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Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens

September 19, 2011

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi
Safety/Security Message for U.S. Citizens

This Emergency Message is to alert all U.S. citizens living in or visiting Burundi to a recent attack on a bar in Gatumba.  On September 18, 2011 at approximately 8:00 p.m., several armed men opened fire on patrons of a bar named ‘Chez les Amis’ in the town of Gatumba in Bujumbura-Rurale.  Initial reports indicate that at least 36 people were killed during the attack and many more wounded.  The U.S. Embassy's security and travel recommendations remain unaltered.  However, recent events do call for heighted attention to individual safety.  Due to the potential for continued violence, the Embassy strongly suggests U.S. citizens evaluate the risks that gathering in public places after dark may present and avoid politically motivated gatherings.  

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Bujumbura web site.  You can also get global updates at the U.S. Department of State's, Bureau of Consular Affairs website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warning, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.  If you don't have internet access, you can get current information on safety and security by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States, 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).    

If you are going to live in or travel to Burundi, please take the time to tell us about your trip by enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.  It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency.  You should remember to keep all of your information in STEP up to date.  It is important during enrollment or updating of information to include your current phone number and current email address where you can be reached in case of an emergency. 

The U.S. Embassy is located on Avenue des Etats-Unis; the mailing address is B.P: 1720 Bujumbura, Burundi.  The phone number is +257-22-20-70-00, fax +257-22-22-29-26, and email BujumburaC@state.gov.  U.S. Citizens Services hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 09:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Fridays from 09:00 a.m. until 10:30, except on U.S. and Burundian holidays.  For emergencies after regular business hours, please call +257-79-93-88-41.