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Ethiopia: Reported anti-foreigner sentiment over COVID 19 pandemic, manufactured?

The US embassy in Addis Ababa has issued security alert over what it called anti-foreigner sentiment. Is there a possibility for those behaviors to be manufactured by those whose primary intent is painting Ethiopia in a negative light to the outside world?

Ethiopia _ anti-foreigner sentiment
US embassy Addis Ababa. Credit : US Embassy

March 19, 2020

As the consequence of three decades of legalized ethnic-based politics, with constitutional and all sorts of administrative support, Ethiopia has recently been living internal problems that affected people to people relation. So bad that people, especially in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, have been killed simply because of their ethnic background.

True, some foreigners, including the CEO of Dangote Cement, were killed in the same region in what appeared to be a politically motivated murder albeit the results of the investigations are unavailable yet

Despite all that, Ethiopia has been known as one of the hospitable countries. As it turns out, that seems to be changing following the news that COVID 19 is now in Ethiopia.

The US embassy in Addis Ababa published a security alert on Wednesday on its website regarding what it called anti-foreigners sentiment in connection with COVID 19 pandemic. Ethiopian authorities have not investigated the matter whether the issue is a manufactured one to put Ethiopia in a negative light or otherwise.

The Security alert from the US embassy reads as follows :

Security Alert: Reports of Anti-Foreigner Sentiment

LOCATION: Ethiopia

EVENT: The Embassy continues to receive reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment revolving around the announcement of COVID-19 in Ethiopia. Typical derogatory comments directed at foreigners, the terms “China” and “Ferengi” (foreigner), have been reportedly coupled with the label “Corona,” indicating a disparaging view on the link between the outbreak of COVID-19 and foreigners in Ethiopia.

Incidents of harassment and assault directly related to COVID-19 have been reported by other foreigners living within Addis Ababa and other cities throughout the country. Reports indicate that foreigners have been attacked with stones, denied transportation services (taxis, Ride, etc.), being spat on, chased on foot, and been accused of being infected with COVID-19.

Please remain mindful of this issue, and please employ sound security practices.


Avoid walking/hiking/biking alone.
Do not walk throughout the city or residential areas, especially after dark.
If yelled at or spat upon, do not engage or otherwise escalate the encounter. Do your best to immediately leave the situation/area.
Maintain situational awareness. Avoid wearing headphones or using handheld electronic devices in public area.
If you think you are being followed, do not go home. Go to the closet major establishment, hotel or police station.
If you are in a vehicle, lock your doors and keep your window rolled up.

U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
+251-111-306-911 or 011-130-6000 (after hours)

State Department – Consular Affairs
888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444

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  1. It is not manufactured , it was done purposely to shame the foreigners who went in a shopping spree purchasing bulk supplies from merchants that were price gauging.

    Locals were boycotting those merchants that were price gauging but foreigners mostly Caucasians rushed into the price gauged stores cleaning the stores empty paying any amounts they were asked.

  2. በአዲስ አበባ ከኮሮና ቫይረስ መከሰት ጋር በተያያዘ ግለሰቦች በአንዳንድ የውጭ ሀገር ዜጎች ላይ እያደረጉ ያለው ትንኮሳ ተገቢነት የለሌውና ህገ-ወጥ ድርጊት መሆኑን ፖሊስ አስታውቋል በአንድ ጠባብ የቀበሌ ቤት ውስጥ ታጭቀው ሺሻ ሲያጨሱ የተገኙ 150 ሰዎች በፖሊስ ቁጥጥር ስር ዋሉ::

    • እስራኤል

      It is sad to see how things are developing in the cities of California , USA .

      Few Homeless Off California’s Streets As Virus Spreads
      1 hour ago

  3. The hostility is a real.
    When walking the streets of an East African city it’s “Corona” instead of “Hello” these days.
    This can turn into threats and violence in the blink of an eye.

  4. Ok bigots!!! Congratulations!!! I congratulate you because this is the fruit of the poisonous seed of hatred you have been sowing. You have honed your skills in such demonic spirit on your own fellow countrymen/women. You had chased that young man/woman and stoned him/her to death for the only reason that he/she was of an Amhara heritage. You were screaming at them with ‘I told you to get out not once but more than 3 times before. I had told you to get out of my territory umpteen times but you did not listen so you have to go now my way!!! Paaw!!! Paawww!! And silence still begging for mercy!!! The other side of you was seen chasing that Oromo young man/woman and knife him/her to death. You were screaming with ‘I have been telling you that you are an Oromo extremist; not an extremist individual but an Oromo extremist responsible for killing my nephew in Mecharaa(Macaaraa) last year. I will let you meet your God my way. One deep stab at the heart and three at the neck. And Silence still begging for mercy!!! Now your graduates from your Ivy College of hate mill have turned their eyes on innocent foreigners!!! O!!! Bigots!!! O! Non believing bigots!!!! Why were you even born in that land of Negash, Bilal, Mary Magdalene and Deacon Mikaeel? I wish you were not even born anywhere!!!!

  5. Prostitutes and pimps had went out of business in Addis due to CoronaVirus Covid-19 , all along the prostitutes and the pimps were the only ones that secured the safety of their favorite high paying customers-the foreigners ferenjis.

    Now with the pimps and the prostitutes out of the picture the real feeling sentiments of the Ethiopians is coming out.


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