Is Mogadishu Safe To Visit?

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Current

Warnings are issued against travel to Somalia and the waters off Somalia.

COVID-19

The spread of COVID-19 is leading to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.

  • Note the travel warning that is still valid.
  • Please note our continuously updated information on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

Safety - travel warning

Warnings are issued against travel to Somalia and the waters off Somalia.

terrorism

In Somalia and the capital Mogadishu, including Puntland and “Somaliland”, serious attacks are repeatedly carried out and armed clashes with alleged Al-Shabaab fighters, often resulting in numerous casualties and injuries. These attacks target security forces and government institutions, but also hotels, markets and other public institutions. In early 2017, Mogadishu International Airport was also the target of terrorist attacks.

Again and again there are terrorist-motivated kidnappings, on the land and in the waters off Somalia.

  • If, despite the travel warning, you have to travel to Somalia for unavoidable work-related stays, be aware of the considerable risk and ensure that you have a carefully and professionally worked out security concept.
  • German citizens who are currently in Somalia despite the existing travel warning are advised to leave the country quickly, unless they are subject to a resilient evacuation regime, e.g. as part of a UN mission.
  • Always be vigilant and careful, especially in busy locations and on special occasions.
  • Please note the worldwide safety information.

Domestic situation

In Somalia and the capital Mogadishu, there are not only attacks but also armed clashes. In addition to the high risk of becoming a victim of terrorism, there is a considerable risk from fighting, piracy and criminally motivated acts of violence.

In the event of an emergency (health, crime or war-related), functioning government agencies that could provide assistance are largely lacking. Consular assistance cannot be provided on site.

Staying in Somalia is generally very dangerous, but especially in the capital region of Banadir and the states of Jubbaland, Southwest, Hirshabelle and Galmudug as well as in parts of Puntland and the east of “Somaliland”.

According to reports, foreign professionals and travelers in particular run the risk of becoming victims of assassinations, assaults, kidnappings and other terrorist-motivated violent crimes. Militias and other security forces that are not under the Somali federal government often follow unpredictable loyalties and generally cannot guarantee security for foreign travelers.

Demonstrations take place more frequently and can lead to violent clashes at any time. Road blockades can also occur.

Landmines are at risk across the country.

  • If, despite the travel warning, you have to travel to Somalia for unavoidable work-related stays, be aware of the considerable risk and ensure that you have a carefully and professionally prepared security concept.
  • German nationals who are currently in Somalia despite the existing travel warning are advised to leave the country quickly, unless they are subject to a resilient evacuation regime, e.g. as part of a UN mission.
  • Only stay in accommodations approved by the United Nations Security Division nationwide.
  • Avoid demonstrations and large crowds.

Jubbaland, Hir-Shabelle and Galmudug as well as the capital region of Banadir

In parts of southern and central Somalia, fighting is taking place between Somali security forces / militias and the militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab, in which forces of the African Union (AMISOM) are also involved. Furthermore, there are always clashes between Somali militias. The Somali government and AMISOM cannot guarantee protection against general or terrorist crime in the country.

Especially in the capital Mogadishu, there are always clashes between the Somali security forces, in which not infrequently bystanders are also harmed.

  • Do not drive overland in southern or central Somalia.

Puntland and "Somaliland"

In the Mudug region (border between Puntland and the transitional administration of the Galmudug state), in the disputed areas between Puntland and "Somaliland" (Sool and Sanaag regions and in the eastern part of the Togdheer region) and in parts of the Bari region (Bossaso, Galghala Mountains) in addition to attacks, fighting must also be expected.

In a comparatively pacified environment, the security forces in “Somaliland” can create a significantly higher level of security with regard to terrorist activities and general crime than in other parts of the country. This is especially true for the western areas (Awdal and Wooqoyi Galbeed regions with the cities of Hargeisa and Berbera). However, dangers resulting from the general civil war situation and the threat of terrorism in Somalia cannot be completely ruled out for “Somaliland” either.

Overland journeys in Puntland and "Somaliland" must be accompanied by special units of the respective security forces due to official requirements. Prior coordination with the security officers of the United Nations or the European Union is essential.

  • Coordinate overland trips in Puntland and "Somaliland" with the security officers of the United Nations or the European Union and only carry them out in convoy and accompanied by the special units of the respective security forces.
  • Avoid large crowds of people.
  • Follow the instructions of local security guards.

crime

There is a significant risk of kidnapping across the country, including Somaliland. Several western foreigners have been kidnapped in the past.

Acts of violence by armed groups and gangs and poverty crime are widespread across the country. Armed robberies, carjacking and murders are common.

  • If, despite the travel warning, you have to travel to Somalia for unavoidable work-related stays, be aware of the considerable risk and ensure that you have a carefully and professionally prepared security concept.

Piracy on the high seas

There is still a risk of pirate attacks and capture off the coast. Ships off Somalia are still at risk of being attacked and hijacked. Despite international efforts to curb piracy, pirate attacks can occur again and again; effective protection cannot be guaranteed.

The one from the European Union ATALANTA carried out naval operation is active in a wide area off the coast of Somalia and neighboring countries. The aim is to deter, prevent and combat acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. ATALANTA is primarily aimed at protecting the food aid ships of the United Nations World Food Program for Somalia and civilian ships.

Slow ships with a low side wall are generally more at risk of pirate attacks than fast ships with a high side wall. Registration with the Maritime Security Center and the presence of warships are no guarantee that ships will not be attacked, shot at or captured by pirates.

  • If your trip is absolutely necessary despite the travel warning, you can find out more about the current piracy situation at the IMB Piracy Reporting Center.
  • As a skipper, be particularly careful in the endangered waters and be sure to register with the Maritime Security Center.

Nature and climate

The climate is tropical semi-arid and therefore usually very hot and dry.

In the rainy season in the southwest from May to the beginning of November and in the northeast from December to February, heavy rainfall and occasionally typhoons from the Indian Ocean can lead to floods and landslides. Roads and bridges can become impassable.

  • Always observe prohibitions, information signs and warnings as well as the instructions of local authorities.

Travel info

Responsible diplomatic mission

There is currently no German diplomatic mission in Somalia. The German embassy in Nairobi / Kenya is responsible for Somalia.

Infrastructure / traffic

The security checks (people, baggage, cargo) at Mogadishu International Airport for the departure and arrival of commercial airlines are largely non-conforming to international standards. This harbors a security risk for passengers of these airlines departing or arriving there. This also applies to most of the other airports within Somalia.

Traveling in the country is extremely dangerous. In addition to the risk of terrorism, crime and conflicts, there is a high risk of accidents due to poor roads, unlit and poorly maintained vehicles and uncontrolled driving behavior. Checkpoints, often spontaneously set up by the Islamist Al-Shabaab militia, can be expected at any time in rural areas in the entire southern half of the country, but also in parts of the north. Overland journeys can therefore be life-threatening.
The condition of the roads outside of built-up areas is often poor, there are many, even larger, potholes. There is currently insufficient infrastructure in the country.

The land borders to Kenya and Ethiopia are mostly closed and the crossing is subject to special approval procedures.

Driving license

The international driving license is required and is only valid in conjunction with the national German driving license. Recognition is not guaranteed nationwide.

Special rules of conduct / Ramadan

Military facilities such as For example, barracks, airfields, tank positions, etc., government buildings, ministry of defense, political security buildings, etc., military personnel and weapons and for high-ranking people's homes should not be photographed. Permission should be sought before women are photographed.

Islamic belief is part of Yemeni culture and laws. This should be taken into account in clothing and behavior, and religious and social traditions should be treated with respect.
During the fasting month of Ramadan, restrictions in everyday life (e.g. restaurant closings during the day, reduced working hours for authorities) and increased sensitivity in religious matters and in questions of respecting Islamic traditions can be expected. Eating, drinking and smoking in public are also prohibited for non-Muslims.

LGBTIQ

Sexual acts by same-sex people are forbidden and are severely punished, including the death penalty.

Legal specifics

The legal system in Somalia is based on a mixture of the national penal code from 1962 as well as traditional ("Xeer") and Islamic customary law (Sharia). A nationwide implementation and uniform application of the provisions prescribed by the Somali federal government is not guaranteed. Al-Shabaab and other groups use a sometimes extreme view and interpretation of Sharia.

In Somalia, the death penalty is both imposed and carried out.

Money / credit cards

The local currency is the Somalia Shilling (SOS), but the de facto common currency is the US dollar. Credit cards are generally not accepted, and withdrawals from ATMs are only possible in isolated cases in Mogadishu, Garowe and Hargeisa.

Entry and customs

Entry and import regulations for German citizens can change at short notice without the Foreign Office being informed beforehand. You can only obtain legally binding information and / or information that goes beyond this information on the entry and customs regulations for importing goods directly from the representatives of your destination country.
You can find the customs regulations for Germany on the website of the German customs and via the “Customs and Travel” app or you can inquire about them by telephone.

Travel documents

Entry is possible for German citizens with the following documents:

  • Passport: Yes
  • Temporary passport: No
  • Identity card: No
  • Provisional identity card: No
  • Children's passport: No

Comments / minimum remaining validity:
Travel documents should be valid for at least six months at the time of entry.

visa

German citizens require a visa to enter the country, which must be applied for at a Somali diplomatic mission abroad such as the Somali Embassy in Berlin before entering the country. The issuance of a visa "on arrival" at the international airports of Somalia is usually possible, but is not recommended due to frequently fluctuating regulations. In such cases, an invitation is required as proof of the purpose of the stay, the planned length of stay and the nomination of a guarantor for the duration of the stay. Visa fees must be paid locally in US dollars in cash.

In Somaliland, which is striving for independence, a visa can be applied for on arrival at the airports in Berbera, Borema, Burao, Erigavo and Hargeisa for stays of up to 30 days. As a rule, an invitation is required as proof of the purpose of the stay, without which entry can be refused. Visa fees must be paid locally in US dollars in cash.

Somali diplomatic missions abroad are subordinate to the central federal government of Somalia. The validity of the visas issued by these representations for areas not controlled by the federal government such as "Somaliland" is not guaranteed.

Minors

There are no known special regulations for the entry of minors.

Import regulations

There is no limit to the importation of foreign currency, but this must be declared. Re-export is limited to the amount declared on entry.

The import and export of local currency is limited to 200 SOS.

health

Current

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the disease COVID-19, which is triggered by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, a pandemic.

measles

In January 2019, WHO declared delaying or skipping vaccinations as a threat to global health. In particular, the lack of vaccination against measles poses a high risk when the number of cases increases internationally.

  • As part of your travel preparations, check your and your children's vaccination protection against measles and have this supplemented if necessary.

The WHO has asked Somalia to ensure that all residents and long-term visitors who start an international trip from the country for more than 4 weeks have been vaccinated against polio four weeks to 12 months before departure with a dose of polio (oral vaccine bOPV or intramuscular vaccine IPV ). If an urgent trip is imminent and the person has not been vaccinated against polio in the past four weeks to 12 months, it should be ensured that residents and long-term travelers receive a vaccination at least at the time of departure. Otherwise, the country should prevent these people from leaving the country.

  • Make sure you have a complete vaccination against polio. Booster vaccinations are necessary every 10 years. The vaccination must be certified separately in the international vaccination certificate, see information sheet Polio vaccination when traveling abroad.

Vaccination protection

A valid yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers older than 1 year when entering from a yellow fever area. When entering from non-yellow fever areas such as Europe or a transit time of less than 12 hours at the airport of a yellow fever endemic area, proof of vaccination is not mandatory, but is recommended for travel in the country.

  • Make sure that you and your children have the standard vaccinations according to the vaccination calendar of the Robert Koch Institute up to date.
  • Hepatitis A, yellow fever and polio are recommended as travel vaccinations, and hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies and meningococcal disease (ACWY) are recommended for long-term stays or special exposure.
  • Please note the instructions for use and help for the indication in the travel vaccination recommendations leaflet.
  • The DTG offers up-to-date, detailed travel vaccination recommendations for specialist groups.

Dengue fever

Dengue viruses are nationwide by diurnal Aedes- Mosquitoes transmitted The disease is usually accompanied by fever, skin rash and pronounced pain in the limbs.In rare cases, especially in children, serious complications, including possible death, occur. Overall, however, complications for travelers are rare. There is neither a vaccination nor chemoprophylaxis nor a specific therapy against dengue fever, see also information sheet on dengue fever.

  • To avoid dengue fever, protect yourself consistently against mosquito bites as part of exposure prophylaxis, especially during the day.

malaria

Malaria is caused by crepuscular and nocturnal anopheles- Mosquitoes transmitted. If left untreated, the dangerous one is particularly dangerous Malaria tropica often fatal in non-immune Europeans. The disease can break out weeks to months after your stay in the risk area, see also the Malaria leaflet.

  • If you develop a fever during or even months after a corresponding trip, see the doctor as soon as possible and inform him about your stay in a malaria area.

There is a high risk of malaria all year round, primarily for the dangerous tropical malaria, see Standing Committee on Travel Medicine (StAR) of the DTG except in Somaliland. There the risk is significantly lower and sometimes not even given.

To avoid malaria, protect yourself consistently against insect bites as part of exposure prophylaxis. You should pay particular attention to the following points:

  • Wear light-colored clothing that covers the body (long trousers, long shirts).
  • Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body, during the day (dengue) as well as in the evening and at night (malaria).
  • If necessary, sleep under an impregnated mosquito net.

Depending on the travel profile, in addition to the necessary exposure prophylaxis, chemoprophylaxis (taking tablets) is also useful. Various prescription drugs (e.g. atovaquone proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine) are available on the German market for this purpose.

  • Discuss the choice of medication and its personal adjustment as well as side effects or intolerance to other medication with a tropical medicine or travel medicine specialist before taking it.
  • It is recommended that you bring sufficient supplies with you.

HIV / AIDS

HIV / AIDS is also a major problem in Somaila. It is estimated that 10% of the adult population (ages 15-49) are infected. There is generally a high risk of HIV transmission through sexual contact, drug use (unclean syringes or cannulas) and blood transfusions. The national average prevalence is in the higher single-digit percentage range, but risk groups, especially sex workers, are affected in a much higher percentage.

  • Always use condoms, especially on casual acquaintances.

Diarrheal diseases

Diarrheal illnesses are common travel illnesses, see also the information sheet on diarrheal illnesses. However, through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene, most diarrheal diseases and also cholera (see below) can be avoided. Therefore, to protect your health, please observe the following basic information:

  • Only drink water of safe origin, never tap water. A previously opened bottle can be identified more easily by purchasing carbonated bottled water.
  • If possible, use drinking water to wash dishes and brush your teeth when you're out and about.
  • If bottled water is not available, use filtered, disinfected, or boiled water.
  • Cook or peel food yourself.
  • Make sure you keep flies away from your food.
  • Wash your hands with soap as often as possible, but always before preparing and eating.
  • If possible, disinfect your hands with liquid disinfectant.

cholera

Cholera is transmitted through insufficiently treated drinking water or raw food and is endemic in Kenya. The disease can be easily avoided through appropriate food and drinking water hygiene. Only a small part of the people infected with cholera get sick and of these again the majority with a comparatively mild course. The indication for a cholera vaccination is only given very rarely, usually only in the case of special exposures such as working in hospitals with cholera patients, see information sheet on cholera.

  • If necessary, seek advice from a tropical or travel doctor with regard to your risk profile.

More infectious diseases

A large number of other tropical and other infectious diseases generally occur in Somalia.

Medical supplies

Medical care is not consistently guaranteed and it is far from being in line with European standards. In hospitals there are always bottlenecks in the supply of medicines, bandages and other medical consumables.

  • Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your stay abroad. The German Liaison Office for Health Insurance - Abroad provides detailed information.
  • Take your individual first-aid kit with you and protect it against high temperatures when you are out and about, see the first-aid kit leaflet.
  • Before you go on a trip, seek personal advice from tropical medicine advice centers, tropical medicine specialists or travel medicine specialists and adjust your vaccination protection, even if you have already experienced the tropics from other regions. Corresponding doctors can be found e.g. B. via the DTG.

In addition to the general disclaimer, please note:

  • All information is intended for the information of medically trained. They are not a substitute for the consultation of a doctor.
  • The recommendations are tailored to direct entry from Germany to a travel destination, especially for longer stays on site. For shorter trips, entries from third countries and trips to other areas of the country, deviations may apply.
  • All information is always dependent on the individual circumstances of the traveler and may require medical advice.
  • In spite of the best possible efforts, the medical information is always only an offer of advice. They cannot cover all medical aspects, eliminate all doubts or always be completely up-to-date. You stay responsible for your healthy.

Country information about your travel destination

Here you will find the addresses of the responsible diplomatic missions and information on politics and bilateral relations with Germany.

More

Further information for your trip

The global threat of terrorist attacks and kidnappings remains unchanged.

Since September 2014, the terrorist organizations "Al Qaeda" and "Islamic State" (IS) have been threatening with attacks against various countries and their nationals. There were a number of attacks with firearms, explosives, kidnappings and hostage-taking.

Even if there are currently no specific indications of a threat to German interests abroad, it cannot be ruled out that German nationals or German institutions abroad will also become targets of terrorist acts of violence.

Places with a symbolic character come into question as possible targets. These include well-known sights, government and administrative buildings, transport infrastructure (especially airplanes, trains, ships, buses), economic and tourism centers, hotels, markets, religious meeting places and generally larger gatherings of people.

The level of terrorist threat differs from country to country. There is a particular risk of an attack in countries and regions in which attacks have already been carried out repeatedly or in which they can be carried out relatively easily due to a lack of effective security measures, or in which terrorists have the support of the local population.

More detailed information about the terrorist threat can be found in the country-specific travel and safety information. These are checked regularly and adjusted if necessary.

The risk of falling victim to an attack is still comparatively low compared to other risks that travel abroad entails, such as accidents, illness or ordinary crime. Nevertheless, travelers should be aware of the risk.

The Federal Foreign Office strongly recommends that all travelers behave in a safety-conscious and appropriate manner. Before and during a trip, travelers should carefully inform themselves about the conditions in their country of travel, behave appropriately, follow the local media and report suspicious incidents (e.g. unattended baggage in airports or train stations, suspicious behavior by people) to the local police or security authorities .