Unrecognized Country YES but Is a Foreigner Safe Travelling in Somaliland

Is a Foreigner Safe Travelling in Somaliland

Somalilandsun: In principle, foreigners are required to travel accompanied by a member of the Special Protection Unit (SPU) outside Hargeisa, whether you travel on public transport or private car with driver. If you don’t have a soldier with you, you’ll be turned back at checkpoints.

That said, this rule is ambiguous and erratically enforced, as local authorities seem to change policies on a regular basis. At the time of research, we were told that foreigners are permitted to travel without an SPU officer between Hargeisa, Berbera, Burao and Borama, and between Hargeisa and the Ethiopian and Djiboutian borders. In theory, you are allowed to use public transport between these towns. However, prior to leaving Hargeisa, it’s a good idea to meet the Police Commissioner Secretary at the Somaliland Police Force Headquarters, who will either issue a waiver letter on the spot or give a call to the soldiers at checkpoints so that they let you through. If you don’t have an escort or a waiver letter, you might be turned back at checkpoints. Join the conversation When does a foreigner’s police escort from the elite Special Police Unit (SPU) have to escort the foreigner in Somaliland?When does a foreigner’s police escort from the elite Special Police Unit (SPU) have to escort the foreigner in Somaliland?

Apart from the on and off requirement for a foreign travelling outside the Capital Hargeisa to other parts of Somaliland be accompanied  by protection from members of the Somaliland Special police unit, a specially trained paramilitary unit, Is it really safe to visit and traverse the yet to be recognized country whose neighbour somalia is one of the most deadly place on earth for foreigners.

LETS here what A foreigner who has widely travelled in Somaliland has to say

quote- Most people look at travel advisories and crime data but even that is not enough to make decisions without understanding the local realities of a place. The crime rate and the threat of terrorism are two objective measures of safety but they will not tell you how much danger you will really be into.

The objective safety levels in El Salvador would keep anyone away. The country is the murder capital of the world. But when you look at the data you realise that crime happens mostly in two cities and among gang groups related to drug trafficking. As a tourist, the risk of anything happening to you is limited unless you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.

So I prefer to lay out the facts about safety in Somaliland and then talk about my personal experience so you can decide if you think Somaliland is safe enough for you.

As Somaliland is not a recognised state, there are no statistics about the level of crime, the murder rate or even the threat of terrorism. In fact, the Global Peace Index does not include Somaliland as data is not available. Instead, global figures for Somalia as a whole are commonly used by the media, the international organisations and the potential visitors.

However, there is a huge difference between Somaliland and Somalia in terms of the political situation, stability and safety.

For example, I would not consider going to Mogadishu at this time, especially after having visited Somaliland, because of the completely unpredictable security situation, the active Al-Shabab operations and the lawlessness of the place.