The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention since a state of emergency was imposed in October 2016.
The Government of Ethiopia extended the state of emergency on March 15, 2017, and there continue to be reports of unrest, particularly in Gondar and Bahir Dar in Amhara State. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 6, 2016.
The Government of Ethiopia routinely restricts or shuts downs internet, cellular data, and phone services, impeding the U.S. Embassy’s ability to communicate with U.S. citizens in Ethiopia and limiting the Embassy’s ability to provide consular services. Additionally, the Government of Ethiopia does not inform the U.S. Embassy of detentions or arrests of U.S. citizens in Ethiopia.
Avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, continuously assess your surroundings, and evaluate your personal level of safety. Remember that the government may use force and live fire in response to demonstrations, and that even gatherings intended to be peaceful can be met with a violent response or turn violent without warning. U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should monitor their security situation and have contingency plans in place in case you need to depart suddenly.
Given the state of emergency and the unpredictable security situation, U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should have alternate communication plans in place, and let family and friends know that communication may be limited while you are in Ethiopia. The Department of State strongly advises U.S. citizens to registeryour mobile number with the U.S. Embassy to receive security information via text or SMS, in addition to enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
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, by email at AddisACS@state.gov, or at +251-11-130-6000 Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-11-130-6911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.
- 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).