Security Message for U.S. Citizens: National Police Strike in Praia

The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad that a Cabo Verdean National Police strike is currently underway in Praia and throughout all nine islands. The strike began at midnight Tuesday, Dec. 26 to protest grievances over benefits and pay. This is the first strike in the force’s 147 year history, so it’s uncertain how this will impact visitors and residents of the archipelago.

The strike is expected to continue through midnight on Friday, December 29. During this time, there will be little to no police support in Praia. It is reasonable to assume that criminals will use this strike as an opportunity to increase their level of criminal activity. The Cabo Verdean government has issued a decree to provide minimal levels of police staffing, but it’s not yet clear how many officers will continue to be working. The country’s other police forces, including the Judicial, Maritime, and Municipal police are not on strike.

Given the current situation, U.S. citizens in Praia are strongly urged to limit their travel and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. U.S. Embassy Praia’s operations will continue to the extent possible under the constraints of any evolving security situation. This alert expires on December 30, 2017.

U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security issues. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or to contact them in case of emergency. Follow U.S. Embassy Praia on Facebook as well.