Somalia Risk Assessment Guide 

Working in Somalia

Home to more than 10 million people, Somalia is currently without a stable government and is mired in a power struggle between rival clans. While a coalition government is in place, it has little rule over the nation, and terrorism, piracy, disease and famine are common.

On May 24, 2016, the State Department issued a travel warning. Travelers should avoid travel to Somalia because of continuous threats by the al-Qaida affiliated terrorist group, al-Shabaab. Travelers should also be aware of the risks of kidnappings in all parts of Somalia, including Somaliland and Puntland.
In addition to terrorism, piracy is a serious threat in Somalia, according to the UK Government. Incidents are often reported in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. 

Due to these risks, you should consider comprehensive international insurance before living or working in Somalia. Coverage can ensure financial stability in the event of illness, injury or incident in the country.

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

Disease is rampant in Somalia. Due to the extreme lack of food and internal conflict, many people are displaced across the country. As a result, medical facilities are nearly non-existent in most regions. However, basic hospital facilities are still present in Hargeisa.

On May 14, 2015, the CDC issued a level 2 alert due to reported cases of polio with five cases being reported in 2014 and 194 cases in 2013. The CDC highly recommends that travelers get vaccinated against polio. Cases have been reported outside of the capital city, which means there is a risk of wild strains of the disease spreading into other countries including Djibouti, Kenya, and Yemen. In order to mitigate the risk of cross-border transmission, CDC recommends polio vaccinations in these countries as well. In addition, there have been confirmed cases of Acute Watery Diarrheal Syndrome in the Lower Shebelle Region and Cholera in Banaadir Region. 

Given the lack of appropriate care, a Clements Worldwide Expat Health insurance policy is advisable. Coverage includes USD 5 million in health care benefits, as well as flexible payment options and choice of deductible. A policy allows you to choose any doctor, anywhere in the world.

In the event of serious injury or illness, medical transport to another location may be needed in order to receive proper levels of care. A Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance policy from Clements covers expenses to transport you to a capable medical facility in case a local medical center isn’t able to provide adequate treatment.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Somalia.

Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

Armed militia members are active across Somalia. They have been responsible for incidents of murder, armed robbery and kidnapping. Violence related to the food shortage is also common. Displaced residents may experience outbreaks centered on food security, and foreigners may find themselves a target.

Clements offers international car insurance, which includes Physical Damage and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, your policy will provide coverage for your vehicle fleet whether it’s on the road, parked or transported abroad.

Somalia is well-known for its high frequency of piracy. There is a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Maritime terrorism is also common in the territorial and international waters off Somalia. Anyone shipping in these waters should consider international insurance. Clements offers Maritime Security insurance policies, which ensure compliance with BIMCO insurance requirements and GUARDCON standards that will achieve cost savings, better coverage and more efficient policy administration.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Somalia.

Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

There is a high risk of terrorism in Somalia. Foreigners are often targeted, including in Somaliland. Attacks often take place in public locations, as well as high-profile and political events that Westerners frequent that include airports, government buildings, and shopping areas. Threats are regularly made against westerners and those working for western organizations operating inside Somalia. Suicide bombings, detonated car bombings, armed attacks, murder, illegal roadblocks, kidnap, banditry, and other violent crimes are widespread in Somalia. Terrorist group, al-Shabaab merged with Al-Qaida in February 2012. 

On October 24, 2016 the al-Shabaab terrorist organization assassinated a Somali intelligence officer in Mogadishu.

On October 23, 2016 three people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack outside a Somali tire shop. Four others were injured in the al-Shabaab attack.

On October 18, 2016 al-Shabaab militants attacked the town of Afgoye, a town near the Somali capital. Eight people were killed in the attacks including government officials and police officers.

On October 15, 2016 clashes between two autonomous regional forces resulted in the shooting deaths of 11 people. Dozens more were wounded and officials report that approximately 50,000 people have been displaced due to the violence in Galkayo, Somalia.

On October 10, 2016 a suicide car bomb attack killed the attacker and injured four others in Mogadishu.

On October 1, 2016 al-Shabaab militants carried out a suicide car bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia. Three people were killed including the attacker and more than six others were injured.

On September 21, 2016, in Mogadishu, Islamic militants connect with the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization carried out a car bomb attack killing 3 people and injuring 4 others.

On September 18, 2026, Al-Shabaab militants attacked and killed a high-ranking military official and his security team in Mogadishu. The suicide bomb attack killed a total of 6 people.

On September 17, 2016, Al-Shabaab insurgents killed a total of 7 Somali soldiers.

On September 16, 2016, in an attack attributed to the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab, seven people were killed in Baardheere, Somalia, near the border with neighboring Kenya.

On September 15, 2016, a landmine was detonated when a food consignment truck passed by. In the Al-Shabaab suspected attack 3 people were killed. Officials believe the mine was targeting government troops in Southern Somalia.

On September 11, 2016, a group of Somali herdsman abducted and killed 4 people including 3 men and 1 woman in Isolo, Somalia. 

On September 6, 2016, the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab executed two village elders in the city of Badale, Somalia. On a separate occasion, four people were killed and three others were injured in a blast that targeted a local marketplace.

On August 30, 2016, a suicide car bomber crashed his truck into a hotel adjacent to the Presidential Palace. Twelve people were killed and 15 others were wounded.

On August 25, 2016, Al-Shabab fighters attacked a beach restaurant in Mogadishu with a car bomb and killed 10 people.

On August 21, 2016, a suicide car bomb associated with al-Shabab killed at least 20 people in the town of Galkayo in Somalia's Puntland region.

On August 7, 2016, suspected al-Shabaab militants launched mortar fire against densely populated residential areas of Baidoa. No casualties were reported.

On July 26, 2016, thirteen people were killed, and 5 were injured from two suicide car bombs that exploded near an African Union base in Mogadishu. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.

On July 19, 2016, Al-Shabaab killed at least 5 soldiers serving with Somali National Army (SNA) in Balad city to the southwest of Mogadishu.

On July 11, a suicide bomb at the Lanta Buro Base near Mogadishu killed at least 10 soldiers. Militants took control of the base and AlShabaab released a statement claiming that it had killed 30 soldiers.

On July 2, 2016, Al-Shabaab militants launched 11 mortars killing 2 children. 19 other civilians were wounded.

On June 30, 2016, at least 18 people were killed after a roadside bomb went off when a minibus containing a large amount of people passed over it. There were no survivors of the blast in the minibus. The target, a government vehicle, was missed in the bombing, and the blast instead struck the minibus.

On June 25, 2016, Al-Shabaab terrorists detonated a car bomb outside a hotel popular with foreigners and tourists before storming the building and taking hostages. More than 15 people were killed and more than 25 injured. 

On June 1, 2016, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb outside the Ambassador Hotel in Mogadishu after which two gunmen opened fire on the hotel and took hostages before being killed by police. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for killing 13 people and causing injury to several dozen more. 

On May 1, 2016, the militant group Al-Shabaab attacked and recaptured a town in Somalia's Middle Shebelle region killing 22 Somali soldiers. The militants used a suicide car bomb in the assault and seized at least three military vehicles.

On April 8, 2016, three people were killed and 10 injured in a mortar attack in Somali capital Mogadishu. The attack by suspected al-Shabaab militants saw bombs land in the city’s seaside Hamar Weyne district. No group claimed responsibility but Al-shabaab is suspected because they have done similar attacks in the past.

On March 30, 2016, 6 people were killed when unidentified gunmen attacked a minibus carrying workers to a Turkish-run hospital in the Somali capital Mogadishu. The gunmen, who were in a car, opened fire at the minibus as it passed in Mogadishu’s Hodan district.

On December 19, 2015 in Mogadishu, gunmen opened fire at a senior Somali government official, wounding him in a drive-by shooting. When reinforcement arrived, militants detonated a car bomb, killing four civilians and bringing the number of wounded to nine. No group claimed responsibility but Al Shabaab is suspected.

On November 1, 2015, militants detonated a car bomb on a hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia. They started shooting and throwing grenades at hotel guests, killing 12 people.

In April 2014, al-Shabaab bombed the presidential place and led a suicide gunman attack, which killed 16 people. Earlier that month, two members of the United Nations were assassinated at the Galkayo airport. In May 2014, al-Shabaab bombed and carried out a gun assault on Somalia's Parliament, killing 10 security officers. 

In November 2013, six people were killed after a car bomb exploded near the Makkah Al-Mukarama Hotel in Mogadishu. Countless others were injured. In August 2013, gunmen attacked a Swedish convoy and killed two people. In July 2013, a grenade detonated at the Barwaqo Hotel in Mogadishu killing two people and injuring more. That same day,a suicide care bomb attack on an African Union convoy near the city's airport killed four more.

Political Violence insurance policy from Clements offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting and acts of terrorism.

Kidnapping is also a serious threat in Somalia. Incidents could occur for either financial or political gain. Western nationals are often targeted while living in the country. A Kidnap and Ransom insurance policy from Clements ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, arrangement and delivery of funds.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Somalia.

Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, U.S. Dept of State, and Clements Worldwide

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions