The Foreign Office in London has confirmed that five Britons have been kidnapped while trekking in Ethiopia. They are staff-members and relatives connected to the British Council, the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development in Addis Ababa.
At least eight Ethiopians, who’d been acting as drivers, interpreters and guides, are also missing. Ethiopian police say the group were held by armed kidnappers, while exploring the Afar region in the North West of the country, close to the Eritrea. Britain’s Foreign Office has warned against travelling in the Afar region within 20kms of the Eritrean border at any time, describing it a predominantly military zone.
One of Ethiopia’s poorest regions, the area retains an attraction for adventurous holidaymakers, with volcanoes, salt mines, and some of the world’s earliest fossilised human remains. It’s also where Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war between 1998 and 2000.