U.S. orders non-emergency employees to leave Ethiopia as local conflict intensifies

Traffic police are seen on duty at the Lafto neighbourhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The United States has ordered non-emergency government employees in Ethiopia to leave due to an armed conflict, civil unrest and ethnic violence, its embassy in Addis Ababa said on Saturday.

“Incidents of civil unrest and ethnic violence are occurring without warning. The situation may escalate further and may cause supply chain shortages, communications blackouts, and travel disruptions,” the embassy said on its website.

Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy’s government declared a national state of emergency on Tuesday, saying it was locked in an “existential war” with forces from the northern Tigray region and their allies.

Forces allied to the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front have been advancing, and unveiled an alliance with other factions on Friday aiming to remove Abiy from power, by force if needed.

The conflict in the north of Ethiopia started a year ago when forces loyal to the TPLF seized military bases in the Tigray region. In response, Abiy sent troops, which initially drove the TPLF out of the regional capital but have faced a sharp reversal since June this year.

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