Sudan - Consular Information Sheet
January 3, 2001
WARNING (Issued December 12, 2000): The Department of
State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan because
of the unstable security situation throughout the country. In
addition to the ongoing civil war that affects both southern and
eastern Sudan, the government of Sudan's control over its police
and soldiers may be limited.
The government of Sudan continues to conduct a bombing campaign
against rebel forces in southern Sudan. In addition, there has
been rebel activity in and around Kassala, in eastern Sudan. Following
a rebel incursion in Kassala in early November 2000, the government
of Sudan authorities arrested an American relief worker in that
area on suspicion of espionage and severely beat him. As a result
of the rebel activity, the United Nations ordered all its personnel
operating in Kassala to evacuate the area in and around the city.
Other non-governmental organizations operating in Kassala evacuated
their personnel as well.
The United States has no permanent diplomatic presence in Sudan
because of concerns regarding the government of Sudan's ability
to ensure adequately the safety of U.S. officials. While U.S.
officials elsewhere in the region make periodic visits to Sudan,
their ability to provide consular services, including emergency
assistance, is severely limited.
U.S. citizens in Sudan are urged to consider their personal security
situations in determining whether to remain in the country. Those
who remain in Sudan should keep a low profile and stay alert to
changing developments. Avoid large crowds and other situations
in which anti-American sentiments may be expressed.
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Sudan is a large, developing country
in northeastern Africa. Tourism facilities are minimal. The capital
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS/REGISTRATION WITH LOCAL POLICE: A passport
and visa are required. Americans citizens should apply for a Sudanese
visa in a third country. Visas cannot be obtained in the United
States, or at the Sudanese airport, or at the Sudanese border.
Travelers must pay an airport departure tax in U.S. dollars or
Saudi riyals or, if they have residence permits in Sudan, in Sudanese
pounds. The Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Association requires
travelers to opposition-held areas of southern Sudan to obtain
a travel permit at its office in Nairobi.
Travelers to Sudan are required to register with police headquarters
within three days of arrival. Travelers must obtain police permission
before moving to another location in Sudan and must register with
police within 24 hours of arrival at the new location. These regulations
are strictly enforced. Even with proper documentation, travelers
in Sudan have been subjected to delays and detention by Sudan's
security forces, especially when traveling outside Khartoum. Authorities
expect roadblocks to be respected.
For further information on entry requirements and registration
with local police, please contact the Embassy of the Republic
of Sudan, 2210 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008;
telephone (202) 338-8565 to 8570. Overseas, inquiries may be made
at the nearest Sudanese embassy or consulate.
TRADE RESTRICTIONS: On November 4, 1997, President Clinton
signed an Executive Order imposing comprehensive financial and
commercial sanctions against Sudan, prohibiting U.S. transactions
with Sudan. Travelers intending to visit Sudan, despite the Travel
Warning, should contact the
Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control
(OFAC), Office of Compliance, regarding the effect of these sanctions;
telephone 1-800-540-6322 or 202-622-2490; web site http://www.treas.gov/ofac/.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: Travel in all parts of Sudan, particularly
outside Khartoum, is potentially hazardous. Civil war persists
in the southern Sudan provinces of Upper Nile, Bahr El Ghazal,
and Equatoria, and has spread to the eastern Sudan provinces of
Blue Nile, Red Sea, and Kassala, along the Ethiopian and Eritrean
borders. Banditry and incursions by southern Sudanese rebels are
common in western Sudan, particularly in Darfur Province along
the Chadian and Libyan borders, where a state of emergency exists.
The land border with Egypt (ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa) has
been reopened. Transportation between Eritrea and Sudan is currently
halted. The Sudan People's Liberation Army controls all border
crossings from Kenya and Uganda.
CURFEW: The curfew in Khartoum has been lifted. However,
persons who are outside between midnight and 5:00 a.m. are subject
to document searches at police checkpoints. Hotel officials and
local police can inform visitors whether a curfew is in effect
in other localities.
CRIME: Petty crime and thievery occur. Travelers should
exercise caution at the airport, in markets and at public gatherings.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the nearest U.S. embassy or
consulate. The pamphlets, A
Safe Trip Abroad and Tips
forTravelers to Sub-Saharan Africa, provide useful information
on personal security while traveling abroad and on travel in the
region in general. Both are available from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities in Sudan are extremely
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available via
the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international
travelers hotline at telephone 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747),
fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via the CDC's Internet
site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Sudan is provided for general reference only
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Road conditions are hazardous due to unpredictable local driving
habits, pedestrians and animals in the roadway, and the lack of
basic safety equipment on many vehicles. Roads are narrow and
poorly maintained. Only some major highways are paved. Roads in
southern Sudan may be impassable during the rainy season, while
roads in the north can be quickly covered with shifting sand at
anytime during the year. Nighttime driving throughout the country
is dangerous and should be avoided if possible because vehicles
often operate without lights or park in the road without warning.
Ambulance and road emergency services are available in major urban
areas, but the are extremely limited or unavailable elsewhere
in the country.
Public transit is limited except in and between major urban areas.
Passenger facilities are basic and crowded, especially during
rush hours or seasonal travel. Schedules are unpublished and subject
to change without notice. Vehicle maintenance does not meet the
same standards as those in the United States or other Western
countries. There is regular passenger train service from Khartoum
to Wadi Halfa and Port Sudan. Inter-city bus service between major
cities is regular and inexpensive. Intra-city bus service in the
major urban areas is generally regular, but most buses and bus
stops are unmarked. Taxis are available in the major cities at
hotels, tourist sites and government offices. Public transit service
to medium-size communities in the interior usually is limited
to irregularly scheduled mini-buses. Most rural communities in
the interior have no public transit.
U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which
they are traveling. Traffic laws and custom in Sudan are substantially
different from those in the United States. In Sudan, one drives
on the right side of the road. There is no government agency specifically
responsible for road safety, nor is there any regime to regularly
inspect vehicle maintenance or safety. Seat belts and/or infant
seats are not required. Many vehicles do not have seat belts or
other safety equipment that is standard in the United States or
other Western countries. Traffic on the right has the right of
way. Right turns on a red light are prohibited. Speed limits are
not posted. The legal speed limit for passenger cars on inter-city
highways is 120 KPH (70 MPH), while in most urban areas it is
60 KPH (35 MPH). The speed limit in congested areas and school
zones is 40 KPH (24 MPH).
All motor vehicle operators are required to purchase third-party
liability insurance from the government. Nonetheless, many local
drivers carry no insurance. Persons involved in an accident resulting
in death or injury are required to report the incident to the
nearest police station or official as soon as possible. Persons
found at fault can expect fines, revocation of license, and jail
sentences depending on the nature and extent of the accident.
Penalties for persons convicted of driving under the influence
of alcohol are strict, and convicted offenders may expect fines,
jail sentences, and corporal punishment.
U.S. citizens may use their U.S. issued driver's licenses up
to ninety days after arrival. After that, they must present either
an "International Driving Permit" (IDP) or obtain a
Sudanese driver's license. There are no restrictions on vehicle
types, including motorcycles and motorized tricycles. Motorcycles,
however, are relatively rare because of public perceptions that
the highways are too dangerous for them.
The government of Sudan does not publish traffic statistics.
The last reported instance of an American citizen injured in a
traffic accident in Sudan was in 1996.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific
information concerning Sudanese driving permits, vehicle inspection,
road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Sudanese
Embassy in Washington, D.C.
AIR TRAVEL: As there is no direct commercial air service
by local carriers at present, nor economic authority to operate
such service between the United States and Sudan, the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Sudan's Civil
Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
safety standards for oversight of Sudan's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at telephone 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the
FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
Unforeseen circumstances such as sandstorms and electrical outages
may cause flight delays. The Khartoum International Airport arrival
and departure procedures are lengthy. Passengers on international
flights should allow three hours for pre-departure security and
other processing at the airport. Passengers for domestic flights
should be at the airport at least two hours before flights. Domestic
flights, including those to and from Port Sudan, Dongola and Juba,
are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
CURRENCY REGULATIONS: A currency declaration statement
is required upon arrival and departure from Sudan. Visitors who
attempt to exchange money at unauthorized banking institutions
or on the black market risk arrest and/or loss of funds. Please
note restrictions on transactions with Sudan contained in the
section on Trade Restrictions. Some visitors to Sudan have experienced
difficulty exchanging U.S. dollar denomination instruments --
such as travelers' checks or credit cards -- due to U.S. economic
PHOTOGRAPHY RESTRICTIONS: A permit is required before
taking photographs anywhere in Khartoum, as well as in the interior
of the country. Photographing military areas, bridges, drainage
stations, broadcast stations, public utilities and slum areas
or beggars is prohibited.
INFRASTRUCTURE: Disruptions of water and electricity are
frequent. A new telecommunications system is in the process of
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available under U.S law. Penalties
for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States
for similar offenses. Persons violating Sudanese laws, even unknowingly,
may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession,
use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Sudan are strict, and
convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information
on international adoption of children, international parental
child abduction, and international child support enforcement issues,
please refer to our Internet site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
EMBASSY LOCATION/REGISTRATION: U.S. citizens traveling
to Sudan, despite the Travel Warning, are encouraged to register
with local employees at the
U.S. Embassy in Khartoum located at Sharia Ali Abdul Latif,
and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Sudan.
The mailing address is P.O. Box 699, Khartoum; telephone (249)(11)
774-700 and 774-611; fax 774-137. The U.S. consular officer can
be contacted via the Consular Section in Khartoum or directly
at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo; telephone (20)(2) 795-7371; e-mail:
email@example.com. The workweek in Cairo and Khartoum
is Sunday through Thursday. Information
on services available for residents of Sudan may be found on the
U.S. Embassy Cairo's web site: http://usembassy.egnet.net/sudan.htm.