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Juba (South Sudan) - anyone been recently / safety?

Juba (South Sudan) - anyone been recently / safety?

Old Dec 13, 18, 3:39 am
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Juba (South Sudan) - anyone been recently / safety?

Am probably going to get asked to go to Juba in the new year - is it so dangerous that I should say no?

The FCO warns against all travel which is normally my standard for saying no thanks, but I didn't get the impression* that it was so terrible. I'm quite good at being careful, and would stay indoors after dark/have a local guide during the day, but no security or anything.

Thoughts? Experiences?

thanks

* I can't actually say where I got this impression from...
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Old Dec 13, 18, 5:06 am
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Since it became a full member of the East African Community (E.A.C.) in 2016, South Sudan is obviously very high on my list of countries to visit.
So any recent and first hand infos would be gladly appreciated too. I only read/know that airport is brand new and Juba town is the safest place of the whole country.
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Old Dec 14, 18, 12:51 pm
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I would urge extreme caution about travel to South Sudan ... Juba is certainly a relative improvement on many other parts of the country.
But still is not safe ... there's a lot of serious criminality ... and you don't know when the next round of political, inter-ethnic or inter-communal tensions and violence will break out.
In my business - risk management - I would want to understand what you plan to do there and your local connection(s) before going ahead with travel plans.
I dealt with a case recently of a westerner who had the correct visa, but found himself (and his local contact) detained one evening by a group of armed (teenage) fighters and taken to a jail/holding facility.
We managed to secure his release after four days ... but never quite understood the actual reason why he was detained ... it seems even though his local contact was a member of the Dinka tribe and well-connected, he got caught up in some internal security service grievance.
Note: South Sudanese prisons are not somewhere you want to be!
That's a slightly long-winded way of saying - don't go!
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Old Dec 19, 18, 6:04 am
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Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
I would urge extreme caution about travel to South Sudan ... Juba is certainly a relative improvement on many other parts of the country.
..I dealt with a case recently of a westerner who had the correct visa, but found himself (and his local contact) detained one evening by a group of armed (teenage) fighters and taken to a jail/holding facility....
That's a slightly long-winded way of saying - don't go!
Thanks for the input. Can I ask, was this westerner detained in Juba or upcountry? I would only stay in Juba, and not plan on being out and about in the evening...
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Old Dec 19, 18, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
Thanks for the input. Can I ask, was this westerner detained in Juba or upcountry? I would only stay in Juba, and not plan on being out and about in the evening...
Juba.
If you need to go make sure you local fixer/contact is well-connected ... make your office has your contact info, your fixer's, driver, anyone you are meeting, hotel/guesthouse contact info, call the manager there and get his number(s), make sure you register with the embassy of your passport country, and the 24/7 number there, agree a communications/check-in protocol with your office, so that if you don't check-in (may be you forget or fall asleep or worse, are involved in an accident) then someone will start calling you and your contact/fixer and down the line until you're located.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 2:30 pm
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I read a blog post within the last year (I'm sorry that I can't remember where) by someone who visited S. Sudan for the adventure of it. Apparently it was illegal to photograph anywhere in the country, but he took a surreptitious video on his phone of the airport. If you still want to visit after seeing it, good luck and report back.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 4:24 pm
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Originally Posted by talb101 View Post
I read a blog post within the last year (I'm sorry that I can't remember where) by someone who visited S. Sudan for the adventure of it. Apparently it was illegal to photograph anywhere in the country, but he took a surreptitious video on his phone of the airport. If you still want to visit after seeing it, good luck and report back.
On the Lonely Planet "Thorn Tree" forum maybe?
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Old Jan 8, 19, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
Juba.
If you need to go make sure you local fixer/contact is well-connected ... make your office has your contact info, your fixer's, driver, anyone you are meeting, hotel/guesthouse contact info, call the manager there and get his number(s), make sure you register with the embassy of your passport country, and the 24/7 number there, agree a communications/check-in protocol with your office, so that if you don't check-in (may be you forget or fall asleep or worse, are involved in an accident) then someone will start calling you and your contact/fixer and down the line until you're located.
Thanks for the advice. [and I appreciate that after asking for it, I'm now going to ignore it]. Now looks about 90% that I'll be going, just for 2-3 days; I might do a TR afterwards if it seems interesting.
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Old Jan 8, 19, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
I might do a TR afterwards if it seems interesting.
PLEASE DO! I have been following this thread just based on sheer interest. Good luck with the trip.
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Old Jan 9, 19, 6:16 am
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I've talked to lots of UN people who go, but they of course have extra security. And I know plenty of Ugandans who have gone, but of course without any security.

I'm sure I'll make it up there one day. Maybe after I drive up to the Karimajoa lands.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
Thanks for the advice. [and I appreciate that after asking for it, I'm now going to ignore it]. Now looks about 90% that I'll be going, just for 2-3 days; I might do a TR afterwards if it seems interesting.
You're free to ignore the advice not to go ... but as you are going can I strongly suggest you do not ignore the advice to have a communications/check-in plan etc that I detailed above
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Old Jan 11, 19, 2:15 am
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Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
You're free to ignore the advice not to go ... but as you are going can I strongly suggest you do not ignore the advice to have a communications/check-in plan etc that I detailed above
I'm foolish but not stupid - will indeed follow that advice. I have also found some 'friends-of-friends' who are with the UN in Juba currently, and will be using them as first responders. Thanks
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Old Jan 13, 19, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by talb101 View Post
I read a blog post within the last year (I'm sorry that I can't remember where) by someone who visited S. Sudan for the adventure of it. Apparently it was illegal to photograph anywhere in the country, but he took a surreptitious video on his phone of the airport. If you still want to visit after seeing it, good luck and report back.
South Sudan ? Ramblin' Randy
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
I'm foolish but not stupid - will indeed follow that advice. I have also found some 'friends-of-friends' who are with the UN in Juba currently, and will be using them as first responders. Thanks
Good luck and please let us know how it goes! Met a South African couple some months ago and he works (worked) for some bottling company (beer / soft drink) and besides the fact that they looked as if they were dragged through the bush backwards, said that they enjoyed the experience albeit with loads of security, (and probably the $$$$).
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Old Feb 23, 19, 3:15 am
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my first impression was about right...

Originally Posted by Stewie Mac View Post
Am probably going to get asked to go to Juba in the new year - is it so dangerous that I should say no?

The FCO warns against all travel which is normally my standard for saying no thanks, but I didn't get the impression* that it was so terrible. I'm quite good at being careful, and would stay indoors after dark/have a local guide during the day, but no security or anything.

Thoughts? Experiences?

thanks

* I can't actually say where I got this impression from...
For now at least, it's pretty calm - day-to-day is normal, although everyone there is ready for it all to go very wrong very quickly, possibly in April when the VP is due to return

Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
I would urge extreme caution about travel to South Sudan ... Juba is certainly a relative improvement on many other parts of the country.
But still is not safe ... there's a lot of serious criminality ... and you don't know when the next round of political, inter-ethnic or inter-communal tensions and violence will break out.
In my business - risk management - I would want to understand what you plan to do there and your local connection(s) before going ahead with travel plans.
I dealt with a case recently of a westerner who had the correct visa, but found himself (and his local contact) detained one evening by a group of armed (teenage) fighters and taken to a jail/holding facility.
We managed to secure his release after four days ... but never quite understood the actual reason why he was detained ... it seems even though his local contact was a member of the Dinka tribe and well-connected, he got caught up in some internal security service grievance.
Note: South Sudanese prisons are not somewhere you want to be!
That's a slightly long-winded way of saying - don't go!
Everyone that I spoke to in Juba (UN, NGO, security, even a couple of locals) agreed that the one thing that you *don't* do is go out and about, especially in car, in the evening/night. The UN and most NGOs have a hard 7:30 curfew, and everyone was back 'home' by dark. i was told that those groups of armed fighters (and official police) are typically drunk or stoned in the evening, and looking for money/trouble.

I was out and about a lot during the day, and felt totally unthreatened. I'll try to do a short TR next week when I get some time - it wasn't very interesting, but a 'friend' disregarded the photo ban and got some vids of the new airport terminal, etc, which some people might want to see.
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