Safety and security
There are reports of rebel activity, banditry and hostage-taking across the country. The situation in the capital, Bangui remains fragile with periodic instances of killings, looting and gunfire. There are armed patrols in Bangui and you will encounter several roadblocks - official and unofficial - that are likely to be manned by armed personnel. Take particular care when approaching these. You are strongly advised not to travel around Bangui especially after dark. You should take extreme care, and travel in groups if possible.
In April and early May 2018, there were clashes between armed groups and security forces across the capital, in particular the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th districts, with reports of over 20 people killed and over 180 people injured. Tensions were concentrated in particular around the PK5 area of Bangui; we continue to advise against travel to this part of the capital. Many businesses and schools in Bangui are closed as a result of unrest.
Incidents of theft and robbery occur regularly and armed gangs are known to operate in the outlying areas of Bangui. Take personal security precautions and be vigilant in public places. Avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewellery in public. Don’t walk alone at night. Avoid isolated or poorer areas.
Roads are poorly maintained and most require a four-wheel drive vehicle. Road travel is particularly difficult during the wet season (May to November). If you do decide to travel by road, you should keep a private supply of fuel if possible and carry supplies with you if travelling outside Bangui.
Illegal road blocks operate in remote areas. You may be forced to hand over money or possessions in order to continue your journey. There have been indiscriminate and violent attacks on travellers in remote areas. Vehicles have been fired on, and passengers killed or injured. In many of these cases victims have been robbed or taken hostage and vehicles taken or burnt.
Seek local advice before travelling and we recommend that you do not travel after dark.
The armed rebel coalition Seleka seized power on 24 March 2013. The interim leader, Michel Djotodia, stood down on 11 January 2014 and was replaced by a transitional government. In early 2016 Presidential and legislative elections were held, leading to the inauguration of President Faustin Archange Touadera on 30 March 2016 and the installation of a new Parliament and government. Despite this change and an increase in the number of international security forces in CAR, the situation in Bangui and the rest of the country remains fragile as reports of widespread looting and violence continue.
You should keep up to date with local political developments and avoid all political rallies, demonstrations or large public gatherings.
There is no British Embassy in the Central African Republic. British nationals needing urgent help should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on +44 20 7008 1500.
The nearest British diplomatic mission is the British Embassy, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
In an emergency, the French Embassy in Bangui may also be able to offer some consular assistance (telephone: +236 613 000 or +236 610 584).