U.K. Advises Its Citizens to Leave Ethiopia Immediately
(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. government urged all Britons to leave Ethiopia “immediately” while commercial flights in the Horn of Africa nation are still operating.
The situation in Ethiopia is “deteriorating quickly” and fighting may move closer to the capital, Addis Ababa, in the coming days, U.K. Minister for Africa Vicky Ford said in a statement on Wednesday. Yesterday, the U.S. special envoy to the region said the escalating conflict in Ethiopia is jeopardizing progress that’s been made on efforts to negotiate an end to the crisis.
“We cannot guarantee there will be options to leave Ethiopia in the future,” Ford warned.
The U.K. announcement repeats a similar plea earlier this month, and echoes calls by the U.S., France and other western nations. The appeals follow a yearlong war that has killed thousands of people, displaced hundreds of thousands more and led the United Nations to warn that at least 400,000 people are at risk of starvation in what was once Africa’s fastest-growing economy.
Earlier this week, Ethiopia’s government asked four of the six Irish diplomats stationed in Addis Ababa to leave within a week because of comments Ireland has made about the situation in the country.
“I hope the decision of the government of Ethiopia will be temporary, so that our Embassy staff can return to carrying out their important duties in the country as soon as possible,” Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said in a statement on Wednesday. The Irish ambassador will remain in the country.
Two months ago, Ethiopia expelled seven senior UN staff for allegedly meddling in its internal affairs. The government also temporarily suspended the work of humanitarian agencies Medecins Sans Frontieres and the Norwegian Refugee Council.
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