Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Heightened Security Situation (November 29, 2015)

Sunday, November 29, 2015

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura has become aware that Burundian National Police searched at least two residences of U.S. citizens associated with NGOs on Saturday, November 28, 2015.  Because of this, Embassy Bujumbura reissues the following information on cooperating with police in a residential search.

The Embassy recommends U.S. citizens cooperate with Burundian police if asked to enter their residence for the purpose of a search. If subject to a police search, U.S. citizens should notify the Embassy at +257-22-20-7000 or after-hours at +257-79-938-841. A legal document regulating police searches of private residences mentions the following requirements:

  • Only officers of the Public Prosecutor’s Office or agents of the Judicial Police are entitled to proceed with searches. An officer must identify himself with a card before entering the house.
  • Before entering the house the police have to present a search warrant, signed by the appropriate authority.
  • The search cannot be done before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m. (except in case of an obvious offence or a threat to the physical integrity of the person).
  • Every search has to result in an official report and a copy has to be presented. All the seized objects have to be listed in the official report.

U.S. citizens who are planning to travel to Burundi or are currently staying in Burundi should review the new Burundi Travel Warning issued on November 3, as well as their personal security situation and avoid non-essential travel to and within Burundi.

For further information: