Salambo discovering Ethiopia
As if we were not restricted enough in our freedom of movement by the limited number of places we can go to, we now have to be extra vigilant because of a likely terrorist threat.
This morning I received a number of warnings from the various embassies, organisations and schools about the increased threat of a terrorist attack in Addis Ababa and in the regions, reportedly by the Al-Shabaab militant group, mainly because of Ethiopia’s involvement in the Somalia crisis. We are advised to avoid all public places including hotels, restaurants, shopping malls (the very few there are here) as well as crowd gathering events. Already, last month a home-made bomb exploded in an individual house near the Bole international airport, a bomb which was aimed at the public but was accidentally triggered by the very person who manufactured it. So now, we receive warnings about attending the Ethiopia-Nigeria football game on 16 November or the Great Ethiopian Run on the weekend of 23 and 24 November. The internet is regularly cut off to counteract possible terrorist activities, affecting everybody else in the process.
One of the most positive aspect of living in Addis was the security factor and the fact that people were not a political or financial target (with kidnappings). Teenagers as well as families are able to move about freely and even go out in the evening without the fear of being attacked or robbed. A great number of expats in Addis trade off a better quality of life for the security and peace of mind found in the Ethiopian capital. If that is no longer there, we will struggle to find any benefit of living in Addis…apart maybe from drinking good coffee….