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Warden Information

Security Update

Friday, December 9, 2011, 11:30 a.m.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s election commission did not announce the Presidential election results on December 8th as had been scheduled.  The date and time of the announcement remain uncertain.   

Demonstrations, protests, and rallies in various parts of the country have degenerated on several occasions into violent clashes between police and protestors, resulting in deaths, injuries, and property damage.  There is a potential for further demonstrations in various parts of the country in the days to come.

U.S. Embassy personnel and family members will continue to be restricted to their residences in times of uncertainty until further notice.  At other times, they are restricted to the Gombe area of Kinshasa.

U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security.  You are advised to routinely monitor local media sources and the internet for changes to the scheduled announcement and reports of demonstrations and unrest.

At any time, there is the potential for roadblocks to occur spontaneously throughout the city, manned by police or military personnel.  In these situations, you are strongly advised to obey all commands by armed security personnel.

The U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa will have minimal staffing on December 9, 2011, and the Consular Section will be open only for emergency American Citizen Services.

The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK) will be closed December 9, 2011.

Additional messages may be sent as the security situation evolves.  As SMS capabilities have been limited and are likely to remain irregular and unreliable, it is important to frequently check your email messages and review Embassy Kinshasa’s website for the latest Emergency Messages to U.S. citizens.

We refer U.S. citizens to the current Travel Alert for the DRC for further information.  Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa has requested that all non-essential temporary duty official travel to the DRC be deferred from November 15-December 31, 2011. 

The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could unwittingly become a victim of harassment or encounter more serious danger.  U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Kinshasa web site.  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.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well or you can download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App for travel information at your fingertips.  If you don't have internet access, current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, or for callers from other countries, 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 the Democratic Republic of the Congo, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  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 in Kinshasa is located at 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, tel. +243-081-225-5872 (Do not dial the zero when calling from abroad).  The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached at tel. +243-081-884-6859 or +243-081-884-4609; fax +243-081-556-0173, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:15 p.m. and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call 081-556-0151 and ask to speak with the duty officer.