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Reviewed: 8 November 2013, 14:00 NZDT
Still current at: 09 December 2013
There is extreme risk to your security in eastern and north-eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including North and South Kivu Provinces and the Ituri district of Orientale Province. Clashes between armed rebel groups are common in these areas and rebel groups are known to engage in activities like kidnapping, car-jacking, looting, politically-motivated killings and sexual violence. We advise against all travel to these areas.
There is a high risk to your security elsewhere in the DRC due to threat posed by rebel groups, violent crime and civil unrest, and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.
New Zealanders in the DRC are advised avoid all large public gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.
If you find yourself in an area affected by violence, we recommend you immediately leave the area if it is safe to do so, or stay indoors and heed any local advice.
We recommend monitoring local and international media to stay informed of developments that have the potential to affect your safety and security.
Violent crime including armed robbery and car-jacking is an issue in the DRC, and the risks increase after dark.
Foreigners are often targeted due to their perceived wealth. We recommend New Zealanders exercise a high degree of security awareness at all times and avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as jewellery and mobile phones.
When travelling by car, it is advisable to keep doors locked and windows up at all times and stay on the main thoroughfares. It is not safe to walk alone at any time in the DRC.
We advise against travel by land through the borders with Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The borders with Angola, Rwanda and Burundi are subject to closure with little notice.
General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in the DRC, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in the DRC should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check your travel insurance covers travel to the DRC – exclusions may well apply.
New Zealanders in the Democratic Republic of Congo are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.