Khartoum - Post Report Question and Answers
Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.
Sudan was classified as a high-threat post and therefore our movement was severely restricted. The threat level has now been decreased, but I understand that previous security measures are still in place. You are not free to walk about and travel as you wish. - Feb 2018
Sudan is suffering from the effects of a decades-old civil war and festering insurgencies, and in addition is surrounded by failed or failing states. Poverty is rampant and everything is corrupt. That said, Sudanese are very friendly people, largely mind their own business and don't get excited about much. The security concerns here are related to terrorism or political violence. There is very little crime here. There are occasional protests, but these are targeted at the government and are quickly put down and dispersed. I've never felt threatened here and that makes the stringent security restrictions put in place by the embassy feel onerous. However, it's undeniable that the embassy had to draw down a few years back due to a protest that breached the embassy perimeter, and an USAID worker was shot in 2008. In other words, this is a place where things can go quickly out of hand. What place isn't like that though?
Compared with other major cities around the world, this one probably rates among the safer ones. This has resulted in a situation where the embassy maintains a very high security posture due to the dangerous environment, but personnel do not rate danger pay because it's not dangerous enough. Another major frustration at post, no matter which side of the fence you come down on. - May 2017
Sudan is on the State Sponsors of Terrorism List, which includes a long list of security concerns. Some are legitimate, some seem less so. However, Khartoum can be a dangerous place and particularly because the Embassy and its personnel are so isolated, it's easy to become overconfident as to the safety of this city. - Nov 2016
Yes, for diplomats there are still ample security restrictions. Non-diplomat women who must travel alone should practice good self-awareness and personal security. - Oct 2016
Terrorism, crime, and protests. Outside of Khartoum the crime is really bad and the police can't keep up with it. Protests are mostly a city thing and erupt once in a while. Terrorism is the constant threat in the background and you hope you won't be there when it happens again. - Mar 2016
Khartoum is a danger pay post, but there is very little street crime, and most American employees feel extremely safe here. All embassy residences are heavily guarded. - Jun 2015
Aside from terrorism there is a lot of political instability rooted in economic troubles. Protests can happen at any time and tend to be directed (mostly by the government) towards Westerners. Despite this, we might be losing some of our danger pay. - Mar 2015
Yes, for U.S. Embassy folks this is an unaccompanied assignment, dependents over 21 years are allowed only if they are employed at the Embassy. There are occasional riots, one which included an attack on the Embassy in 2012, there is the threat of kidnapping, terrorist attacks, etc. It was pretty calm while I was there and I never felt threatened but travel is still in armored motorpool vehicles for all personnel. - Apr 2014
Embassy personnel have to travel in armored vehicles. RSO discourages walking outside. - Jun 2011
They tell us that there is a terrorism threat here...but then...there is a terrorism threat everywhere if you think about it. There is virtually no crime here. We have a lot of security restrictions here that most of us think are unnecessary; like we are not allowed to drive and have to take motor pool everywhere. That will probably change within the next year or so. - Apr 2010
Khartoum was a very calm city. I never felt threatened in any way taking normal everyday precautions as you would in any city. - May 2009
Very little crime related violence - in this respect, an extremely safe city. However, there is always the potential for politically motivated violence: there was one highly publicized murder of an American at the end of 2007, followed by a few incidents involving nocturnal approaches to expat residences, which caused a lot of concern at the time. Also, the UN decided to evacuate all staff dependants during summer 2008, apparently anticipating trouble arising from the expected ICC indictment of President Bashir; as a result I have had to leave with my children, but friends back in Khartoum say that everything is much as it was. - Sep 2008