Sudan Travel Warning
In Sudan, the current political situation may continue to lead to tensions and possibly disruptions to public order. Against this background, the Federal Foreign Office advises following political and security developments carefully and avoiding demonstrations and crowds as much as possible. Travelers are advised to coordinate their travel planning closely with the German or Sudanese tour operators and business partners, if necessary to inform the German embassy in Khartoum and to enter themselves in the “ELEFAND” crisis prevention list on the website of the German embassy in Khartoum (external link, opens again Fensterhttp: //service.diplo.de/registrierungav).
According to youremailverifier, the economic situation in Sudan is tense. In early November, subsidies on fuel, flour and electricity were canceled. As a result, transport and food prices rose significantly. Similar price increases led to serious unrest in 2013. You are therefore advised to be more vigilant and to follow the local media closely.
Anti-Western demonstrations, triggered for example by the publication of caricatures or films on social media, cannot be ruled out either. In 2012 the German embassy in Khartoum was also attacked. The last time there were demonstrations of this kind were in spring 2015, in response to the republication of a cartoon of Mohammed in “Charlie Hebdo”. Although these remained peaceful, they cannot be ruled out for the future either.
Crime in Khartoum is increasing – at a low level by African standards (especially break-ins in cars).
Foreigners need a travel authorization of the Sudanese government (for all travel outside Khartoum travel permit).
There is an increased risk of terrorism across Sudan. Terrorist groups have called for “jihad” in Sudan, specifically targeting Western institutions. This can also take the form of kidnappings.
In August 2007 and January 2008, Sudanese authorities arrested members of a group allegedly involved in planning attacks on the British and US embassies in Khartoum.
On New Year’s Eve 2007/2008 a diplomat from the US embassy and his driver were shot dead in their vehicle in Khartoum for terrorist reasons. In recent years, isolated cells that had planned attacks have been uncovered by the Sudanese authorities in various parts of the country.
In some parts of the country, isolated radical cells have been dug up in recent years, which had planned attacks in the capital, including on the birthday celebrations of the Prophet Mohammed in January 2015.
Travel over land
All trips in the country require prior authorization. The infrastructure in Sudan is inadequate in many ways. Supply shortages (including fuel shortages) are widespread. Therefore, careful planning of trips is very important. For example, trips outside the metropolitan area of the capital Khartoum are often only possible to a limited extent due to a lack of infrastructure and security threats.
The risk of accidents when driving overland should not be underestimated because of the poor roads, lack of markings and the often unorthodox driving style. Driving at night should therefore be avoided entirely. Medical help in the event of an accident is usually not available. Gang attacks, but also arbitrary measures by the police or other security organs, must be expected.
Due to the aftermath of the civil war in South Sudan, the tribal conflicts and the still tense situation on some parts of the southern and eastern borders, as well as mainly due to the Darfur conflict, crossing the country is neither in a north-south nor in an east-west direction possible without risk.
Unnecessary trips to the border areas with Egypt, Libya and Chad are not recommended.
Travel to the remote border area with Ethiopia in the states of Gedaref and Sennar, including the Dinder National Park, is not recommended. In the past there have been violent clashes between the government and an extremist Islamist group in the national park. It cannot be ruled out that other armed groups willing to use violence may be present there.
When traveling to the pyramids of Meroe and Karima in northern Sudan, special attention and compliance with the general safety instructions are required. In September 2008, a tourist group was kidnapped in the southwest of Egypt, which also included five Germans. The tour group was detained by a heavily armed, criminal gang in the border area of Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Chad. An existing police protection of the tour group was ineffective. Further incidents of this kind cannot be ruled out.
Travel by land to Egypt is possible again, but only via a single border crossing at Wadi Halfa. The security situation there is currently under control due to the extensive military and police presence of Egypt and Sudan. Foreigners need travel permits with details of the destination and duration of the trip, which are available in Khartoum. In the provincial cities, travel permits are issued at the police / security offices when entering by land. Before attempting to cross the border illegally (also into the other neighboring countries), we strongly advise against due to the risk of unmarked or insufficiently marked minefields. You also run the risk of long-term imprisonment.
In the Darfur region in western Sudan, life is threatened due to military clashes and bandit abuse. There is a very high risk of kidnapping. We therefore strongly advise against traveling to Darfur.
In the Darfur provinces, there are still attacks on transports by aid organizations and the UNAMID peacekeeping mission, armed clashes between government troops and rebel groups and arson by militias among the population continue.
Since 2009 kidnappings of employees of international aid organizations and the UNAMID peace mission have been increasing. In June 2010, two Germans were kidnapped and released after five weeks.
Travel to Darfur always requires the prior approval of the Sudanese government. Employees of aid organizations active in Darfur are urgently advised to seek close coordination with the aid coordinators of the UN (OCHA, Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and the Sudanese government (HAC, Humanitarian Affairs Commission) and the German Embassy in Khartoum about their stay to inform in the country. For official or journalistic trips to Darfur, close coordination with the German Embassy in Khartoum and the UNAMID peace mission and the UN security service UNDSS (United Nations Department for Safety and Security) is advisable.
South Kordofan (including Abyei), Unity State and Blue Nile
Travel to the regions of South Kordofan (including Abyei – a controversial area between Sudan and South Sudan -) and the Blue Nile is strongly discouraged due to military combat operations.
On May 14, 2008, fighting broke out between army units from North and South Sudan in the city of Abyei in the border region of the same name between North and South Sudan. The Sudanese armed forces have taken control of Abyei. Although the conflicting parties officially recognize the award of the International Court of Arbitration over the borders of the disputed region, the potential for conflict remains high. There are repeated reports of armed fighting between the nomads passing through the area and the local population. The referendum planned for January 9, 2011 on the status of the Abyei region was not held. Accordingly, the affiliation of the region remains unresolved.
Even in rural areas in the South Kordofan and the Blue Nile (especially in the Nuba Mountains) there are regular fighting and bombing by the Sudanese armed forces. The outskirts of Kadugli, the provincial capital of southern Cordova, were reportedly targeted by armed opposition groups during the 2015 parliamentary and presidential elections.
Even after the peace agreement between the East Sudanese “Eastern Front” and the government in Khartoum, many security forces are present in the region. Travel should be carefully planned in advance and coordinated with the local authorities.