Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 18:33:06 +0200 (METDST)

TOULOUSE, France, June 14, 2011 (AFP) - The eruption of an Eritrean volcano lost intensity on Tuesday and the risks posed to aviation by its ash cloud diminished, the French state weather agency said. Based on satellite imagery, Meteo France said that it was the Nabro volcano in Eritrea that was erupting and not nearby Dubbi as earlier reported. "The ash cloud remains above Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and southern Egypt, at low altitude," said agency director Jean-Marie Carriere, adding that with ash at less than 5,000 metres it should have little impact on air transport.

Meteo France has been given the lead role in Europe in monitoring volcanic debris in the atmosphere. The agency said that it did not expect the cloud to pass over the Arabian peninsula unless there is a significant increase in the force of the eruption, which appears to be losing strength. The eruption sent a plume of ash up to 15 kilometres into the air, disrupting traffic in Eritrea and neighbouring Ethiopia. German airline Lufthansa said it had cancelled two flights to the region and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cut short a visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for fears of being stuck there.
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2011 22:01:11 +0200 (METDST)

ADDIS ABABA, June 13, 2011 (AFP) - A long-dormant volcano has erupted in Eritrea sending clouds of ash over parts of east Africa, disrupting air traffic and forcing US chief diplomat Hillary Clinton to cut short a trip to Africa. The eruption of the Dubbi volcano sent a plume of ash up to 15 kilometres into the air, the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre said, disrupting air traffic in Eritrea and neighbouring Ethiopia, and threatening further disruptions in the region. German airline Lufthansa said it had cancelled two flights to the region and a senior US official said Clinton was leaving the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for fears of being stuck there by the ash cloud. The official said Clinton and her delegation were leaving "because the ash cloud is moving towards Addis and it could cover the city... for an indeterminate length (of time)." An AFP reporter confirmed her plane had departed at about 10:00 pm local time (1900 GMT). Clinton was supposed to have stayed in Ethiopia until Tuesday afternoon as part of a tour of African nations.

The eruption, which began at 2100 GMT on Sunday and was continuing late Monday, was "significant" according to Jean Nicolau of French weather service Meteo-France, which houses the VAAC's operations for southern Europe and Africa. "Based on satellite images we are seeing, the volcanic ash is reaching altitudes of 13 to 15 kilometres" (42,650 to 49,200 feet), he said, adding: "We are not in a critical situation like with the Icelandic volcano Grimsvotn, which concerned a very busy air traffic zone, because the traffic is much less important" in east Africa. The eruption was the volcano's first since 1861. According to preliminary Meteo-France simulations, the lower-density ash clouds were heading west/northwest toward Sudan, while the higher-density clouds were heading west/southwest. "If the cloud reaches Egypt, Israel or the Arab peninsula, the impact on air traffic will be more significant, but it is too early to know," Nicolau said. In Berlin, Lufthansa spokesman Marco Dall'Asta said the company's Frankfurt- Addis Ababa flight had been cancelled and that its flight from Frankfurt to the Eritrean capital Asmara via Jeddah had been stopped in Jeddah. "Nothing has yet been decided for tomorrow (Tuesday)," he said.

August 28, 2009

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and recommends that U.S. citizens defer all travel there because of Eritrean government restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara, an increased number of Americans arrested without clear justification, and heightened tensions along Eritrea's borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated February 18, 2009.

The Eritrean government continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats.  These restrictions require all visitors and residents to apply 10 days in advance for permission to travel outside the Asmara city limits.  As a result, the U.S. Embassy cannot provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara. 

There also have been an increased number of Eritrean-U.S. dual citizens arrested without apparent cause. U.S. citizens are cautioned that once arrested, one may be held for a long time without being charged before being released.  Recently incarcerated Americans report harsh prison conditions, with little or no food and water, and unsanitary surroundings.   The Eritrean government does not inform the U.S. Embassy when U.S. citizens, including those who are not dual nationals,  have been arrested or detained. 

U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and to the Southern Red Sea region, including the port of Assab.

U.S. citizens considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political tensions between the two countries.  In March 2008, Eritrean restrictions on diesel fuel supplies caused the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea's detachments to withdraw from the Temporary Security Zone, leaving no international observers monitoring the border.

6. Since April 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops have been deployed along the Eritrea-Djibouti border.  The Djiboutian government claims Eritrean troops have crossed into its territory and on June 10, 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops exchanged fire along their shared border.

U.S. citizens currently living or traveling in Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State Department's travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Eritrea.  By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency and provide updates on the security situation.  The U.S. Embassy is located at 179 Alaa Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-04, available 24 hours in case of emergency; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site http://asmara.usembassy.gov/

For additional information, consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov.  American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 17:11:35 +0100 (MET)
 
ADDIS ABABA, Feb 28, 2009 (AFP) - Two people were killed and eight wounded when a bomb went off in a restaurant in a small town in western Eritrea, the foreign ministry said Saturday.   The explosion rocked the restaurant Wednesday. There have been no claims oif responsibility.   "Two people were killed and eight others seriously injured when a bomb exploded at restaurant in Haikota semi-urban center on February 25," a statement said.   Ethiopia and Eritrea often accuse each other of staging bomb attacks in each other's territiory.   Relations between the two have been frosty since fighting a devastating 1998-2000 border war that claimed tens of thousands of lives on both sides. The dispute is yet to be resolved.

November 15, 2008

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Eritrea and recommends that U.S. citizens defer travel at this time.  This replaces the Travel Warning dated June 11, 2008, and informs U.S. citizens that the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Asmara is currently closed for all public non-emergency services.  The Consular Section will continue to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens.

Since September 13, the Government of Eritrea has repeatedly, and in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, interfered with the unfettered delivery of the U.S. Embassy's diplomatic pouches.  As a result, the Embassy is unable to receive critical supplies and materials necessary, including U.S. passports and other citizenship-related documents, for the conduct of normal operations.  Until this matter is resolved, the consular section of the U.S. Embassy has no choice but to suspend all non-emergency services.  This closure affects all routine services to American citizens, such as Consular Reports of Birth Abroad, passport services, and notarial services.  American citizens who need routine consular services should consider traveling to the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti or the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Department of State recommends U.S. citizens defer travel to Eritrea due to restrictions on travel outside the capital city of Asmara and heightened tensions along Eritrea's borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti.

American citizens considering travel within Eritrea should be aware of the presence of large numbers of Eritrean and Ethiopian troops along the Eritrean-Ethiopian border, and acute political tensions between the two countries.  In March 2008, the Eritrean restrictions on diesel fuel supplies caused United Nations' Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea's detachments to withdraw from the Temporary Security Zone, leaving no international observers monitoring the border.

Since April 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops have been deployed along the northeastern border of Djibouti.  The Djiboutian government claims Eritrean troops have crossed into its territory and on June 10, 2008, Djiboutian and Eritrean troops exchanged fire along their shared border.

U.S. citizens are strongly advised to avoid travel near the Eritrean-Ethiopian border and to the Southern Red Sea region, including the port of Assab.

The Eritrean government continues to restrict the travel of all foreign nationals, including resident diplomats.  These restrictions require all visitors and residents to apply ten days in advance for permission to travel outside Asmara city limits.  As a result, the U.S. Embassy cannot provide emergency consular assistance outside of Asmara.  The government of Eritrea does not inform the U.S. Embassy when American citizens have been arrested or detained.

Americans currently living or traveling in Eritrea are strongly encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Asmara in person or through the State Department's travel registration web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Eritrea.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of an emergency and provide updates on the security situations.  The U.S. Embassy is located at 179 Alaa Street, P.O. Box 211, Asmara; telephone (291-1) 12-00-04; fax (291-1) 124-255 and (291-1) 127-584; web site http://asmara.usembassy.gov/.

For additional information, consult the Department of State's Country Specific Information sheet for Eritrea and the Worldwide Caution at http://travel.state.gov.  American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from overseas.

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