Do not travel to Central African Republic (CAR) due to crime and civil unrest.
Violent crime, such as armed robbery, aggravated battery, and homicide, is common.
Large areas of the country are controlled by armed groups who regularly kidnap, injure, and/or kill civilians. In the event of unrest, airport, land border, and road closures may occur with little or no notice.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Central African Republic as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel outside the Embassy compound.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.
If you decide to travel to Central African Republic (CAR):
- Enroll your trip in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or power of attorney.
- Discuss a plan with loved ones regarding care/custody of children, pets, property, belongings, non-liquid assets (collections, artwork, etc.), funeral wishes, etc.
- Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs, if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
- Be sure to appoint one family member to serve as the point of contact with hostage-takers, media, U.S. and host country government agencies, and Members of Congress, if you are taken hostage or detained.
- Establish a proof of life protocol with your loved ones, so that if you are taken hostage, your loved ones can know specific questions (and answers) to ask the hostage-takers to be sure that you are alive (and to rule out a hoax)
- Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case it is necessary for your family to access them.
- Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
- Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for Central African Republic (CAR).
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Originally Published: May 24, 2018