Australians in Ethiopia urged to 'leave immediately' amid escalating conflict

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A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Commerce said it was “aware of police cases and arrests, including in Australia” and that “public and private investigations could be carried out at any time”.

“The Australian government is deeply concerned about the security situation in Ethiopia and urges all those involved in the conflict to stop fighting immediately and work to resolve the crisis,” he said on Thursday.

“We urge Australians to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible with trade options.”

The spokesman said the presence of the aircraft could be changed or suspended at any time without notice.

“Australians should not rely on waiting for emergency departures,” he said.

“DFAT calls on all Australian registered persons in Ethiopia, or family representatives, to provide assistance in connection with commercial aviation.”

The travel instructions to Ethiopia it is currently based on ‘do not walk’ (level 4) due to “civil unrest, conflict in the north of the country and the risk of conflict escalating into new areas without warning.”

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed says he has joined the ranks of government forces fighting militants from the northern Tigray region.

Abiy, a winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, “is now leading the opposition” and “has been leading the charge since yesterday,” state-run Fana Broadcasting Corporate reported.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday (local time) that Mr Abiy, a former military radio presenter who represented the lieutenant-colonel, sent. Officials did not publish a photo of him in the garden, and officials did not respond to a request for more information.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Source: AP

Speaking to Abiy earlier, the U.S. government department on Wednesday warned that “there is no way to end the war” in the Ethiopian civil war.

“We urge all parties to refrain from profanity and bellicose rhetoric, to exercise restraint, to respect human rights, to relinquish their right to human rights, and to protect civilians,” said a State Department spokesman.

Earlier in the day, Washington’s special envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, stated that “progress” is at risk of “winning the war on both sides of the conflict”.

Call for firefighting

Other foreign delegates have also been working hard to end the war, although there have been a few signs coming.

On Wednesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate end to the conflict – a statement he made during his visit to Colombia to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a peace agreement between the government and the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“The peace process in Colombia encourages me to urgently call on those who are fighting the war in Ethiopia to end the war indefinitely and immediately to save the country,” he said.

The war began in November 2020 when Abiy sent troops to Tigray to overthrow the ruling Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

He further added that the move was the result of TPLF insurgency in the camps and promised immediate victory, but by the end of June the rebels had captured most of the Tigray, including their Mekele headquarters.

Since then, the TPLF has been pushing for areas around Amhara and Afar, and this week it reportedly took over the town which is 220 kilometers from Addis Ababa.

With additional AFP reports.

Australian citizens who need urgent embassy assistance, in addition to departure assistance, should call the Consular Emergency Center on +61 2 6261 3305.

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