Crime remains a concern in the capital and has increased since the March 2013 overthrow of the government. You should exercise caution while traveling around the city and its immediate environs. Petty theft remains a problem in large market areas, particularly in the crowded markets near KM 5 on the outskirts of the city. Armed gangs may operate in outlying residential areas. During periods of civil unrest and conflict citizens engage in violent, sometimes deadly, demonstrations which include widespread looting, burning of buildings, and blocking of roads. In the interior of the country, there are frequent reports of armed robbery and kidnapping by highway bandits (called “coupeurs de routes” or “zaraguinas”), especially during the December to May dry season. When a crime does occur in Bangui, the victim may have to pay to send a vehicle to pick up police officers due to the shortage of police vehicles and fuel.
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