Burundi – Level 1
Comoros – Level 1
Djibouti – Level 1
Eritrea – Level 1
Ethiopia – Level 3
Ethiopia’s proximity to the instability and conflict in Somalia give the country an Elevated risk of kidnapping. Also, militant groups in Somalia upset with the Ethiopian military’s incursion into the country provide an extra motivation for the groups to commit kidnappings in the country. Rebel groups in the Afar region have also kidnapped tourists since 2012.
Kenya – Level 4
Several kidnappings of foreigners in northern Kenya, as well as kidnappings of locals in the Nairobi area have led to the Elevated kidnapping risk level. Another factor in the risk level is the presence of Somali militant group Al Shabaab in the country and its actions in retaliation for the Kenyan military incursion into Somalia. Despite the fact that Al Shabaab has been limited in their capabilities over the past year, the threat of kidnapping in Kenya persists.
Madagascar – Level 3
Kidnapping cases are often reported including cases where foreign nationals have been abducted and held for ransom by violent criminals.
Malawi – Level 3
Members of wealthy Asian business community have received threats of having their children kidnapped.
Mauritius – Level 1
Mozambique – Level 4
Kidnappings have become common in Mozambique over the past two years with gangs initially targeted wealthy foreign and local businessmen, but are now also kidnapping people from middle-class backgrounds. Many of the kidnap victims the last two years come from South Asian families but kidnappers have also targeted businessmen of Indian and Muslim origin and most recently Portuguese citizens.
Rwanda – Level 1
Seychelles – Level 1
Somalia – Level 5
Somalia has been one of the most conflict-ridden countries in the world since the 1990s. The lack of a central government, rampant poverty, poor economic prospects and militant activity has made kidnapping as well as piracy an attractive option for many Somalis, especially in recent years. Aid workers, international shipping personnel and Westerners are frequently targeted in kidnappings with extended durations and exorbitant ransom demands, therefore the risk of kidnapping in the country remains Severe.
Tanzania – Level 1
Uganda – Level 1
Zambia – 1
Zimbabwe – Level 1
Angola – Level 3
Kidnapping of Lebanese citizens in Angola have recently increased. Kidnappers are targeting wealthy Lebanese businessmen in the capital.
Cameroon – Level 3
Cameroon has not traditionally seen kidnappings for ransoms occur in the country. However, a recent kidnap of foreigners near the Nigerian border and the growing instability of Nigeria has increased the kidnapping risk both on land as well as in Cameroon’s territorial waters. Recent kidnapping of Catholic priest by Boko Haram underscores kidnapping threat in the north.
Central African Republic – Level 3
Foreigners, including aid workers have been the target of kidnappings.
Chad – Level 3
Chad does not have a long history of kidnappings occurring in the country, but with escalating conflicts nearby in Nigeria and the Sahel region as a whole, an Elevated risk rating is warranted. Kidnappings are most likely to occur in border areas near Nigeria, northern Cameroon and southern Niger.
Congo (Brazaville) – Level 1
Democratic Republic of the Congo – Level 4
General insecurity due to ongoing tribal conflict and factional warlords in the country provide for an environment in which kidnappings can, and have occurred. Although kidnapping has traditionally been in the form of forced recruitment for armed groups, there have also been several incidents of traditional kidnapping for ransom in the country. In 2016 mass kidnappings began to occur in an expansion from the traditional “hot spot” of North Kivu province, into southern provinces. With the current president refusing to step down in accordance with his constitutionally mandated term limit and postponing elections until early 2018, there is increased political tension that will negatively affect the already strained security apparatus of the country.
Equatorial Guinea – Level 1
Gabon – Level 1
Algeria – Level 3
While the Algerian government does have a firm grip on power in the country, increasing levels of violence in the Sahel region and the emergence of several new militant groups active in the country denotes a severe kidnapping risk. The country is not without a history of kidnapping, and there have also been several high-profile abductions of Westerners recently.
Egypt – Level 3
Following the Arab Spring protests there have been numerous incidents of kidnapping for ransom, both financial and political, in Cairo as well as the Sinai Peninsula. With the country still unstable and experiencing high levels of crime and unrest, the kidnapping risk will continue to be Elevated in the near-term.
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) – Level 5
Following the Arab Spring protests and western intervention in the Libyan conflict, as of the beginning of 2017 there remains no centralized government or group exerting control over the country. Swathes of territory are controlled by warring factions and terrorist affiliated groups, each governing and interpreting the law as they see fit. As a result, there is no law enforcement or reliable security apparatus to speak of, leaving anyone traveling to Libya at extremely high risk.
Morroco – Level 1
South Sudan – Level 5
Although South Sudan claims that there have been no kidnappings since independence was declared, there have been numerous reports to the contrary, including mass kidnappings and other abductions by rebel groups. The political turmoil and poor economic situation in South Sudan indicate that violence and instability will continue for the foreseeable future.
Sudan – Level 4
Sudan has a recent history of conflict and insecurity that has resulted in numerous high-profile kidnappings, with aid workers particularly at risk. The prospects for the improvement of the security situation in the country, along with the presence of many attractive targets for kidnappers are indicators that the kidnapping risk will remain Severe for the near future.
Tunisia – Level 3
The relative instability that has followed the overthrow of the Tunisian government, which kicked off the Arab Spring, combined with the Sahel conflict and the presence of militant groups with a history of kidnapping in the region are all factors that contribute to an Elevated kidnapping risk in Tunisia. Although Tunisian intelligence agencies are able to mitigate some risk, the potential influx of radicalized militants from Libya remains a concern.
Western Sahara – Level 3
The presence of militant groups looking to target Westerners in the Sahel region to raise operational funds and the lack of an effective law enforcement apparatus are the primary factors in the Elevated kidnapping risk. Several high-profile kidnappings have occurred near Western Sahara in recent years, and there are more militant groups operating in the Sahel than ever before.
Botswana – Level 1
Lesotho – Level 1
Namibia – Level 1
South Africa – Level 4
Rampant crime in South Africa and incidents of kidnapping for ransom as well as “express” kidnapping in recent years are the factors contributing to the country’s Elevated kidnapping risk. The current trend for criminal groups is to target both foreign and domestic businessmen and women. The economy taking a sharp dive as well as the scandals and corruption allegations faced by the governing African National Congress may lead to an increase in both kidnapping and violent crime.
Swaziland – Level 1
Benin – Level 1
Burkina Faso – Level 2
Avoid travel to all areas north of the line connecting Djibu and Dari due to the risk of kidnapping. The border area with Mali is extremely dangerous and should absolutely be avoided.
Cape Verde – Level 1
Cote d’lvoire (Ivory Coast) – Level 1
Ghana – Level 2
Recent upsurge in kidnapping in Accra.
Liberia – Level 1
Mali – Level 4
Numerous high-profile abductions of foreigners in recent years, combined with a multi-faceted insurgency in the country’s north result in a Severe kidnapping risk level. Western military intervention will only serve to inspire the insurgent groups to target more foreigners in kidnappings as both a retaliatory response as well as a method of raising funding for operations.
Mauritania – Level 1
Niger – Level 4
Nigeria – Level 5
Kidnapping has been a serious concern in Nigeria for years, and has spread from the Niger Delta area to all areas of the country and out into the Gulf of Guinea with the added dimensions of militant groups in northern Nigeria carrying out kidnappings as both a means to raise funds as well as expression of anti-Western sentiment and maritime pirate activity off Nigeria’s coast. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and easily warrants a Severe kidnapping risk level.
Senegal – Level 1
Sierra Leone – Level 1
Togo – Level 3
Togo’s risk of kidnapping is Elevated due to rampant kidnapping in nearby Nigeria and the fact that criminal elements from Nigeria have already demonstrated their willingness to target ships in Togo’s territorial waters in recent years. While it is not highly likely that kidnapping will become a common practice in Togo, it is already a threat offshore and could easily become a concern on land.