A group of tourists was reportedly attacked and robbed in southern Ethiopia last week and their driver was shot and killed, according to a report by The Slovak Spectator, Slovakia’s only English-language newspaper.
The six Slovaks and four Czechs were attacked in the town of Mizan on November 7. They were robbed of their credit cards, money and other precious possessions.the report said Irena Valentová from the Czech Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the incident to the Novinky.cz website. She also said a female Slovak tourist was injured in the attack.
The attackers shot an Ethiopian driver during the incident who died at the hospital, the report said.
Head of the Bubo Travel Agency, Ľuboš Fellner, whom the Czech website cited, said the incident occurred in the so-called green zone considered to be fully safe. The Slovak Foreign Ministry confirmed the case for the TASR newswire on November 11, adding that the Slovak tourists were provided with new travel documents and to return home.
The Foreign Ministry recently warned Slovak citizens not to travel to Ethiopia, due to a worsened security situation that resulted in a state of emergency starting October 8, for six months.
Ethiopian authorities, in an attempt to encourage tourists to visit the country, issued a statement saying the state of emergency does not restrict tourists and that tourists could go anywhere without prior notice to the government.
The authorities, having seen a decline in tourism, have issued a directive lifting the ban imposed by the state of emergency on diplomats that prohibits travel beyond 40 kilometers (25 miles) radius outside the capital.
Ethiopia is expected to lose about 400 million dollars from tourism in the current budget year due to the unrest in the country.
The Ethiopian Culture and Tourism Minister said that in the last three months alone the country’s income from tourism has shown a decline by 7.4 million dollars.
The country had planned to generate 3 billion dollars from tourism this year but that could be far fetched due to the political crises in the country, according to the Ministry.