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Chad: US NGO employees assaulted in N’Djamena on June 19

Unidentified assailants assault two American citizens working for an NGO near the Hilton Hotel in N’djamena on June 19; the US Embassy issued a security message over increased crime rate

21 Jun 03:09 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 6/21/2017, 12:00 AM until 6/24/2017, 11:59 PM (Africa/Ndjamena). COUNTRY/REGION Chad

Event

According to the United States Embassy in Chad, two assailants on a motorcycle assaulted two American citizens working for an American non-governmental organization (NGO) on Monday, June 19, while they were walking near the Hilton Hotel located in the capital city of N’Djamena. The male employee was pistol whipped and shot by one of the assailants during the robbery, but did not suffer major wounds. A female employee was uninjured. An increase in expat-related crimes has been reported over the past month in addition to the general increase in crime over the last year. It is unclear if this recent spike is related to the upcoming Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, or a further sign of the degrading economy.

On Tuesday, June 20, the US Embassy issued a security message warning its nationals of an increase in armed robberies and petty crime in N’Djamena, particularly around restaurants, hotels, and popular establishments of the capital.

Context

The country struggles with challenging socioeconomic conditions that lead to large protests at a regular basis, as well as other associated risks associated with insecurity and unrest. In an April 4 speech addressing rising levels of criminal activity reported across the country, including in N’Djamena, Prime Minister Pahimi Padacké Albert demanded that the country’s security services be more reactive, effective, and exercise increased vigilance to reverse the trend toward insecurity. Cases of murder, kidnap-for-ransom, physical assault, and other criminal activities have markedly increased, while perpetrators are seldom apprehended.

Advice

Individuals present in Chad are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to remain vigilant against the threat of criminal activity. Maintain a low profile so as to avoid drawing undue attention to yourself from would-be thieves and take common-sense precautions against petty crime (do not wear jewelry, avoid walking alone, avoid large crowds, etc.). Be alert to any suspicious persons or behavior and vary daily routines to minimize the risk of abduction.

Additionally, due to the high terrorist threat all those present in the country are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the relevant authorities and remain vigilant at all times, especially when visiting sites deemed particularly likely to be targeted in an attack (public transportation, train stations, airports, public or government buildings, embassies or consulates, international organizations, schools and universities, religious sites, markets, hotels and restaurants frequented by foreigners/Westerners, festivals, etc.). For this and other security reasons, many Western governments advise against all travel to areas near the borders with Niger, Libya, Sudan, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Nigeria, and the Lake Chad region, as well as nonessential travel to the rest of the country, including N'Djamena.

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