Security Message: Ethnically targeted Detentions, Checkpoints, and Searches in Addis Ababa

The security environment in Ethiopia remains very fluid. We are aware of reports of arbitrary arrests, detentions, and harassment of individuals based on their ethnicity in Ethiopia under the implementation of the Government of Ethiopia’s State of Emergency. If you have knowledge of a detained U.S. citizen, notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. If you are a detained U.S. citizen, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

In Addis Ababa, there has been an increase in security checkpoints and searches, including the searching of private residences.  There is also a possibility of more frequent demonstrations and political rallies, increased traffic congestion, and an increase in police presence throughout the city.

The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens to remain alert and follow the below best practices:

  • Avoid large crowds whenever possible.
  • Be vigilant around Government of Ethiopia buildings/offices, as well as in common gathering places and markets. Do not take photos of government buildings, police or other Ethiopian security officials.
  • Carry a valid form of identification and a copy of your passport and visa.
  • Maintain security awareness by paying attention to those around you.
  • If you are stopped by security forces, stay calm and follow instructions.
  • Keep your family or colleagues informed of your whereabouts and itinerary.
  • If you encounter difficulties or are mistreated or detained by authorities, or if you are a victim of crime and need assistance, please contact for guidance.

The Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens should enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates and to ensure you can be located in an emergency.


U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa, Ethiopia +251-111-306-000 +251-111-306-911 or 011-130-6000 (after hours) State Department – Consular Affairs: 888-407-4747 or 202-501-4444