The World Daily
Ethiopian citizens being advised to flee amidst building turmoil

Photo by Eduardo Soteras/AFP 


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | NOVEMBER 8th 2021 


American citizens in Ethiopia were advised to leave the country by the US State Department, with tensions mounting and several individuals who were forced to flee over the borders having claimed that forced conscriptions and lethal conflicts were now taking place.

In what the Ethiopian government has called an “existential war,” thousands of opposition forces have pushed their way in to within 200 miles of the country’s capital of Addis Ababa this week, forcing evacuations and increasing fears for the city’s residents that violence may soon break out around them.

The crisis comes following almost a year of mounting tensions and uncertainty in Ethiopia’s northern mountain regions. Government troops were driven away from the Tigray in June by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front – a group of rebels in the midst of a severe conflict against the government, who had successfully captured two important towns on the main highway that leads to Addis in October.

“The U.S. Embassy is unlikely to be able to assist U.S. citizens in Ethiopia with departure if commercial options become unavailable,” said the US State Department in a security alert on Saturday. “Although seats on commercial flights currently remain available, we cannot predict when demand will exceed capacity.”

The department had issued warnings about the possibility of the conflict escalating further, in which case several problems would become almost inevitable – such as total blackouts in communications, shortages in supply chains, and even disruptions of travel in and out of the country.

A state of emergency had been declared by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement of a state of emergency in the country thus allows for the conscription of “any military age citizen who has weapons.”

Ethiopia is the 12th most populous country in the world, with around 110 million residents. Since the outbreak of conflicts, however, more and more people have been leaving the country out of fear of escalating violence. 


“Everyone is absolutely terrified,” Addis Ababa resident Lemma, who recently fled to Kenya, told The Washington Post. “Most of my family do not have passports, and they are being rounded up as we speak and taken to unknown concentration camps.”

Pro-government rallies were organised by Ethiopian authorities on Sunday, where tens of thousands of people had attended and made their pledges to help defend the capital of Addis Ababa from the advancing rebels.

“Maybe the worst things will happen in the next days,” Berhane Gebremikael, who fled the small community of Adebay from Amhara militia and Eritrean soldiers, told the Tri-City Herald. He saw one man killed as he fled. “The international community should intervene.”

The mass detention of Tigrayans is continuing in the country as a part of the state of emergency, with plenty of Tigrayans not involved with the rebels suddenly fearing being mistaken for them. Ethiopian authorities meanwhile insist that the only ones being detained are those who are suspected of supporting the opposing Tigrayan forces. 


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021 

Source: Tri-City Herald, The Washington Post, The New York Times