Safety and security

Crime

There is a dangerous level of criminal activity by armed militia throughout Somalia. There have been murders, armed robbery and a number of incidents of kidnapping. There is ongoing serious violence between opposing factions in many parts of the country. Civilians of all ages have been killed in fighting, which often involves heavy weapons.

Local travel

British government officials serving in Somalia live and work under strict security rules. All British officials live in secure, guarded accommodation and travel with close protection teams at all times.

Humanitarian needs are great in Somalia, with over 5.4 million people in need of assistance. Displaced people living in settlements and other vulnerable groups will remain ‘food insecure’.

The displacement and overpopulated refugee camps may lead to a significant increase in disease, increased risk of crime over food security and a heightened security threat to foreigners.

Sea travel

There is a high threat of maritime crime in the territorial waters and international waters off Somalia. Recent attacks off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden highlight that 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.