The Department of State has terminated Ordered Departure status for Embassy Bujumbura, thereby allowing non-emergency personnel and adult dependents employed at the Embassy to return to Burundi. Minors and non-employed adult dependents of Embassy personnel have not been authorized to return to post. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on December 13, 2015.
Political violence persists throughout Burundi in the aftermath of the country’s contested elections, an attempted coup d’etat, and the debate over the President standing for a third term. Gunfire and grenade attacks by armed groups occur frequently. The Government does not have full command of the armed forces and security services. Police and military checkpoints throughout the country can restrict freedom of movement. Police have searched the homes of private U.S. citizens as a part of larger weapons searches.
Demonstrations, gatherings, and even sporting events that are intended to be peaceful can turn violent without advance warning. U.S. citizens should routinely monitor local media sources and the Internet for reports of demonstrations and unrest, and avoid political rallies, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind.
Safety and security factors can affect any plans to depart Burundi. U.S. citizens interested in departing should therefore:
- monitor the media;
- verify flight schedules with the airline; and
- check U.S. Embassy Bujumbura’s website for the latest consular information and security messages.
Travel in Burundi presents significant risks, especially after nightfall. U.S. Embassy personnel travel in Burundi is limited and monitored. Embassy employees are prohibited from traveling outside of Bujumbura from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and travel through the Bujumbura neighborhoods of Kamenge, Musaga, Ngagara, Mutakura, Cibitoke, and Nyakabiga after dark is strictly regulated. U.S. citizens should also avoid traveling through these neighborhoods or on national highways during those times. Armed criminals ambush vehicles, particularly on the roads leading out of Bujumbura. Keep vehicle doors locked and windows up when stopped in heavy traffic.
For more information:
- See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Specific Information for Burundi.
- See Embassy Bujumbura’s website for the latest emergency and security messages for U.S. citizens.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura, located on the corner of Avenue des Etats-Unis and Avenue du Cinquantenaire, at +257-22-20-7000, 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +257-22-20-7318, or +257-79-93-88-41.
- Emergency calls may also be placed through the Department of State at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.
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