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Travel Advisory: Sudan - Level 4 (Do Not Travel)

Africa > Sudan

Do not travel to Sudan due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping, and armed conflict.  

On April 11, 2019, the Department ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees.

Violent crime, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking, is common. 

Terrorist groups continue to pose a threat in Sudan.  Terrorist groups in Sudan may harm Westerners and Western interests through suicide operations, bombings, shootings, and kidnappings.  They may attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities, and areas frequented by Westerners.    

There is a national state of emergency in effect across Sudan, which gives security forces greater arrest and incarceration powers.  Security forces have enhanced authority to detain and arrest anybody they deem to be undermining public order, including protestors or those suspected of supporting the protests.  Detentions, including of foreigners, have been reported across the country.  Curfews and checkpoints on roads may be imposed with little or no warning.  The Sudanese government does not recognize dual citizenship and is likely to consider U.S.-Sudanese dual citizens as Sudanese citizens only.

Demonstrations, including anti-Western rallies, can occur with no warning.  Demonstrations, both announced and unannounced, have occurred frequently throughout Sudan since December 19, 2018.  Police and other security forces may respond to public demonstrations suddenly and with violence.  Demonstrations are also common before and after Friday prayers.  Foreigners could be targeted in reaction to national and international events.  

Tensions remain high between the Government of the Republic of the Sudan and opposition forces and violence continues along the border between Chad and Sudan and areas that border South Sudan (including the disputed Abyei area).  Armed opposition groups are active in Central Darfur state and parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Sudan, as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization from the Sudanese government to travel outside of Khartoum.  The U.S. Embassy requires U.S. government personnel in Sudan to use armored vehicles for official travel.  

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Sudan:

  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Draft a will and designate appropriate insurance beneficiaries and/or a 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, and the like.
  • 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.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Sudan.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.