Register your overseas travel and/or residential details here.
Reviewed: 15 November 2013, 15:00 NZDT
Still current at: 07 December 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 significant threat from terrorism, kidnapping, widespread armed conflict and a high level of violent crime 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. No part of Somalia can be considered safe. This includes large cities such as Mogadishu and Kismayo.
There is a significant threat from terrorism throughout Somalia, particularly in Mogadishu. Terrorist groups operating in Somalia, including Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda, have made threats against westerners and those working for western organisations.
Terrorist attacks could occur without warning at anytime, anywhere in Somalia. Attacks may target crowded places, high-profile events and events involving government officials. Terrorist attacks in Somalia often involve multiple explosions, improvised explosive devices and the use of heavy weapons.
There is an on-going very high threat of kidnapping throughout Somalia, including in Somaliland. Kidnappers may be motivated by financial gain or terrorism in Somalia. In addition to taking professional security advice, you should vary your routines to avoid setting predictable patterns of movement, particularly around travel routes.
Levels of violent crime, including murder, armed robbery and kidnapping, are very high in Somalia. Westerners, aid workers, journalists and religious representatives have been attacked and abducted throughout the country.
Inter-clan tensions remain high in Somalia, and the security situation is unpredictable. Violent civil unrest is common, and is often motivated by domestic political developments.
New Zealanders are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings in Somalia as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning. If you are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence, you should leave the area if it is safe to do so, or find a safe location, remain indoors and heed any local advice.
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.
General Travel Advice
New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Somalia to avoid offending local sensitivities. Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour.
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Somalia, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens who require consular assistance is severely limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Somalia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes 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 or live in Somalia despite this advisory are strongly advised to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.