State Department Warning to Americans of Somali Origin Traveling to Ethiopia


Somalilandsun – – As stated in Ethiopia’s Country Specific Information, following the failed October 2013 bombing attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for which the U.S. government-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, the U.S. Embassy received reports that ALL individuals of Somali origin, including naturalized American citizens, were being stopped for questioning when entering and exiting Ethiopia.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has been made aware that this practice is not isolated to just ports of entry such as Bole International Airport. Individuals of Somali origin, regardless of citizenship, may be stopped, arrested, and detained for an extended period of time with no charges by Ethiopian authorities.

Individuals of Somali origin are advised to prepare for this contingency, and are recommended to carry copies of all important documents and the contact information for the U.S. Embassy. As an American citizen, you have the right to request that the U.S. Embassy be notified you are detained.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Ethiopia enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Ethiopia. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us onTwitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa is located at Entoto Street, P.O. Box 1014. The Consular Section of the Embassy may be reached by telephone: +251-111-306000 or e-mail at, and is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. For after-hours emergencies, U.S. citizens should call +251-111-306911 or 011-130-6000 and ask to speak with the duty officer.