Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban with REUTERS | December 05, 2017.
(africanews.com) – The United Kingdom on Tuesday, December 05, reviewed its travel advice to citizens in Ethiopia citing the killing of a German tourist last Sunday (December 3.) They disclosed that security presence had been increased in the area where the incident took place.
The Ethiopian government on Tuesday confirmed the death of a German tourists whiles his Ethiopian tour guide also sustained injuries. Addis Ababa said a probe was underway to ascertain the circumstances around the incident.
“The perpetrators of the attack are being sought by security forces,” Information Minister Negeri Lencho told Reuters.
There is now an increased military and police presence in the area; travel may be disrupted and entry to some sites may be prohibited at short notice.
The U.K. travel alert was categorized in the area of ‘Safety and security’ and read as follows: “On 3 December 2017, a German tourist was shot and killed in an Ethiopian guide shot and wounded while sightseeing at Erta Ale, in the Danakil area of the Afar region of north-east Ethiopia.
“There is now an increased military and police presence in the area; travel may be disrupted and entry to some sites may be prohibited at short notice; if you’re in the area, exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities.
“You should only travel to this area with a recognised tour company – such tours are normally supported by an armed police or military escort,” it concluded.
The Afar province which borders Eritrea has long been prone to banditry and separatist rebels have operated there. Addis Ababa has said the rebels are backed by its northern neighbour, with whom it is at odds over an unresolved border dispute.
Five European tourists were killed and two others kidnapped alongside two Ethiopians in the same region in 2012, in an incident claimed by a group that has carried out sporadic attacks for over a decade.
The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) has fought a low-key insurgency to carve out a homeland from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.
Five years earlier, another five Europeans were kidnapped in the province – a barren, searingly hot corner of the Horn of Africa country where rocky hills rise above vast deserts below sea level.