I have read that a police escort from the elite Special Police Unit (SPU) is required in Somaliland when traveling outside of Hargeisa.
One of the most unique parts of traveling in Somaliland is the mandatory police escort all visitors outside of Hargeisa get.
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.
When does a foreigner's police escort from the elite Special Police Unit (SPU) have to escort the foreigner in Somaliland?
For example: Is it all the time that the foreigner step outside the hotel? Or only when the foreigner is traveling with some means of transportation (i.e., if the foreigner is just walking around their hotel or some places such as restaurant or shop, or just wandering around, then no need for escort)? Does the escort also have to stay in the hotel to ensure the foreigner's safety when at the hotel?