Understanding the UK Government’s Malawi Security Assessment
01 April 2022
On the 30th March the UK Government updated its FCDO travel advice for Malawi, including the statement: “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Malawi”.
This has caused understandable alarm for some in Malawi not familiar with the nature of these assessments. The SMP is keen to emphasise that:
- The UK Government routinely updates this advice, with a terrorism section in the travel advice it gives for every country in the world.
- The new wording on terrorism risk in Malawi is currently the same as South Africa and LESS than the assessed terrorism risk in Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique (where it is deemed “very likely”)
- In fact, it should be noted that the UK Government’s assessment of the terrorism risk in the UK itself is “substantial”, meaning “an attack is likely”. And this is the lowest UK terrorism assessment since this system began in 2006 – it has recently been “Severe” meaning “an attack is highly likely” and even “critical” meaning “an attack is highly likely in the near future”.
The SMP has been in regular communication with the British High Commissioner on this matter. We are reassured from this correspondence that:
- This was a regular review of terrorism risk
- The UK Government is NOT advising against travel to any part of Malawi.
The SMP recommends all those travelling to Malawi consult the UK Government’s travel advice, understanding the context for this advice and how this compares with other countries in the region and the UK itself.
Update: the British High Commission has stated: “The revised section of the Travel Advice is now similar to other countries in the region (similar to South Africa, and less strong than e.g. Tanzania, Kenya or Mozambique). The FCDO keeps Travel Advice under continuous review. This is a change in Travel Advice following a regular review. It is not an alert about a specific event.”
[This article is not regularly updated, so please do not see this as live travel advice but rather a news piece contextualising the 30th March 2022 update. CLICK HERE for the latest advice from the UK Government.
The SMP is independent of the UK and Scottish Government. We are aware that some reporting of this matter has seemed to conflate the SMP (an independent charity) with the UK Government, so we are keen to clarify this.]