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Reviewed: 30 March 2010, 16:10 NZDT
Still current at: 25 May 2013
There is extreme risk to your security in Somalia and we advise against all travel. New Zealanders currently in Somalia are advised to leave. There is a high threat of terrorism, widespread armed conflict and a high level of violent crime and kidnappings. Piracy occurs frequently along the Somali coast.
Somalia has been without an effective government since the overthrow of the Said Barre government in 1991. The current Transitional Federal Government declared a State of Emergency in June 2009 due to the escalation of armed conflict. Political tension remains high and the security situation is unpredictable. Violent clashes occur almost daily, including in Mogadishu. Mogadishu International Airport is often closed at short notice due to fighting.
There is a significant and ongoing risk of attacks and kidnapping in Somalia. Westerners, aid workers, journalists and religious representatives have been regularly attacked and abducted throughout the country.
New Zealanders who decide to travel to Somalia against our advice should ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company (with experience in Somalia), for advice on security arrangements. Security arrangements should be reviewed on a regular basis. Such measures may mitigate the risks to your safety but cannot eliminate them entirely.
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Somalia, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens who get into trouble is severely limited.
Piracy is common in the coastal waters off Somalia. Mariners are advised to be vigilant and to take appropriate precautionary measures in these waters. For more information view the International Maritime Bureau's piracy report.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Somalia should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air. You should check that your travel insurance policy covers travel in Somalia – exclusions may well apply. Only very limited medical facilities are available in Somalia and there are shortages of even the most basic medical supplies.
New Zealanders who decide to travel to or live in Somalia despite this advisory are strongly advised to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.