CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC RISK REPORT
Security travel advice for Central African Republic
Threat level: High
Tourists visiting the Central African Republic are advised to remain extremely vigilant and cautious throughout their travels. There is a current warning to avoid all travel to the country as there are active regional war zones and civil unrest. Please seek professional security when planning your journey.
Recent Security Risk Events
The threat level in this country is extremely high due to its instability as a region and as such, all travel to the country is advised against. Despite measures taken by the United Nations to resolve the security situation such as the stabilisation mission, the country remains in turmoil. The Islamic rebel forces “Seleka”, which has known affiliation with Jihadist groups in the region, overthrew the government in 2013. A transitional government was installed the following year, however there have been thousands deaths and sectarian violence is prominent, most recently reported in September 2015 within Bangui and Bambari.
There have been further recent reports as of June/July 2016 of disturbances and attacks on humanitarian workers in the country.
Local authorities, embassies and forces cannot guarantee traveller safety or security in the region and support is very limited. Most will not be able to assist in the event evacuation is required, if the security situation decreases further it may make it difficult to leave the area by commercial means also. There have been a number of kidnappings of officials, United Nations and NGO workers, so please take precautions against this if at all possible.
It is advised that if you have to travel to this country, you seek Close Protection Services for African regions and security advice to ensure your welfare.
South western Central African Republic is a popular tourist destination as it is generally more stable than other parts of the country. Petty crime exists along with pickpocketing so you should take basic safety precautions such as hiding wealthy objects and not carrying large amounts of cash on you at any time. Please note that confrontational events have the potential to turn extremely dangerous quickly.
Be aware that at checkpoints you could be asked for payment in terms of bribes, and items can be confiscated and demand of payment for safe return of them such as passports or electrical goods. With armed patrols in Bangui there are roadblocks, of which not all are official. Do not travel alone, and co-operate whenever possible to ensure your safety as there are reports of vehicles fired upon resulting in fatalities, robbery, kidnappings and other violent attacks on travellers in remote areas.
Armed robberies and muggings are very common, as is violent crime frequently in the “kilometre 5” bus station area and even during daylight hours. Looting and reprisal killings are known to have happened. You should take all sensible security measures where possible and be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Do not travel in the evening/dark hours as you will be at a higher risk of all the above.
International relations have been established with over 19 diplomatic states, with bilateral donations and support from countries such as Germany, Japan and much of the European Union. Chad and Cameroon are the Central African Republic’s closest allies with many of its neighbouring regions working towards stability in the area despite rebel forces and underlying tensions.
All travel outside of Bangui is highly recommended against as there are only a few paved roads and the alternative dirty tracks are poor throughout the country. Such tracks are heavily affected during Central African Republic’s rainy season between May and October. During this period, the roads and tracks are subject to lengthy periods of closure, causing disruption to travels.
You should aim to travel through the country in convoys of at least two vehicles at any given time, with travel undertaken during daylight hours only. There is no foreign assistance outside of the capital and fuel shortages are common place. You should take time preparing any long journey you are planning to make in Central African Republic including have a sufficient supply of food and water.
There are regional areas of war and with this in mind a higher rate of access to weaponry and high risk of banditry and highway robbery. Remain vigilant at all times.
Official languages: French and Sango
Religion: Islam and Christianity
Currency: Central African CFA franc (XAF)
A passport valid for at least six months and a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is also required to enter Central African Republic. Most foreign nationals will need a visa to enter the country which usually has to be applied for in advance to travel. This can be done through your close Central African Republic Embassy.
It is advised that visitors to Central African Republic are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is essential that you get vaccinated against Yellow Fever as there is risk of the disease throughout the country. It is an entry requirement that you present a certificate proving your immunisation. This should be completed at least 10 days prior to departure.
It is further recommended that most travellers also get Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
Other health risks
Please note that the threat of Ebola and the Zika virus is an underlying issue in many African countries. Medical facilities in Central African Republic are poor and serious medical emergencies may require you to be evacuated to South Africa. You should ensure that you have medical insurance that covers the cost of evacuation.
Malaria and waterborne diseases such as cholera are common through Central African Republic especially during the rainy season. It is recommended you take malaria preventative medication and maintain a high standard of personal hygiene.
U.S. Embassy Bangui
Avenue David Dacko,
P.O. Box 924,
Central African Republic
Telephone: +236 21610200
Email Emergency: CARemergencyUSC@state.gov
The British government does not have an Embassy in Central African Republic. All Consular work is carried out by the British High Commission Yaounde, Cameroon.
British High Commission Yaounde (closest)
Avenue Winston Churchill,
Telephone: +237 222 22 07 96
Emergency telephone: +237 222 22 33 47
ALGERIA RISK REPORT
Security travel advice for Algeria
Threat level: High
Since the Arab spring uprisings of 2011 there remains a high threat of terrorist activities in Algeria. There is a high risk of ISIL infiltration and general ISIL growth in both the country and related region. Attacks in Algeria can include kidnappings, so it is extremely important that visitors are alert at all times.
The Algerian government are dedicated to ensuring the safety of international travellers. If you are planning on travelling outside of the main city areas, the authorities will want to be informed. They may also provide you with protection for such journeys. Notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if you intend to travel independently. Help from the Algerian authorities should ensure that your trip is a hassle free experience.
It is advised that you stay in main hotels in the cities and you have them arranged prior to your arrival. Before entering the country, you should confirm your arrangements with a reputable tour operator to ensure your safety throughout your visit.
Recent security events
In early 2016 there was an attack using explosive munitions in central Algeria. Although there were no injuries or casualties, the country was in a state of emergency. In March of the same year, it is thought that a potential suicide bombing was avoided as police shot and killed the terrorist in the Kabylie region.
Algeria often faces spontaneous demonstrations, particularly in the capital. Such protests are often loud but relatively harmless. Violent demonstrations sometimes occur in the Saharan provinces of Ghardaia and In Salah, so if you are visiting these areas you should exercise extreme caution.
Due to the ongoing terror threat great care should be taken in the provinces of Adrar, Tamanrasset and Illizi, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Bejaia and Skikda east of Algiers.
It is believed that there are a number of jihadist groups operating in Algeria and surrounding Sahel region. These include:
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQ-M)
Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA)
All of these jihadist terrorist groups pose a threat across the country and in border areas of Algeria, Mali and Libya. They mostly pursue the establishment of Islamic law in the region and as such, attacks on anyone showing Western interest is highly likely.
In certain areas such as the larger cities, robbery is a common problem. You should avoid any areas you are not familiar with particularly at night time and do not hold large amounts of cash or valuable goods when travelling on foot.
Algeria maintains friendly relations with neighbours Tunisia and Libya, and with sub-Saharan neighbour Mali and Niger, as well as many other African countries. It is current working on issues related to the African Continent and was a key influence in bringing together Ethiopia and Eritrea to the peace table in 2000.
Most foreign nationals will require an international driving permit before being able to operate a vehicle in Algeria. British nationals are able to drive using their British driving licence providing it is valid and in date.
There is free movement in and around Algeria and the other cities although travelling at night should be avoided. Security precautions should be taken and common routes from airports to inner cities/hotels should be subject to “route planning” and reconnaissance.
All employees of foreign companies or organizations based in Algeria who are not Algerian citizens must contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before engaging in any travel within the interior of the country. The Ministry will notify local police of the planned travel and the police may choose to assign escorts for that travel.
The vehicular accident rate in Algeria is one of the highest in the world so you should take extra care when driving in the country. This may be due to the poorly maintained roads, lack of signs and reckless and inadequate drivers. Between coastal regions of Algeria there are safe and reliable train networks which are clean and well-policed. Buses pose a risk to tourists – they are not considered to be safe modes of transport pick pocketing frequently occurs whilst on board.
Official languages: Arabic, Berber language & French (for business & education)
Religion: Sunni Islam
Currency: Algerian Dinar (DZD)
Currency restrictions: Dinar may not be taken out of the country
A visa is required for all travel to Algeria unless you are a passport holder from: Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Seychelles, Tunisia or Yemen. A visa must be confirmed before your arrival to the country and can take up to 4 weeks to process. You should make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to sort this out. Your passport should be valid for at least an additional 6 months beyond the length of your stay.
It is advised that all visitors to Algeria are up to date with all inoculations including Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies, Tetanus & Typhoid.
Other health risks
Private facilities in Algeria will provide better healthcare than government hospitals and it is advised that you attend one of these is medical treatment is required. These may cost a lot of money so you should ensure you have adequate travel health insurance and enough funds to cover the cost of medical treatment if necessary.
Malaria precautions should be taken as Malaria risk is present throughout the year in six southern and south-eastern wilayas (Adrar, El Qued, Ghardaia, Illizi, Quargla and Tamanrasset)
Schistosomiasis (parasitic infection also known as bilharzia) is also an issue, so contact with fresh water including activities such as swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams is advised against.
Personal hygiene must be paramount and the local water supply avoided at all costs and bottled water inspected prior to consumption. A number of cases of bottled water being refilled with tap water and re-sold have come to our attention.
U.S. Embassy Algiers
5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir Ibrahimi,
Telephone: +(213) 770 082 000
Emergency Telephone: +(213) 770 082 200