December 17, 2010
This Warden Message reminds the American community to remain vigilant when driving during non-daylight hours. On 12/17/2010, at approximately 0030, an assailant armed with an AK-47 and described as wearing a full-length coat attempted to rob a private Burundian citizen as he drove into a residential area on Rue du Cotton. As he attempted to evade the attack, the assailant shot at the vehicle. The vehicle ended up in the ditch to the side of the road and the assailant fled. This attack occurred near embassy residences, including the Chief of Mission's Residence. Subsequent investigation's revealed that five armed robberies have occurred in the surrounding area in the past month, starting as early as 2100. Given this information, the Embassy would encourage American citizens to consider the following safety precautions:
- Limit all travel during non-daylight hours. Avoid travel after midnight if feasible.
- Ensure that your vehicle windows are up and that your doors are locked at all times.
- Vary your routes and times.
- Avoid the use of side streets and unlit areas whenever possible.
- Be on the lookout for possible attacks.
You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the U.S. Embassy Bujumbura website (http://burundi.usembassy.gov/index.html).
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 Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information (http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1078.html). If you don't have internet access, we have a toll-free call center for updates -- 1-888-407-4747 -- in the U.S. and Canada, or outside the U.S. and Canada on 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) which can be found online at: https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui
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 Embassy is located on Avenue des Etats-Unis. The phone number is (257) 22-20-70-00, fax (257) 22-22-29-26, and email BujumburaC@state.gov. For emergencies after regular business hours please call (257) 79-93-88-41.