Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Recent Crime Incidents on the Corniche, in Ouakam, and in Les Almadies

U.S. Embassy Dakar has received reports of three recent criminal attacks against U.S. citizens, on the Corniche, in the Ouakam neighborhood, and in the Les Almadies neighborhood. The incidents were:

  1. A motorcycle rider attempted to snatch the bag of a pedestrian in Les Almadies. This tactic is frequently used in Dakar but this is the first time the Embassy has learned of an incident involving a U.S. citizen in Les Almadies.
  2. A U.S. citizen was the victim of a street robbery while he was biking on Rue de Ouakam in the vicinity of Caesar’s Pizza. This occurred late afternoon and the victim had bags of groceries stolen. No weapon was used in this incident.
  3. At about 9 am on Friday, February 6, a U.S. citizen’s nanny was held up at knifepoint while walking along on the Corniche at the northern edge of Ebbets Field in proximity to the International School of Dakar. The nanny was escorting a child to a pre-school in the area. There were no physical injuries.

The U.S. Embassy has also received reports of harassment of Embassy personnel who walk to and from work along Route des Almadies. This harassment has ranged from very aggressive Talibe children begging, to at least one incident of vulgarity being directed at them by a passing motorist.

The U.S. Embassy put the Corniche off limits to U.S. Embassy personnel during the hours of darkness in January 2014. The Embassy continues to recommend that if you choose to walk along the Corniche during daylight hours, you do so on the side of the road furthest away from the beach (the east side). In the past, perpetrators have used the beach access points as routes of access and escape to/from the Corniche. By using the other side of the street and maintaining a high level of awareness you may be able to spot trouble coming, which in turn would give you additional time and distance to react and escape.

As always, U.S. citizens are encouraged to practice good situational awareness and remain observant at all times. Be aware that demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly escalate into violence. Avoid crowds, political gatherings, and street demonstrations, even if these appear to be peaceful. Exercise caution when in the vicinity of demonstrations or police activity and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

We strongly recommend U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Senegal or Guinea-Bissau enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

In addition, if you wish to participate in the optional SMS/text messaging program to receive security notices via text message, please send an email to DakarACS@state.gov for additional information.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Senegal and neighboring countries. For additional information, refer to the Traveler’s Checklist on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Dakar is located on Route des Almadies and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the emergency number for the U.S. Embassy is +221 33 879 4444.