US Embassy in Ethiopia advised government travellers not to use Bole International Airport today, 2 days before ET302 crash

Ethiopian Airlines 737
Ethiopian Airlines 737. Photo: Alan Wilson (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The US Embassy in Ethiopia posted a security alert warning American Government travellers not to use Bole International Airport today (Sunday 10 March), two days before Ethiopian Airways ET302 crashed with 147 passengers and 8 crew members on board.

The security alert, posted on 8 March said: “U.S. Government travellers have been advised not to arrive or depart Bole International Airport on Sunday, March 10”, and is in relation to a protest taking place nearby.

American Embassy warning about Bole International Airport
American Embassy warning about using Bole International Airport on Sunday 10 March 2019.

The advice adds that “U.S. Embassy personnel are also temporarily prohibited from traveling to Oromia”, one of the nine ethnically based regional states of Ethiopia, where protests had been taking place since March 6. This follows information about a protest scheduled to be held today at Meskel Square which is just 3.5 miles from the airport.

“The U.S. Embassy is aware of calls for a protest to be held on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Meskel Square.  It is unknown whether the protest has been or will be approved by Ethiopian authorities.  Protests have already occurred in many parts of the Oromia region since March 6, and additional protests may materialize. U.S. Embassy personnel are advised to avoid Meskel Square and limit movement around Addis Ababa on Sunday, March 10,” the security advice said.

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