Security Message for U.S Citizens: Increase in Crime (February 10, 2015)

Data collected by Embassy sources indicates an increase in criminal incidents occurring over the past year. These incidents have affected hotels, international residential compounds, commercial establishments, and government facilities.

In Juba, there have been multiple instances of daytime armed robbery at establishments frequently patronized by the international community over the past few weeks and also daytime home robberies. Some of these robberies have been violent in nature. During one recent incident at a local bank, two local security guards were shot and one reportedly later died of his wounds. Others present at the bank were also threatened at gunpoint. Finally, there has also been an increase in daytime vehicle break-ins with a broken window being the most frequent avenue of vehicle entry.

U.S. citizens should take an active role in their own personal security by following the precautionary steps listed below to lessen their chances of being a victim of a criminal act:

  • Be cognizant of persons and vehicles around you at all times.
  • Remember to vary your routes and times daily.
  • Leave expensive jewelry and other valuables at home.
  • Do not leave items clearly visible in a vehicle even if it is attended by a driver.
  • Avoid large gatherings of persons to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of pick pocketing.
  • Keep important belongings on your person rather than in your bag.
  • Always maintain good situational awareness. Most petty theft crimes can be avoided if they are recognized early.
  • If you choose to carry a bag, keep it close to and in front of your body.

All U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in South Sudan are urged to enroll online in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at Enrolling gives U.S. citizens access to updated information on travel and security, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact citizens in case of emergency. U.S citizens without Internet access should enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for South SudanTravel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for South Sudan. For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs Emergencies and Crises page. U.S. citizens in South Sudan can obtain the latest security information by visiting the U.S. Embassy website. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers from other countries, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

We remind U.S. citizens that the U.S. Embassy in Juba is operating at reduced staffing levels for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Embassy is therefore only able to offer very limited emergency services to U.S. citizens in the Republic of South Sudan. Due to the draw down in personnel in Juba, the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi [Tel.: +254 (20) 363 6451 or +254 (20) 363 6170, e-mail: is available to help U.S. citizens in South Sudan who need assistance; in an emergency, contact the U.S. Embassy in Juba, daytime: +211 (0)912 105 188; after hours: +211 (0)912 105 107.