Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Update: Holding Camps at Brazzaville Port

The Republic of the Congo continues to process thousands of people through the Congo River port in Brazzaville (also known as the beach) as part of efforts to deport illegal immigrants. The port in Brazzaville has been the site of temporary holding camps for travelers crossing into Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for the past month. As of May 12, the situation at the port had improved with fewer people remaining in the camps and delivery of humanitarian services. However, there are still large numbers of people waiting to cross and the ferries are still quite full. There may be a significant increase in the number of people congregating at the port as people from Pointe Noire arrive by train in Brazzaville starting May 14. There have been no reported instances of unrest, although conditions at the port remain tenuous.

The U.S. Embassy continues to urge all U.S. citizens to refrain from going to the Brazzaville port, and to find alternative means of travel or to defer discretionary travel via the Brazzaville/Kinshasa river crossing if possible.

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 don’t 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 the 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). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Brazzaville is located at Blvd Denis Sassou Nguesso, and is open Monday-Thursday 7:30-5:00 and Fridays 7:30-12:30 (Telephone 06-612-2000). If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours number for the U.S. Embassy/Consulate is 055-263533.