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Reviewed: 20 August 2012, 12:30 NZDT
Still current at: 08 December 2013
There is extreme risk to your security outside the capital Khartoum due to the highly dangerous security situation, the risk of terrorist attacks and armed conflict and the high level of violent crime including kidnapping and we advise against all travel to Sudan outside Khartoum.
There is high risk to your security in Khartoum and nearby areas due to the risk of terrorism and civil unrest and we advise against all tourist and non-essential travel.
New Zealanders who decide to travel to Sudan against our advice are strongly advised to exercise extreme caution, keep a low profile, avoid large gatherings and monitor the media and local developments closely. New Zealanders in Sudan should ensure they have appropriate security measures in place including a contingency plan for departure should a sudden deterioration in the security situation occur. New Zealanders in Khartoum should exercise extreme caution if travelling around the city.
There is a general threat of terrorism in Sudan including in Khartoum. Terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by westerners. Possible targets include commercial and public areas such as airports, oil and gas industry installations, hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, markets and other tourist areas. Statements by terrorist groups have called for a “jihad” in Sudan and have specifically mentioned western targets. In January 2008, a US diplomat and driver were shot and killed in the Riyadh area of Khartoum.
Civil unrest/political tension
Over the past year a number of anti-western demonstrations took place in Khartoum and other major cities. Since June 2012, frequent demonstrations have taken place in Khartoum in response to rising prices and the end of fuel subsides. We advise New Zealanders in Sudan to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as they have the potential to turn violent. Violent clashes resulting in deaths often occur between security forces and protestors.
On 9 July 2011, South Sudan seceded from Sudan. Due to political tensions and unresolved issues between the two countries, the security situation is fragile and has the potential to deteriorate with little warning.
Southern and Eastern Sudan: There has been a rise in armed violence in states bordering South Sudan causing widespread deaths and mass displacement of people particularly in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile state. Bombing campaigns have left unexploded ordnance and landmines across the region. As a result, tens of thousands of people have become stranded in Sudan since secession. NGOs have pulled out of the area and UN presence has been severely limited as a result. Sectarian violence has increased in the past few years, with churches attacked in South Kordofan.
Sudanese troops occupied Abyei in May 2011, and though Sudanese and South Sudanese troops have agreed to give way to an Ethiopian peacekeeping force, tensions remain high and the future of the region is unstable.
There have been tensions in the past in the border area with Eritrea. The situation is currently calm but could deteriorate rapidly.
Western Sudan and Darfur: Despite the May 2006 Darfur Peace Agreement, there is still widespread unrest and violence as well as a large number of internally displaced persons in Western Sudan and the Darfur. Carjacking and kidnapping are a threat to foreigners and aid workers and expatriates are commonly targeted.
Three UN peacekeepers were killed in North Darfur in October 2011, while an Italian NGO worker captured in South Darfur in August 2011 remains in captivity.
In May 2010, a US citizen employed by a humanitarian relief organisation was kidnapped in Darfur and held for several months, and in October 2011 three UNAMID peacekeepers were killed in North Darfur.
In September 2008, several tourists were kidnapped on the Egypt/Sudan border.
Piracy is an ongoing problem in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. Mariners are advised to take appropriate security precautions. For further information, see the weekly piracy reports issued by the International Maritime Bureau.
General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in the Sudan, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited.
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in the Sudan to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Sudan should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders in Sudan are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.