US urges all Americans to leave Ethiopia

10:14, 16 November 2021
US urges all Americans to leave Ethiopia Photo: Guenter Fischer/ Look Press

State Department spokesman Ned Price called on the American citizens in Ethiopia to leave the country as soon as possible to avoid the risk of being trapped in the country if the civil war spreads to the capital Addis Ababa.

Price said that the US won’t be able to carry out full-scale evacuation operations if the war breaks out.

"Right now, Addis is calm, and it has been calm since the conflict started to spread, but there's a possibility the conflict could reach Addis Ababa and that commercial carriers wouldn't be able to get out,” he said. 

The Ethiopian government has declared a state of emergency in the country amid the situation in the Tigray region. In particular, the authorities of Addis Ababa told the locals to register the weapons in their possession and be ready to defend the capital.

The Tigray Popular Liberation Front (TPLF), which had ruling positions in Ethiopia from 1991 to 2018, went into opposition after the current prime minister came to power. The TPLF demanded that the federal authorities not interfere in the affairs of the region and held local elections in September 2020 while the official government declared them illegal.

Since November 2020, a conflict has flared up in the region as many TPLF members joined the new military structure, the Tigrai Defense Forces.

The United States, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and some other countries ordered their diplomats, performing non-primary functions, and their family members to leave Ethiopia.