Crime is a way of life in the DRC. With most normal facets of life collapsing on a regular basis, many people have turned to crime.
Travellers need to pay close attention when they are entering the country and when moving across DRC's enormous interior.
Coupled with the constant security instability, crime in the Congo is out of control, a perfect example of a failed state in the heart of Africa.
So get ready to grow eyes in the back of your head.
Kinshasa remains a critical crime threat area, and foreign citizens continue to be the victims of serious crime, including armed robbery.
This sort of violent crime happens at all hours of the day, so don't think daylight will save you.
Most of this violent crime is perpetrated by groups posing as police in both rural and urban areas. So prepare yourself and be smart.
Travel in many sections of Kinshasa, Kisangani, Lubumbashi and most other major cities is generally safe during daylight hours, but travellers are urged to be vigilant against criminal activity that targets non-Congolese, particularly in traffic jams and areas surrounding hotels and stores.
Outlying, remote areas are less secure because of high levels of criminal activity and the lack of adequate training, supervision, and salary for security forces.
So you want to still go to the DRC for a trip? Here are some tips:
Below are some common crimes you may experience in the Congo, most are violent and not what travellers want.
Security officials and individuals purporting to be security officials have detained and robbed foreigners in Kinshasa. This type of crime occurs more frequently during the Christmas and New Year's holidays and prior to the beginning of school years.
Vehicle thefts, burglaries, and armed robberies occur throughout the country; there have been reports of car-jackings in the North Kivu area, resulting in deaths.
If confronted by members of the military or security forces, visitors should not permit soldiers or police officers to enter their vehicles nor get into the vehicle of anyone purporting to be a security official. If confronted, remain courteous and calm and, if threatened, do not resist.
Street children, particularly in Kinshasa, can be aggressive, persistent and involved in criminal activity.
Kidnapping is also a real threat in the Congo. Well-planned attacks against foreign nationals, so watch your step.
Try to always move with an experienced tour group. They will help you avoid problems and keep you safe. In the Congo, that's what you want.
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