UK clarifies intention of its security alert on Malawi

The United Kingdom (UK) Government has clarified that its security alert on Malawi is not intended to stop people from travelling to any part of the country.

Through its Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), the UK Government on 30th March 2022 issued an advice for those intending to travel to African countries, including Malawi, stressing the need to seek advice from their office.

However, the statement titled “Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Malawi” has caused alarm for some in Malawi not familiar with the nature of the assessments.

SMP CEO David Hope-Jones: UK Govt not against travel to Malawi.

This has prompted the UK Government to clarify its position on the matter.

“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,” reads the clarification published on

The clarification, which has been made on 1 April 2022, emphasizes that the UK Government routinely updates this advice, with a terrorism section in the travel advice it gives for every country in the world.

It says 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 and 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,” it says.

Meanwhile, the British High Commission has stated that the revised section of the Travel Advice is now similar to other countries in the region (similar to South Africa, and less strong than, for example, 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,” says the Mission.

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