Addis Ababa will hold celebrations for the Irrecha festival between Sunday, September 22, and Sunday, October 6. This is the first time celebratory events are scheduled to take place in the capital, and organizers have said that they expect around six million people to attend. A representative for the tourism bureau also said that approximately 50,000 people are expected to participate in a run for peace in Addis Ababa on September 22. Participants will start and end the run at Meskel square.
A heightened security presence and road closures are likely during the festival period.
Irrecha is a thanksgiving festival celebrated by the Oromo ethnic group, who gather to celebrate the end of the rainy season and welcome the beginning of the harvesting season. At the 2016 celebration, dozens of people reportedly died during a stampede after police fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse opposition protesters that had gathered at the event.
Individuals in Ethiopia, particularly in Addis Ababa, are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate increased travel times due to high traffic and increased security measures, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities. Be alert and report any suspicious objects or behavior to local authorities.
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