U.S. issues travel warning due to protests in Ethiopia’s Oromia



Ethiopia is experiencing large scale anti-government protests in the Oromia region. Sources say in the current wave of protests started last week after a brief calm, at least 100 people have been killed by government forces. Major roads have been blocked.

Several hundreds of protesters are also being arrested.

Since the beginning of the week, the U.S. government has been issuing travel warning to Ethiopia especially the Oromia region. The U.K. and Norway have also updated their travel warning messages.

Full statement of the presser is attached below:

Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Unrest in Oromia

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Security Message for U.S. Citizens

Unrest in Oromia

February 19, 2016

The U.S. Embassy is monitoring recent reports of violence and road closures in Oromia state. The U.S. Embassy has further restricted travel of all U.S. government employees in Oromia state. In addition to the current prohibition to travel on the corridor between Shashamane and Mojo, Embassy personnel are also, at this time, restricted on the road to Ambo in Oromia state . This message is in addition to the Security Message for U.S. Citizens, released February 18, 2016.

Review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

For further information:

· See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Ethiopia.
· Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
· Contact the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014, at+251-111-306000 or e-mail at consacs@state.gov, Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +251-111-306911 or 011-130-6000.
· Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).