This Travel Warning reminds American citizens of ongoing rebel activity in Chad, and notes that travelers entering Sudan by land from Chad without a visa or proper documentation run the risk of detention and arrest by Sudanese authorities. This supersedes the Travel Warning of July 6, 2006.
The Department of State continues to urge American citizens to consider carefully the risks of travel to Chad, due to continued threats of rebel activity on Chad's borders with Sudan and the Central African Republic (CAR). Americans should exercise caution when traveling in Chad, including within the capital, N'Djamena. Americans not affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts should avoid travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/CAR border.
U.S. citizens should avoid crowds, political rallies, street demonstrations, and government installations, including the Presidential Palace, which is across from the Parade Grounds. Vehicles should never stop in front of the Presidential Palace. When traveling anywhere in Chad, American citizens should travel in groups, keep a cell phone (for when service is available) or two-way radio in reach at all times, avoid travel after dusk, and leave detailed travel plans with a reliable point of contact. Americans traveling with Thurarya satellite phones should register the phones with Chadian authorities.
Reports indicate an increase in the number of "couper de routes," or highway banditry incidents, across the country. Some American citizens have reported harassment at Chadian government roadway checkpoints. Americans are urged to carry all necessary travel documents, including valid passports and visas, and any specific documents required for travel within the country. Americans who encounter problems at these checkpoints should contact the U.S. Embassy (See below for contact details).
There have been sporadic clashes between rebel movements and government forces in eastern and southeastern Chad as well as numerous reports of cross-border banditry and cattle rustling. United Nations (UN) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) vehicles have been targeted for carjacking. At least one foreigner has been critically injured as a result of a carjacking, and another expatriate was seriously wounded during an armed robbery at an NGO compound. U.S. citizens affiliated with humanitarian relief efforts in eastern Chad are strongly urged to coordinate travel plans with UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) security offices in Abeche and N'Djamena, and to follow UNHCR guidance regarding safety and security. The government of Chad requires all individuals traveling to or residing in refugee-affected areas in eastern Chad to obtain permits issued by the Ministry of Territorial Administration in N'Djamena, and to register in Abeche upon arrival in eastern Chad.
For American citizens who intend to enter Sudan from Chad despite the Department's Travel Warnings for both countries, it is essential to obtain the appropriate visas and permits in advance of entry into Sudan. In August 2006, five foreigners, including two Americans, were arrested and detained in Darfur after entering Sudan via the Chadian border town of Bahai 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. Further information is available in the Department's Travel Warning for Sudan.
The influx of 12,000 Central African Republic (CAR) refugees into southern Chad, which is already home to over 40,000 refugees, following fighting between northern Central African rebels and CAR forces in July 2005, has also created a volatile situation along the Chad-CAR border. In addition, in the northern Tibesti region and the area north of Lake Chad, there have been occasional clashes between government forces and a rebel group known as the Chadian Movement for Justice and Democracy (MDJT).
The U.S. Embassy in N'Djamena may close temporarily for general business from time to time to review its security posture. For the status of services, consult the Embassy web site at http://usembassy.state.gov/ndjamena.