Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Civil Disturbances along Chileka Road in Blantyre and Kachere Township in Zomba
October 19, 2017
The U.S. Embassy has received multiple reports of a large civil disturbance disrupting traffic in Blantyre along Chileka Road near the intersection with the M1. Malawi Police Service (MPS) has deployed multiple officers and utilized tear gas to disperse the crowd, but tensions remain high. In addition, MPS reports a similar disturbance disrupted traffic in and around Kachere Township in Zomba this morning for several hours and resulted in significant damage to multiple vehicles.
Reports indicate these disturbances are related to fears in the community of persons attempting to steal blood—colloquially called “bloodsuckers.” The U.S. Embassy has advised its staff there is potential for additional unrest in and around Blantyre and Zomba Districts over the next several days – particularly in the evening hours.
While these disturbances are not directed at U.S. citizens, you should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.
Please review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security.
For further information:
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Malawi’s Country Specific Information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Contact the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe, located on Kenyatta Drive, Area 40, Plot 24, Lilongwe 3, at 1-733-166, open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. After hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is 01-773-166, ext. 3443 (if in Malawi) or 011-265-1-773-166, ext. 3443 (if in the U.S.). If the land line is malfunctioning, please call the following mobile number 0999-591-024 and 0888-734-826 (if in Malawi) or 011-265-999-591-024 and 011-265-888-734-826 (if in the U.S.).