UK Foreign Office officials have arrived in Ethiopia to help in the search for five Britons who are believed to have been kidnapped while trekking in the country. The missing are said to be staff members and relatives working for the British Council, the Foreign Office and the Department for International Development in Addis Ababa.
At least 10 French Nationals and 13 Ethiopians are also missing. Local police say the group was taken by armed kidnappers, while exploring the Afar region close to the Eritrean border. Soldiers from the Ethiopian army have been deployed to help in the search.
Britain’s Foreign Office has warned against travelling in the Afar region at any time, describing it as a predominantly military zone. One of Ethiopia’s poorest regions, the area remains an attraction for adventurous holidaymakers with volcanoes, salt mines, and some of the world’s earliest fossilised human remains. It is also where Ethiopia and Eritrea fought a border war between 1998 and 2000.