Security Message for U.S. Citizens: UPDATE-Heightened Security Situation (Friday, November 6, 2015)

United States Embassy Bujumbura, Burundi | Friday, November 6, 2015

U.S. Embassy Bujumbura advises U.S. citizens of the potential for violence over the weekend and in the following days. Please note that U.S. government personnel have been asked to defer all non-emergency travel to Burundi during this time period. This violence could be a result of an ultimatum announced in a speech by President Nkurunziza this week for individuals in Burundi to turn in any arms they currently have.  The Embassy has restricted the movement of embassy personnel on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8.  Private U.S. citizens in Bujumbura are advised to similarly limit unnecessary movement and maintain a high level of vigilance.  Stay current with media coverage of local events.

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, 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: