Evacuation of US Citizens

Last one on board pull up the ladder

 

I’ve spoken before about when the situation is so bad the US Embassy assists US citizens to evacuate a country. Southern Sudan has become the most recent example.

Emergency message

Today, the US Embassy in Juba, Southern Sudan issued an emergency message to all US citizens about evacuation flights from Juba.

The U.S. Embassy in Juba informs resident American citizens that two charter flights will be departing Juba to Entebbe on July 14. U.S. citizens wishing to depart on the first flight should arrive to the airport at 8:30 a.m. to be processed. U.S citizens wishing to depart on the second flight should arrive no later than 12:30 p.m. to be processed.

The U.S. Embassy will not collect money for this flight; however, all passengers will be required to complete and sign a DS-5528 promissory letter for the fare. The amount of the loan will be the cost of a full fare ticket from Juba to Entebbe (approximately USD250). You must arrange your own transportation to the airport and onward from Juba. Due to ongoing security concerns, please remain vigilant when moving about the city.

Notice to all passengers: (1) Bring a valid travel document (passport); (2) you are restricted to one small carryon; and (3) no pets will be allowed. The Embassy continues to monitor the situation and will update you as appropriate.

On July 10, the State Department issued a new Travel Warning for Southern Sudan that warned US citizens against travel to South Sudan because of ongoing fighting, intercommunal violence, and violent crime.

ON July 12, the Embassy issued an emergency message asking US citizens to update their contact information.  When they do that in the middle of an emergency it usually means that they are getting ready to tell everyone to leave. And that the situation is so most will not be able to leave on their own.

  What will the Embassy do

Remember that it is rare for the Embassy and State Department to actually provide evacuation assistance.  In most cases they will recommend that U.S. citizens leave the country through their own means.

If commercial flights or other transportation is still available that is what US citizens are told to use.  Only when commercial flights and transportation are not available will the State Department arrange for the evacuation of citizens.

For more information about the assistance the State Department and US Embassy will provide in an emergency see What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis.

Register

This is why it is so important to register your travel through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to let the US Embassy know you are in the country and so you will receive emergency messages like this one.

If they don’t know you are there and if you don’t get the important evacuation message then you could end up left at the airport as you watch the last plane fly away.

STEP – Don’t leave home without it.

 

Stay safe and travel far

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