US orders non-emergency workers to leave Ethiopia due to “armed conflict” and “potential for terrorism and kidnapping”

Schoolchildren cross traffic as they walk home from school in the Old Town Piazza in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Thursday, November 4, 2021. AP Photo

  • The US State Department has ordered all non-emergency US employees to leave Ethiopia.

  • In a statement, the State Department cited the ongoing conflict and warned of the “potential for terrorism and kidnapping.”

  • Ethiopian leaders declared a state of emergency earlier this week as rebel groups near the capital.

The US State Department on Saturday urged all non-emergency officials living in the country to evacuate amid ongoing civil unrest.

“Do not travel to Ethiopia due to armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruption, crime and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas,” the State Department said. wrote in an updated travel notice on Saturday.

The State Department said it had urged the country’s U.S. citizens to leave using off-the-shelf options and said it was “unlikely” that the U.S. Embassy could help with departure. if trading options become unavailable.

“Although seats on commercial flights currently remain available, we cannot predict when demand will exceed capacity,” the State Department said on Saturday.

The situation in the country could worsen, the State Department has warned, resulting in supply chain problems, communication failures and travel disruptions.

Ethiopian officials declared a state of emergency in the country on November 2 and on Friday called on veterans of the national army to join again in fighting two aligned rebel groups threatening its capital Addis Ababa, CNN reported.

According to CNN, nine armed groups on Friday formed a joint alliance opposing the Ethiopian government “in response to the dozens of crises facing the country” and the “genocidal Ethiopian regime,” they said in a statement, according to the report.

The group, called the United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces, said it no longer recognizes the government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, whose troops have been accused of war crimes, and said it would work to establish a transitional government, according to the report.

The Ethiopian government in response said some of the groups involved had little support and called it a “publicity stunt”, according to CNN. Earlier this week, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed urged citizens to take up arms and defend themselves against rebel forces which took control of two key Ethiopian cities.

As Politics reported on Saturday, the United States and President Joe Biden’s administration over the past year have tried to use trade restrictions, visa bans, the threat of economic sanctions and other diplomatic means to bring the Ethiopian government and rebel groups to end the ongoing civil war. war that killed thousands of people.

“With the safety and security of millions of people at stake, and more than 900,000 people facing conditions of conflict-induced famine, we call on all forces to lay down their arms and engage in dialogue to maintain the ‘unity and integrity of the Ethiopian state’ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Thursday.

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