South Sudan Travel Warning

The Department of State continues to warn Westerners of the risks of travel to the Republic of South Sudan and strongly recommends Westerners pay careful attention to existing in-country conditions when planning to visit. This replaces the Travel Warning dated March 29, 2013, and updates information on services to Westerners in the Republic of South Sudan.

The Department of State strongly recommends that you avoid all travel to the states in the border region between Sudan and South Sudan (Upper Nile, Unity, and Western Bahr el Ghazal states in South Sudan; Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states in Sudan; and the Abyei Special Administrative District). Although fighting between Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) has declined since spring 2012, the potential for troop build-ups along the border and renewed fighting remains.

You should exercise caution in all areas of South Sudan. In addition to sporadic clashes in the border region, there are armed militia forces that engage in violent clashes with SPLA forces in various areas of South Sudan, particularly in Jonglei State; these clashes can flare up with little warning and may exacerbate ethnic tensions throughout the country, leading to further violence.

The Government of South Sudan has limited capacity to deter crime or provide security to travelers throughout the country, including in the capital city of Juba.

The risk of violent crime is high in Juba. In addition to the risk of criminality, Westerners have been subject to arrest and detention without cause and there have been allegations of physical abuse by South Sudanese security services. The U.S. Embassy in Juba has imposed a curfew from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. to better ensure the safety of its personnel. In addition to the curfew, the embassy has implemented other measures to protect U.S. government personnel living and working in South Sudan. These include requiring personnel to travel in armored government vehicles at all times at night, and to obtain advance permission for any travel outside of Juba. At this time, spouses and family members of U.S. government personnel are not permitted to reside in South Sudan.

If you are currently working on humanitarian relief or development efforts in Juba, or anywhere in South Sudan, you should take measures to reduce your exposure to violent crime, and should closely follow the security policies and procedures of your organization.

There are likely to be disruptions or long delays in services provided by the Government of South Sudan, including health care and sanitation.

Written by