has begun in November, and can last until July. The overall security situation remains fluid and potentially dangerous. Violent criminal gangs are difficult to interdict. The Government of Chad has few resources to guarantee the safety of visitors in eastern Chad. If armed groups approach the capital, N'Djamena, the U.S. Embassy may decide to evacuate non-emergency personnel and family members of Embassy personnel on short notice. Family members of Embassy personnel under the age of 21 are not authorized to reside in Chad. Commercial flights operate from N'Djamena International Airport, but flights are subject to change when rebel activity intensifies.

If you are a U.S. citizen affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad, you are strongly urged to adhere closely to the policies and procedures of your organizations to mitigate risks from violent crime. You should coordinate travel plans with your UN partner agency security officers in Abéché and N'Djamena, and follow UN Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) guidance. The Government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in refugee-affected areas in eastern Chad to obtain movement permits issued by the Ministry of Territorial Administration in N'Djamena, and to register in Abéché upon arrival in eastern Chad. U.S. citizens who intend to enter Sudan from Chad, despite the Department's Travel Warnings for both countries, must obtain the appropriate visas and permits in advance of entry into Sudan. Further information is available in the Department's Travel Warning for Sudan.

The U.S. Embassy is not able to support evacuation from eastern Chad. All U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad must have an evacuation plan developed with the United Nations Agencies, which have access to aircraft and other logistical support. The Embassy strongly recommends that all U.S. citizens in Chad be prepared to implement their personal evacuation or safe haven plans on short notice should the situation warrant it, and exercise extreme caution. U.S. citizens in Chad should closely monitor news media and the U.S. Embassy's website.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy N'Djamena web site ( http://ndjamena.usembassy.gov/). You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information found at
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1086.html.

If you don't have internet access, we have a toll-free call center for updates -- 1-888-407-4747 -- in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on 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).

If you are going to live in or travel to Chad, despite this Travel Warning, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) which can be found online at https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/ ). If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date. It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency.

The U.S. Embassy is located in N'Djamena on Avenue Felix Ebou; mailing address B.P. 413, telephone (including after hours emergencies): (235) 251-70-09; alternate numbers 251-62-11, 251-90-52, 251-92-33, 251-77-59, 251-92-18; fax (235) 251-56-54.

Source: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_2876.html

What are U.S. Department of State Travel Warnings?

Travel Warnings are issued by the U.S. Department of State to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable.

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More about Chad

Full name: Republic of Chad

Capital: N'Djamena

Location: Central Africa, south of Libya

Population: 10,543,464 (July 2010 est.)

Languages: French (official), Arabic (official), Sara (in south), more than 120 different languages and dialects


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