Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Political Rally in Pointe Noire Sunday

U.S. Embassy Brazzaville, Congo

An opposition political rally is planned for Sunday May 3, 2015, in Pointe Noire, at Place de la Republique (Rond-Pont des 7 Chemins) at 3 p.m. While the specifics of the rally are not fully known, the event will likely be used by political parties opposed to the ruling Congolese Labor Party as a venue to voice opposition to constitutional change and the need to establish a timetable for the 2016 presidential elections. We strongly urge U.S. citizens to avoid Place de la Republique on Sunday, and take extra caution this weekend if in the vicinity of Pointe Noire.

Remember, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly turn confrontational and escalate into violence without much advanced warning. Avoid areas of planned demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations. If you find yourself near such an event, leave the area. If it is not safe to do so immediately, maintain a low profile until you are able to relocate.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Congo enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency.  If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution.  Read theCountry Specific Information for Republic of the Congo.  For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions.  You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries.  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.