US warns possible attacks on foreigners in Addis over corona outbreak

US government has warned its citizens in Ethiopia against walking in the streets of Addis Ababa town lonely following reports that there might be attacks on foreigners.

In a statement, US embassy said it received reports regarding a rise in anti-foreigner sentiment revolving around the announcement of COVID-19 in Ethiopia.

“Typical derogatory comments directed at foreigners, the terms “China” and “Ferengi” (foreigner), have been reportedly coupled with the label “Corona,” indicating a disparaging view on the link between the outbreak of COVID-19 and foreigners in Ethiopia,” the statement reads in part.

According to the statement, incidents of harassment and assault directly related to COVID-19 have been reported by other foreigners living within Addis Ababa and other cities throughout the country.

“Reports indicate that foreigners have been attacked with stones, denied transportation services (taxis, Ride, etc.), being spat on, chased on foot, and been accused of being infected with COVID-19,” the embassy said.

The embassy urged the citizens to avoid walking, hiking or biking alone in the city’s streets.

“If yelled at or spat upon, do not engage or otherwise escalate the encounter. Do your best to immediately leave the situation/area. Maintain situational awareness. Avoid wearing headphones or using handheld electronic devices in public area,” it warned.

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