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Ethiopia state of emergency affecting work of US embassy

Ethiopia state of emergency affecting work of US embassy

Ethiopia

The United States embassy in Addis Ababa has disclosed that the October 9 state of emergency currently in force in Ethiopia severely affects their ability to assist US citizens.

One of the restrictions under the curfew is that diplomats for their own safety were to avoid travelling 40 kilometers outside the capital.

‘’…the decree restricts U.S. and other foreign diplomats from traveling 40 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa, which severely affects the ability of the Consular Section to assist U.S. Citizens,’‘ the embassy said.

The embassy in a release titled ‘Security Message for US Citizens: State of Emergency’ reminded citizens that the decree implementing the state of emergency had been published on the official government website, hence the need to observe all rules to avoid arrest.

Whiles tasking citizens to know and abide by the rules, they also warned that ‘‘citizens could be arrested for activities they would otherwise consider routine.

‘‘U.S. citizens should be aware that the decree also requires landlords to report tenants’ identities to police, with a copy of their passport if the renter is a foreign national,’‘ they added.

They published the full text of the decree in English – in what they said was an unofficial translation because the original text is in Amharic.

Opposition groups and othet western diplomats in the country have decried the the government’s decision to impose the state of emergency. The move has been described as a measure to continue with increased repression of opponents. 

The government however blames the violence on “anti-peace forces” and “foreign enemies,” specifically Egypt and Eritrea, even though Egyptian president Al Sisi denied any involvement in the protests.

Ethiopia has since November last year suffered a series of protests in two main regions – Amhara and Oromia. The attendant security clampdown has led to the arrests of over 2000 people and death of hundreds of protesters.

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