Security Alert for U.S. Citizens in Somalia
Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Mogadishu
Event: The U.S. Embassy in Somalia reminds U.S. citizens of the dangers of traveling to or residing in Somalia. The security situation has deteriorated in the last few months. March saw the highest number of improvised explosive device (IED) attacks in Mogadishu since September 2019. Mogadishu has experienced one suicide vehicle-borne IED each month in 2021 compared to six for the entirety of 2020. This apparent increased capacity to conduct suicide terrorist operations, against a backdrop of political uncertainty, has the potential to affect Somalia’s security situation with no warning.
An ongoing political impasse in Somalia led to a significant outbreak of violence in Mogadishu between government and opposition-affiliated forces on April 25, 2021. This violence included the use of heavy weapons, including explosives. Violence such as this may occur without any ability to provide advance warning to U.S. citizens.
The Department of State has issued a Level 4 Travel Advisory for Somalia and advises U.S. citizens not to travel to Somalia due to COVID-19, crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues, kidnapping, and piracy.
The U.S. government has extremely limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Somalia due to the lack of a permanent consular presence in Somalia. Due to health guidance and restrictions implemented in response to COVID-19, consular services normally available to U.S. citizens in Mogadishu are suspended. Please review your personal security plans, have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance, and make contingency plans to leave.
There are ways you can prepare yourself for a potential crisis. For more information, please refer to the link here.
REMINDER: U.S. Embassy Nairobi strongly recommends that U.S. citizens and nationals enroll in STEP, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, at step.state.gov. STEP enrollees receive important information from the Embassy about health conditions, safety alerts, and travel updates. Enrollment enables the Embassy to contact you in the event of an emergency. If you have previously enrolled in STEP, we recommend that you log into your STEP account to ensure your details are current, your country of travel information is correct, and your departure date is “indefinite.” These steps will enable you to receive all Embassy messaging.
Actions to Take:
- Have evacuation plans that do not rely on the U.S. government.
- Continue to exercise vigilance while in Somalia.
- Review your personal security plans.
- Carry proper identification, including a U.S. passport with a current Somali visa.
- Notify a trusted person of your travel and movement plans.
- Avoid large crowds, gatherings, and demonstrations.
- Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists/Westerners.
- Be aware of your surroundings and local security developments.
- Monitor local media and news for updates.
- Make contingency plans to leave.
U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Kenya
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri
+254 (0) 20 363 6451
+254 (0) 20 363 6170 (after hours)
U.S. State Department – Consular Affairs
1-888-407-4747 from the United States or Canada
1-202-501-4444 from overseas (Somalia)
Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates.