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US citizens urged to defer travel to Ethiopia – State Department


People attend a prayer session at Biftu Bole Lutheran Church during a prayer and candle ceremony for protesters who died in the town of Bishoftu two weeks ago during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, October 16, 2016. /REUTERS

The US State Department on Friday urged US citizens to defer all non-essential travel to Ethiopia.

The advisory comes in the wake of ongoing unrest that has killed hundreds of people, led to thousands of arrests and prompted restrictions on diplomatic travel.

“The Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency on October 8 and issued a decree on October 15 that permitted the arrest of individuals without court order for some routine activities like attending gatherings and engaging with foreign organizations,” the State Department said.

An American woman was killed when her car was stoned earlier this month and foreign-owned factories and equipment were damaged during a wave of protests over land and political rights.

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