The US Embassy in Addis Ababa issued a security alert Jan. 13 warning US nationals that it has received several reports of strong-armed robberies in the Entoto and Yeka parks, as well as the Guellele Botanical Gardens. The victims were reportedly surrounded by individuals armed with rocks, knives, or other weapons; in some cases, the victims were also assaulted. The embassy has advised travelers to avoid visiting the affected areas as a precaution.
The threat of violent crime remains moderate in Ethiopia. Foreign nationals can be targeted in the perpetration of robbery, carjacking, and mugging. Crime poses a high threat to foreign nationals, expatriates, and local staff, especially in congested areas like the Piazza and Mercato areas. Nonviolent crimes are also common in tourist areas and typically include pick-pocketing, purse snatching, and theft of electronic devices.
Avoid the affected areas until security improves. If you are confronted and threatened, do not resist. Do not take shortcuts or walk in narrow alleys or on poorly lit streets.