Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Potential Demonstrations on August 6-7

August 4,2016

The U.S. Embassy has become aware of recent social media reports of potential demonstrations in Oromia for this coming weekend of August 6-7, 2016. The disseminated messages call for protests “at all district and zonal level capitals across Oromia.”

Travelers should anticipate traffic restrictions on main roads outside major cities in Oromia due to road closures and gatherings, and an increased presence of federal police.

We advise all employees traveling within the region to review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; avoid large gatherings and demonstrations and monitor local news stations for updates. We also advise everyone to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.

In the Oromia region, numerous protests have materialized with little to no prior knowledge. Regardless of where Embassy personnel are traveling to, everyone should increase their level of situational awareness, continuously assess their surroundings, and evaluate their personal level of safety and avoid demonstrations or large gatherings. Even demonstrations that begin as peaceful have the potential to turn violent. For personnel that encounter a demonstration while traveling should do the following:

.Immediately remove yourself from the situation
.Do not photograph the demonstration
.If your hotel is at a safe distance from the protest, proceed to your hotel and shelter-in-place
.Stay in your room or in a safe place
.Contact and provide updates to your supervisor
.Supervisors need to contact RSO with the location of the incident and the status of the employee

.While in your hotel do not blog about the protest
.If you encounter a protest while driving, turn around, do not enter the protest, and remove yourself from the situation
.Once at a safe distance contact your supervisor
.Supervisors need to contact RSO with the location of the incident and the status of the employee

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Cover Photo used in this post – State Department logo/File

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