Horn Diplomat

U.K. updates Ethiopia travel advice citing business visa processes

The United Kingdom has updated its Foreign travel advice in respect of Ethiopia. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in its latest release of Thursday November 2, 2017 cited visa requirements as basis for the update.

“Entry requirements section (Visas) – to obtain a business visa for Ethiopia you may require prior approval from the Ethiopian Department of Immigration and Nationality Affairs office before submitting your application to the Ethiopian Embassy; you should check the latest instructions with your nearest Embassy,” the full update read.

The FCO, however, largely maintained its advise against travel to almost all borders of the country save that of the Djibouti and Somaliland. It advises against almost all travel to major parts of the Somali regional state.

All travel within 10km of the border with Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya and South Sudan and within 100 km of the Ethiopian border with Somalia and Kenya in specific areas.

The United Kingdom and United States are among the few allies of Ethiopia who continue to maintain their travel alert for the country despite the lifting of a state of emergency in August this year. The measure was meant to quell spreading anti-government protests in the Oromia regional state.

U.K. citizens were advised to avoid all gatherings because of the potential for them to become violent, they were also to review their personal security settings at all times. The message, however, gave what can be described as a summary of recent security challenges in the Horn of Africa country.

Among others, they listed tensions between the Oromia and Somali regions which clashes have led to deaths and mass displacements.

The 13 September 2017 protests in Jijiga, 11 October 2017 protests in Ambo, Dodola, Wolisso and Shesehememe – all in the Oromia regional state were also listed. They also addressed restrictions on the processes involved in obtaining a SIM card.

SOURCE: AFRICANEWS

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