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Cablegate: Country Clearance for Yue Jin

VZCZCXYZ0008
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHDS #2951/01 2750759
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020759Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 3151
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8014

UNCLAS ADDIS ABABA 002951

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

USDA/ARS FOR JAMES LOMBARD AND JACOLYN MORRISON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR KE OTRA ET
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE FOR YUE JIN

REF: STATE 686969

1. Embassy Addis Ababa welcomes Yue Jin, yue.jin@ars.usda.gov
to Ethiopia
October 2 to October 7, 2007. Country clearance is granted
subject to the
actual security situation at the time of proposed travel.
Travelers should
re-confirm this clearance with the control officer 72 hours
prior to
commencement of travel, and consult the Department of State
website
at http://travel.state.gov. The purpose of Yue Jin's travel
is to
assess field plots in Debre Zeit of winter wheat resistance
to UG99.
As of this writing, Yue Jin has requested no US Embassy Addis
Ababa assistance.

2. Please be advised that effective immediately, all
visitors must
clearly state the purpose of their visit and the areas to be
visited, as well as to check in with post upon arrival or the
appropriate designated Embassy contact. All visitors must also
report the results of their visit prior to departure to the
Front
Office. Visitors who alter their travel plans or focus of
their
visit without informing the Embassy, particularly travel to
unauthorized, unsafe or "off limit" areas, or send reports on
Ethiopia operations without clearing such messages with the
Embassy
will be denied future clearances. The sponsoring office of
the
visitor could also face future restrictions on country
clearance
requests for their travelers to Ethiopia. This policy is being
implemented to ensure that all visitors follow strictly
appropriate
safety and security measures, especially avoiding travel to
unsafe
areas, and also as a result of visitors disregarding Embassy
clearance procedures and conditions under which Chief of
Mission
authority is granted.

2. The Embassy pouch address is 2030 Addis Ababa Place,
Washington, DC 20521-2030. The Embassy operating hours are
Monday
to Thursday from 7:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays, from 7:45
a.m.
to 11:45 a.m. The Addis Ababa contact in-country
is the ILRI Guest Lodge, 251 11 617 2000. Emergencies prior
to
Yue Jin's departure, please contact Jacolyn Morrison,
612-625-7081;
jacki.morrison@ars.usda.gov. Clearances can also be directed
to James.Lombard@ars.usda.gov. Your Control Officer is John
Stamm,
USAID Acting Office Chief for Economic Growth, email:
jstamm@usaid.gov,
Office: 251 11 551 0088 X417; Cell: 251 0911 21 81 85.

3. Entry Requirements: Post strongly recommends that
Business/Tourist visas be obtained at the closest Ethiopian
embassy
to the traveler's point of origin. If that is not possible,
for
persons traveling on an ordinary U.S. passport, a business
visa
valid for five days only if he/she has a relevant document
can be
obtained only at Bole International Airport for USD 20.00. A
Tourist visa can be given for one month only. A person
traveling on
a diplomatic passport can obtain an entry visa free of charge.
Passengers should be aware that, if they elect to obtain an
entry
visa at the airport, they may be delayed by as much as one or
two
hours. Be sure to have exact change in U.S. dollars to pay
for the
visa, as change for larger bills is virtually impossible to
find at
the visa counter and efforts to obtain change from airport
banks may
result in even longer delays. NOTE: In accordance with the
terms of
a SOFA agreement signed with the Government of Ethiopia,
military
personnel are allowed to travel within Ethiopia using their
military
I.D. cards as valid travel documents. Individuals (both
military and
civilian) who are visiting the African Union (AU) are
required to
in-brief at the U.S. Embassy prior to consultations at the
AU, and
out-brief at the U.S. Embassy at the conclusion of
consultations at
the AU prior to departure.

4. If a traveler is coming from or has recently visited
countries
where yellow fever, cholera or influenza is endemic,
immunization
records documenting yellow fever and/or cholera vaccination
may be
required to enter the country. Travelers coming directly
from the
U.S. or Europe are generally not asked for such documentation.
Recommended vaccinations include: tetanus, hepatitis A,
hepatitis B,
typhoid, meningitis, poliomyelitis and, for high-risk groups,
rabies.

5. Visitors should confirm onward flight reservations at
least 72
(seventy-two) hours prior to departure to reduce the
possibility of
cancellation. Please note that many airlines operating in
Ethiopia
cancel reservations that have not been confirmed and will
often
refuse to reinstate them at the time of scheduled departure.

6. Money: Credit cards are not accepted at most hotels,
except for
the Sheraton and the Hilton and are not accepted at any local
restaurants, shops or other facilities. Foreigners are
required to
pay for car rentals in hard currency. There are no ATMs in
Ethiopia. You will not be able to get cash using your ATM
card, but
guests and visitors at the Sheraton Addis Hotel can obtain up
to USD
500.00 per day using a major credit card that has a cash
advance
facility. For travelers on official orders, the Embassy and
USAID
cashiers and Bank of Abyssinia provide accommodation exchange
services. The Bank of Abyssinia provides these services
(cashing a
personal check drawn on a U.S. bank to local currency) at
both the
Embassy (in the lobby of the Admin Building from 10:00 a.m. -
1:00
p.m., Monday through Friday) and USAID (2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.,
Monday through Thursday and 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. on Friday). The
Embassy cashier provides cashing service for USD cash to local
currency. The Embassy cashier hours are Monday to Thursday
from
8:30 a.m. - 12:00P p.m. Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. and
Wednesday is closed. The daily maximum is USD 500.00. Both
the
Embassy and USAID cashiers can sometimes provide U.S. dollars
if
needed, but supplies are very limited. For this reason,
travelers
always should arrive with enough cash to meet their needs.
The
current rate of exchange is approximately 9.03 Ethiopian Birr
to one
U.S. dollar.

7. Currency regulations: Currency declarations are required
on
entry to Ethiopia, and travelers may be asked by customs
officials
to show the amount of currency they have. Holders of
diplomatic or
official passports will not be asked. It is illegal to buy
or sell
foreign currency except at banks, or licensed hotels. It is
also
against the law to pay for purchases with foreign currency.
If you
wish to pay your hotel bill in cash, you must exchange the
hard
currency at a legal exchange point and present the receipt to
the
hotel at time of payment.

8. Health: Medical facilities in Ethiopia generally do not
meet
international standards. Very basic care is available at some
private hospitals in Addis Ababa (and through the Embassy
Health
Unit for authorized users). Because of its altitude
(7,000-8,000
feet above sea level), travel to Addis Ababa is not
recommended for
those with pulmonary/heart conditions. This includes
individuals
suffering from bronchial asthma, angina pectoris, previous
myocardial infarction, emphysema, congestive heart failure or
sleep
apnea. Individuals with sickle cell anemia should carefully
consider the altitude of this post before traveling here.
Dehydration is a common problem and travelers should ensure
that
they drink plenty of clean, bottled water, which is widely
available
in shops or restaurants (NOTE: Do not accept a bottle that is
unsealed.). Many pharmacies in Addis Ababa are reasonably
well
stocked, but medications are not always standard and may not
even be
genuine. Travelers should bring sufficient supplies of any
medications they might need while in country. Post policy is
to
stabilize those requiring acute care and to evacuate them
immediately. All travelers are advised to closely adhere to
the
following guidelines:

A. Short-term (TDY) assignments carry an added risk because
of the
lack of time for acclimatization. Dehydration and stress from
exercise or illness compound the basic risks of high
altitude. For
more information, contact your health unit or the medical
clearances
section of the Office of Medical Services.

B. Bring sufficient supplies of all chronic and emergency
medications.

C. Only personnel covered under the State Department's
medical
program, and with a valid medical clearance for Addis Ababa,
are
eligible for medevac at USG cost. All other visitors are
required
to have in their possession documentation of currently valid
medical
evacuation insurance sufficient to ensure evacuation by
chartered
air ambulance, or ensure that their agency will cover the
cost.

D. Malaria prophylaxis is not needed in Addis Ababa, but is
needed
should travel be extended to lowland malarial areas outside
Addis
Ababa. Medical facilities are not generally adequate to care
for
complications due to malaria Chloroquine-resistant malaria is
present at lower elevations of Ethiopia. In these areas,
malaria
prophylaxis containing mefloquine, doxycycline or atovaquone
with
proguanil, together with exposure prevention techniques (use
of
mosquito repellent, long-sleeve shirts and long trousers,
mosquito
nets, etc.) are essential.

9. Weather: Addis Ababa experiences two rainy seasons light
rains
from February through April, and heavy rains from June
through September).
The average daytime temperature in Addis Ababa is between 75
and 80
degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime temperatures can range from
the upper
30's to the low 60's depending upon the time of year.
Business
dress in Addis Ababa tends to be fairly formal, with jackets
and
ties for men and skirts or pant-suits standard for women.
Travelers
should bring a medium weight sweater or jacket for evenings,
when
the temperature drops as soon as the sun sets. Because of the
altitude, the sun in Addis Ababa is quite intense, and
travelers
should carry and use a strong sun block.

10. Electronic equipment: Items for personal use (short-wave
radio,
laptop computer, still camera, video camera) can be brought
into
Ethiopia. Generally such items must be declared on arrival,
when a
customs officer will list these items in the traveler's
passport.
Customs officials may then check on departure to insure that
these
items are being taken out of the country again. CD players,
commercial quality camera equipment, video or DVD players or
other
work-related electronic equipment or tools may be difficult
to bring
into the country and may be impounded by customs officials at
the
airport. Travelers who intend to bring such equipment into
Ethiopia
should provide the Embassy or USAID complete details (e.g.,
type of
equipment, number being imported, make(s), model(s) and serial
number(s)) at least 24 hours prior to their arrival so that
appropriate arrangements can be made for bringing it into
Ethiopia.

11. Security: The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to
consider deferring travel to northern Tigray (bordering
Eritrea) and
regions bordering Somalia due to security concerns. In the
northern
part of the country, the Ethiopian-Eritrean conflict could
rekindle
without warning and significantly affect the border region
between
both countries. Transportation to this area has been
disrupted on
occasion, limiting the U.S. government's ability to assist its
citizens. Travel to the Ogaden Region has also been severely
restricted due to recent attacks and all official USG
employees must
obtain special permission before traveling to this region.
Other
areas of Ethiopia, particularly in border areas, are subject
to
periodic instability, and visitors planning to travel outside
of
Addis Ababa should consult the Consular Information Sheet and
check
with the Regional Security Officer for the most up-to-date
security
information before beginning travel.

12. Crime: Pick-pocketing and other petty crimes are
prevalent in
urban areas. There are occasional reports of thieves
snatching
jewelry. Visitors should exercise normal caution and not
carry
large sums of money or wear excessive jewelry on their
persons.
Visitors should carry wallets and other valuables where they
will
not be susceptible to pickpockets. Walking in Addis Ababa
after
dusk is not safe. Night driving is strongly discouraged
outside of
major urban areas. Armed banditry can occur on roads outside
major
towns or cities and may be accompanied by violence.

13. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the U.S. Embassy located on Entoto Road and to
the
local police. It is advisable to leave passports, plane
tickets
and valuables in a hotel safe. Visitors, however, will be
asked to
show passports or other official identification when entering
the
U.S. Embassy compound.

14. Photography: Ethiopians are very sensitive about
photography.
It is strictly prohibited to photograph military
installations,
police or military personnel, industrial facilities,
government
buildings, and infrastructure facilities (roads, bridges,
ports,
airfields, etc.). Confiscation of film or camera or even
arrest may
result. Tourist photography, on the other hand, is
encouraged. A
good rule of thumb: If there is any doubt about whether the
photograph should be taken, don't take it.

15. TDY Action Request: For TDYers over thirty (30) days,
there will
be a charge for ICASS support services. If your sponsoring
agency
is not signed up for ICASS services at Post, please be
prepared to
sign a MOU for ICASS support services upon arrival. The
agency
should provide Post with a written communication, generated
by the
traveler's headquarters, that confirms the agency will pay
ICASS
charges for the TDYer, provide the agency charges ICASS
billing code
for the TDY support to be applied, and authorize the traveler
to
sign the ICASS invoice generated by the TDY module. Where
travel is
urgent, the TDYers should bring this documentation with them
to
ensure there are no interruptions in the provision of
service. Post
will not provide any services to a TDYer staying in excess of
thirty
days without this documentation prior to day 31 of the TDY.
To
receive services such as access to TDYers computers, must
in-process
upon arrival.

16. This cable was last updated on May 15, 2007.
YAMAMOTO

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