Government of Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

3 December 2012

Eritrea: U.S. State Department Warns Against Travel to Eritrea Again

Speaking to Al Jazeera's Jane Dutton, Hailemariam Desalegn, Ethiopian prime minister, has said he is ready to hold peace talks with neighbouring ... ( Resource: Ethiopian PM Open to Talks with Eritrea

The US State department issued another travel advisory warning to US citizens on November 29th, advising against travel to Eritrea.

It said "The U.S. Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and strongly recommends U.S. citizens defer all travel to the country. This replaces the Travel Warning for Eritrea of April 18th, 2012, to update information on security incidents, including attacks near the border with Ethiopia, and to remind U.S. citizens of ongoing security concerns in Eritrea." The travel advisory notice added that the US embassy in Asmara faced difficulty in carrying out its regular operations due to bureaucratic red tape and "unnecessary" restrictions on travel outside Asmara.

"As a result, the U.S. Embassy is extremely limited in its ability to provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara". The advisory also emphasized that a number of Eritrean-U.S. dual citizens had been arrested and some were "currently being held without apparent cause." The travel advisory added that crime in Asmara has increased as a result of deteriorating economic conditions accompanied by persistent food, water, and fuel shortages, and rapid price inflation. It noted that "the combination of forced, open-ended, low-paying, national service for many Eritreans and severe unemployment leads some Eritreans to commit crime to support their families.

Eritrean authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate crime or prosecute perpetrators". The travel advisory warmed all US citizens to avoid visiting the Ethio-Eritrean boarder, citing the abduction and killing of five tourists in Afar region in January 2012. It also warned against any travels in Eritrean waters due to risks posed by the regime. This frequently resulted in "illegal detention of vessels", as documented in the advisory.

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