As many of you know, Ethiopia is preparing to hold elections on May 23. Results of this election will be announced on June 21. We anticipate that this election will effect IAN families in two ways:
1.) Travel: The state department has issued a travel advisory for citizens traveling to Ethiopia between May 23 and July 1, 2010. After the last elections Ethiopia held in 2005, there was an outbreak of violence. While measures are in place to prevent this occurance, it is possible, and IAN advises families to take the following measures:
a. Avoid large crowds, public gatherings, and try to avoid being out and about after dark.
b. Do NOT travel outside of Addis Ababa during this time, especially to the southern regions.
c. Register with the US embassy in Addis before you go.
d. Monitor local media and internet while in Addis to stay aware of any dangers.
e. Consider purchasing oversees travel insurance.
IAN is in constant contact with our Ethiopian staff, and we all still feels that travel is reasonably safe if these precautions are taken, but will have an additional waiver for families to sign if they are traveling during this time.
For more information on travel advisories please visit travel.state.gov or ethiopia.usembassy.gov.
2.) Processing referrals: During this time, court officials are extremely preoccupied with election business and are not available to process paperwork that allows children from outlying regions to be transported to Addis and become available for adoption. This has been a large part of why referrals have slowed down recently, and we look forward to things picking up again after May 23, although it may take a few weeks for things to return to normal.
If you have any questions, please contact your coordinator. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.