US Warns of Possible Terror Attack in Ethiopia

US Warns of Possible Terror Attack in Ethiopia
Addis Ababa

The United States Embassy in Ethiopia has warned of a possible terrorist attack in Addis Ababa and in other parts of the country.

“The Department reminds US citizens of the ongoing possibility of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting diplomatic facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, western businesses, restaurants, resorts, local government facilities and other public areas,” the embassy said.

The embassy urged its citizens to maintain vigilance and avoid crowded areas and areas frequented by foreigners.

“Do not take photos of government buildings, police or other Ethiopian security officials, carry a valid form of identification and copy of your passport and visa, be aware of your surroundings, stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners, if you are stopped by security forces, stay calm and follow instructions and keep your family or colleagues informed of your whereabouts and itinerary,” the embassy said.

“The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens overseas. US citizens still in the country should enrol in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security update.”

Past attacks

In 2008, two bombings in the town of Negele Boran in the Oromia Region of Ethiopia left three people dead and five injured.

In January 2012, a shooting incident occurred in Erta Ale volcano of the Afar Region of Ethiopia, leaving five dead and several others injured. Four people were kidnapped in the attack.

In March 2012, the shooting of a bus in Gambella town of Ethiopia left 19 people dead and eight wounded. The victims were Ethiopian residents who were travelling on a public bus, near the town of Obang.

In 2016, eight Somali nationals were found guilty of trying to carry out terror attacks in public areas in Addis Ababa and jailed for nine years.

In 2020, an attack on a bus in Benishangul-Gumuz Region left at least 34 people dead.

In December 2020 as well, more than 90 civilians were killed in a series of attacks in western Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, according to the Addis Standard.