The United States is warning Americans to exercise caution when traveling to Ethiopia before and after national elections in May.
The U.S. State Department noted Tuesday that past elections in Ethiopia have turned violent, especially in the days after poll results are announced.
It urged U.S. citizens to avoid political rallies, polling places on election day, and demonstrations.
The May 23 parliamentary elections will be Ethiopia’s first national polls since 2005, when disputed results triggered protests and post-election violence. Security forces killed nearly 200 people during demonstrations that followed those polls.
Last month, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said his government is committed to making this year’s elections peaceful, democratic, and truthful.
The U.S. State Department also reminded Americans Tuesday to exercise caution when traveling to Ethiopia’s border areas with Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan. It said Ethiopian security forces do not have a widespread presence in remote regions.
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