The United States embassy in Ethiopia has issued a security message to citizens in respect to Gondar zone located in the country’s Amhara region.
The embassy noted that the reason behind its decision was as a result of a series of grenade explosions in the zone. Amhara is one of the regions worse affected by protests that started in November 2015 and extended into much of last year.
They listed four instances in the month of April alone with the most recent being on Monday, April, 24.
On April 1, a grenade exploded at the Florida International Hotel.
On April 18, a grenade exploded in the Kebele 18 neighborhood.
On April 20, a grenade was thrown into a private residential compound.
On April 24, a grenade exploded at the Lodge du Chateau.
‘‘Injuries have been reported in some of these cases. The Embassy is closely monitoring travel for U.S. Chief of Mission employees to Gondar and is approving official travel on a case by case basis.
‘‘The Embassy recommends U.S. citizens carefully consider whether travel to Gondar is necessary at this time. All U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Gondar should be aware of their surroundings at all times and re-assess their personal safety plans in light of these events,’‘ the statement added.
They referred citizens to their existing travel alert which was last updated on December 6, 2016. The directive continues to warn against travel to Ethiopia ‘‘due to the potential for civil unrest related to sporadic and unpredictable anti-government protests.’‘
The US embassy has had cause to state that its work was affected by the State-of-emergency imposed in October 2016. The government has relaxed most of the tough rules but have renewed it last month.
The anti-government protests were largely in the Oromo and Amhara regions of the country. A security crackdown on protesters is said to have killed hundreds. A recent government report put the deaths at 669.