Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Police House Searches (November 21, 2014)

November 21, 2014

The U.S. Embassy would like to inform U.S. citizens that the Burundian authorities have been searching people’s homes for weapons in certain areas of Bujumbura. These searches do not target U.S. citizens or other foreigners. The police have stated that these searches are in response to a recent uptick in crime in Bujumbura. Such searches are legitimate under Burundian law. However, uniformed police are required to present identification and a warrant before entering. Do not allow anyone without the proper identification to enter your home. The searches are being conducted between the hours of 6:00AM and 6:00PM. If the police inform you that they wish to search your home, do not resist. If you encounter any problems during this process, contact the U.S. Embassy at +257-22-20-7066 during business hours; or at +257-22-20-7318 or +257-79-93-8841 during non-business hours.

The U.S. Embassy strongly recommends that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Burundi enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). 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 at the U.S. Embassy.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s Travel Website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Burundi and Travel Alerts.  Read the 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 +257-22-20-7066. 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 +257-79-93-8841.