The Department of State warns citizens against non-essential travel to Burundi due to political tensions, political and criminal violence, and the potential for civil unrest. This update replaces the Travel Warning dated November 15, 2016.
According to the Department of State, the political situation in Burundi is tenuous, and there is sporadic violence across the country, including frequent gunfire and grenade attacks by armed groups.
Police and military checkpoints across the country restrict freedom of movement, and police have searched the homes of private U.S. citizens as a part of larger weapons searches.
U.S. citizens should take these facts into consideration when developing their personal safety plans the Department of State says.
Rebel forces, ex-combatants, and youth gangs have crossed into Burundi from the Democratic Republic of Congo and attacked and kidnapped civilians.
Armed criminals have ambushed vehicles, particularly on the roads leading out of Bujumbura. Use caution if traveling by car, and travel with multiple vehicles when possible.
Pointed hotspots for possible violence include capital Bujumbura and its neighborhoods; Cibitoke, Gasenyi, Kamenge, Kinama, Musaga, Mutakura, and Ngagara.
The Department of State also warns citizens against non-essential travel to Mali due to ongoing terrorist attacks, criminal violence, and potential political instability.
The potential for terrorist attacks in Bamako is high. Locations frequented by Westerners and other expatriates, including but not limited to night clubs, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, and Western diplomatic missions are targets for attacks.