Ethiopia urges the US and western nation to lift travel advisories

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The Ethiopian government has asked the United States and other western countries to lift their travel advisory warning, arguing the warnings have hurt the tourism industry. The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rebuked US claims that it is unsafe to visit Ethiopia, due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention since a state of emergency was imposed in October 2016.
Ethiopia’s government last Friday lifted a state of emergency imposed in October and on Monday briefed the diplomatic community on its decision to lift the state of emergency.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Hirut Zemene on Monday said the government had demonstrated its commitment to solving the impasse and ending the state of emergency, and the US and its Western allies have no excuse to maintain their travel warnings.
In June, the US State Department warned Americans about the risk of traveling to Ethiopia as a result of the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention, replacing the travel Warning of December 6, 2016. Other European countries followed suit.
As result, the country’s tourism sector is suffering, due to a decline of European and American tourists visiting the country.
However, the country is still the site of sporadic but unnerving unrest, according to various reports. Even today five people were arrested in the capital of the Amhara region, Bahir Dar after a bomb exploded in the city yesterday, according to Radio Fana. The city’s police chief, Walelegn Dagnew, accused of social media activists and anti-peace elements for the explosion, and the subsequent closing of businesses. In western towns of Ambo and Wolisso, business facilities staged a stay away protest today, according to various reports.

Arefayné Fantahun
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