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Canada updated Ethiopia Travel Advisory : Most areas under “avoid travel” category, potential spontaneous demonstrations in Addis

Canada sees a possibility spontaneous and violent demonstration in cities including the capital Addis Ababa 

borkena 

Toronto – Canada on Monday released an updated travel advisory to Ethiopia.  In the eyes of Canada, there are changes to risk level in Ethiopia.

In the updated advisory Canada said : “Risk levels – changes to regional advisories for Afar, Oromia, Tigray and Somali region; Safety and security – updated information on Afar and Oromia regions” 

In what appears to be an explanation to the travel advisory, the government of Canada said ” Ongoing armed conflict and civil unrest in other parts of the country could spread to major cities without warning.” 

The updated advisory also highlights the necessity of avoiding all travel to most parts of Ethiopia : Amhara.Benishangul-Gumuz, Tigray (except for Mekelle), Gambella, Sidama, most parts of Oromia region of Ethiopia ( North Shewa West Shewa, “except the A4 highway, from Addis to and including Ambo where you should avoid non-essential travel”, West, Wollega, East Wollega, Kellem Wollega, Horo Gudru [Guduru] Wollega). The border areas are also identified  as areas where travel should be avoided. 

Furthermore, Canada seems to see a possibility of an abrupt outburst of  protest in the country including in the capital Addis Ababa. It sees  “risk of spontaneous demonstrations becoming violent” in Addis Ababa. However, it has also cited “high crime rate” – something  unprecedented in the history of the city. As it relates to Addis, the advisory rated it as a city where a high degree of caution should be exercised. 

 Borkena has been reporting about growing crime rates in Addis Ababa. 

In a recent “discussion” with Orthodox Tewahedo Church fathers including the Patriarch His Holiness Abune Mathias, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed projected the concern for security in the country rather as “propaganda.”  The example he used to demonstrate that was the celebration of open-air religious festivals “without a security incident.” 

Canada’s travel advisory update came a day after it joined the embassies of other G7 member countries embassies based in Addis Ababa to express concern about the displacement of civilians from Alamata area – what they see as “contested areas of Northern Ethiopia.” 

More information about Canada’s Travel Advisory is available here 

The military operation Abiy Ahmed’s administration planed for two weeks in the Amhara region of Ethiopia is still underway eight months after it was started following the state of emergency declaration in August 2023. Reputable human rights organizations in the country and abroad reported extensive human rights abuse by government soldiers. Extraductal killings and drone strikes against civilians have been verified and recorded. In the Oromia region, radical ethnic Oromo Nationalist group , it calls itself as Oromo Liberation Army, has been kidnapping and killing civilians – mostly against ethnic Amhara. Federal government forces are also battling with this force. In the North, renewed conflict started earlier this week forcing over 29,000 civilians to be displaced.

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