Security Message for U.S. Citizens: General Strike in Bujumbura (March 4, 2015)

March 4, 2015

The U.S. Embassy alerts U.S. citizens residing in Burundi that there will be a general work strike to protest high fuel prices and a proposed telecoms tax, in Bujumbura on Thursday March 5, 2015.  Public transportation and other services may be unavailable.

The general strike has been announced as a “stay at home” strike.  Though there are no protests expected in relation to the strike, the U.S. Embassy would like to remind American Citizens in Burundi of the following:

Although the protests have been largely peaceful thus far, it is important to remember that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.  You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.  If you find yourself near a demonstration, leave the area.  If it is not safe to do so, maintain a low profile until you are able to relocate.

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura strongly recommends that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Burundi enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you do not have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website where you can find the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings including the Travel Warning for Burundi, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Burundi. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Bujumbura is located on the corner of Avenue des Etats-Unis and Avenue du Cinquantenaire, and is open from 7:30 to 17:15 Monday through Thursday and 7:30 to 12:30 on Friday.  The telephone number is +257-22-20-7000.  If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is +257-22-20-7318, or +257-79-93-88-41.