Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations in Kinshasa

The security situation in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo has effects in the Republic of the Congo. After a lull Monday evening and early Tuesday, unrest throughout Kinshasa resumed mid-morning Tuesday.  This unrest stemmed from Monday’s Opposition protests decrying the National Assembly’s passage of the Electoral Bill. Ndjili International Airport remains open, but disturbances blocked the main road to the airport for most of the day, and we have received reports that some international flights were cancelled Tuesday. By Tuesday evening, the main road to the airport was unblocked. Please exercise extreme caution when moving around the city, and limit non-essential trips.

The main concentration of protestors Tuesday was in the vicinity of the University of Kinshasa.   Incidents of tire burning, rock throwing and vehicle-torching were reported in multiple neighborhoods of Kinshasa, including, but not limited to: Matete, Ngaba, Ngiringiri, Ngaliema, Bandalungwa, Kalamu, and Lemba. Currently we have received no reports of violence in Gombe, but some businesses in Gombe shut down early Tuesday and sent personnel home as a precaution.  Most international schools closed early on Tuesday, and many embassies (including the U.S. embassy) sent staff home early.

All U.S. citizens in the Republic of Congo are urged to register online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Registering gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security within the Congo and makes it easier for the Embassy to contact citizens in case of emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the website of the U.S. Embassy in The Republic of the Congo. Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find the current Worldwide Caution,Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Country Specific Information.

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, 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).

The U.S. Embassy is located on Boulevard Denis Sassou Nguesso across from the Blanche Gomez Maternity Hospital. The Consular Section is open Monday-Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on Fridays from 8:00 12:00 p.m. The Consular section can be reached via e-mail, and our daytime telephone number is (+242) 06 612-2000. For after-hours emergencies, call (+242) 06 612-2010.