US President Barack Obama has landed in Ethiopia, beginning a two-day stay and becoming the first American leader to visit the country.
Air Force One touched down at Addis Ababa's international airport after a short flight north from the Kenyan capital Nairobi, with the president greeted on the tarmac by Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
The visit will include talks with the Ethiopian government, a key strategic ally but criticised for its record on democracy and human rights. Obama will also become the first US president to address the African Union, the 54-member continental bloc.
He will also hold talks with regional leaders on the civil war in South Sudan.
AU Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma hailed what she said will be an "historic visit" and a "concrete step to broaden and deepen the relationship between the AU and the US."
While Kenya launched one of the biggest security operations ever seen in the capital Nairobi to host Obama from Friday evening to Sunday, the habitual reach of Ethiopia's powerful security forces meant there was little obvious extra fanfare ahead of his arrival.
Ethiopia, like Kenya, has been on the frontline of the fight against the Somali-led, al-Qaida affiliated Shebab. Both nations have troops in Somalia as part of an AU and US-backed force, and are key security partners to Washington.
But the visit also comes two months after elections that saw the Prime Minister's ruling coalition take every one of the 546 seats in parliament.
The opposition, which lost its only seat, alleged the government had used authoritarian tactics to guarantee victory.
The US State Department notes Ethiopia's "restrictions on freedom of expression," as well as "politically motivated trials" and the "harassment and intimidation of opposition members and journalists."
Ahead of the visit, the White House stressed it frequently addresses issues of democracy and political rights with countries in the region. Having spoken frankly in Kenya on human rights and corruption, Obama can also be expected to address Ethiopia's - and Africa's - democracy deficit.