The United States, the United Kingdom and other countries have warned against nonessential travel to Ethiopia following the government’s declaration of a state of emergency in October.

Key points:

  • The U.S. State Department warned against “all non-essential travel to Ethiopia due to ongoing unrest that has led to hundreds of deaths, thousands of arrests, as well as injuries and extensive property damage,” while the U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office warned against all travel to parts of the country and nonessential travel to other parts of Ethiopia.
  • Areas in the states of Amhara and Oromia and along the Eritrean border may be particularly dangerous. The U.S. warned that its ability to provide consular services in Ethiopia is limited because U.S. and other foreign diplomats are prohibited from traveling more than 40 kilometers outside of Addis Ababa, the capital, without first obtaining approval from the Ethiopian government.
  • Foreign nationals in Ethiopia have been urged to monitor the security situation and develop contingency plans to leave the country if necessary. Those in need of immigration services should expect delays and may wish to contact their home country’s embassy or consulate for the latest information before traveling to government offices.

Background: Protesters have been demonstrating in Ethiopia for months. The government declared a state of emergency Oct. 8, and has imposed curfews and placing restrictions on public demonstrations, social media and other communications. People who violate the decree may be arrested or searched without court order.

BAL Analysis: Foreign nationals should seriously consider delaying nonessential travel to Ethiopia until further notice. Those in Ethiopia should exercise caution, especially in areas considered by officials to be particularly dangerous. Companies with personnel in Ethiopia should account for all their employees. U.S. citizens may wish to enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that provides updated security information and allows Americans to register their trips abroad with the closest U.S. embassy or consulate.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact

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