Safety and security
Petty crime is not uncommon in Djibouti. Don’t walk around town alone late at night. Keep valuables, particularly cameras and passports, out of sight.
The FCO advise against all travel to the border with Eritrea. In 2008 there were military clashes between Djibouti and Eritrea after an incursion of Eritrean forces into the disputed Djibouti border region. The situation remains fragile and further conflict is possible.
In February 2016, there was an attack by rebels on a gendarmerie station at Lac ‘Assal, central Djibouti. Three people are reported to have been killed.Take great care if you travel to remote areas of the country, including the border with Somaliland, in the north-west of Somalia, where the presence of security forces is low.
Avoid travelling outside city centres after dark; vehicles often have no lights and livestock may be on the roads. Roads are narrow, poorly lit and maintained. Police set up wire coils as roadblocks on some of the major roads, which are not clearly visible at night. Land mines are common in the northern districts of Obock and Tadjoura and the southern district of Ali Sabeih.
A new railway line from Djibouti to Addis Ababa opened on 5 October 2016 and is now operating a passenger service. There have been no reported safety incidents.
The threat of piracy related activity and armed robbery in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean remains significant. Reports of attacks on local fishing dhows in the area around the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa continue. The combined threat assessment of the international Naval Counter Piracy Forces remains that all sailing yachts under their own passage should remain out of the designated High Risk Area or face the risk of being hijacked and held hostage for ransom. For more information and advice, see our Piracy and armed robbery at sea page.