Between August 5th to 8th, 2016, Protests were held in Ethiopia calling for reforms. The protests turned violent in Oromia, Ethiopia, during these three, protests escalated, and 90 people were killed by Ethiopian security forces. Intense protests also occurred in Oromia between November 2015, and March 2016.
SAFEY users were alerted that recent protests may occur. As many in the region have been sympathetic to the Oromo protesters cause, and the continued detention of protest leaders have been held in Amhara region. The advice given to travelers was that this situation could spark a renewal of protests in Oromia, which eventually occurred.
SAFEY sent alerts to all users in the area, days before that a protest will be held and that it could possible turn violent.
Later, when the police intervened in the protest they used tear gas, and a stampede broke out, where over 50 people were reported killed as a result.
On Saturday October 8th, the government of Ethiopia declared a state of emergency, following several days of violent protests in the country.
All SAFEY users in the area were send alerts that diplomats were restricted to a 40 kilometer of Addis Ababa without official permission. Plus, that the use of social media was restricted, and opposition-news outlets were monitored by the state. Curfews between dusk and dawn were announced. The punishment of violating these measures was up to five years in prison.
SAFEY’s advice to travelers is to:
- Remain aware for signs of increased tensions in your vicinity.
- Avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential for escalation.
- Be aware of the risk of traffic disruptions in your vicinity, so limit travel in the area, and seek alternate routes.
- Monitor local media outlets, and Safeture regularly.
SAFEY provides alerts for all over the world, and provides contextual security, and transportation information. The goal for SAFEY is to provide the right information at the right time, to keep travelers safe and ultimately save lives.
For more information about how SAFEY helps users during a media shutdown, download our whitepaper.