Residents of the Afar region protested on Sunday, January 13, to denounce recurrent ethnic-related violence in the area, notably between members of the Afar and Issa communities, as well as the withdrawal of security forces from the affected areas. On Sunday, protesters blocked the main road connecting Ethiopia to neighbouring Djibouti - between Awash and Semera (both Afar region). In addition, the Ethio-Djibouti railway is reportedly also affected by the blockage. Protests and related road and rail blockades are likley to continue in the coming hours and days, as protesters vowed to continue their actions until their demands are met.
The protests come amid an increase in ethnicity-based unrest throughout the country.
Individuals present in the Afar region are advised to monitor the situation, avoid any large gatherings and demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities or their home government.