Fighting continues between the Tigray People’s Liberation Forces and the Ethiopian army, while the front is approaching the Ethiopian capital after seizing important areas near the capital of the Tigray region, while officials in Addis Ababa confirmed during a meeting with diplomats that the security forces, which include groups of young men, are working to ensure the security of the capital.
The United Nations intends to evacuate the families of its international staff from Ethiopia by Thursday, while France on Tuesday called on its nationals to leave the country, in the north of which has been witnessing a war for more than a year between government forces and the forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, while the US envoy to the Horn of Africa Jeffrey Feltman warned against hampering efforts Diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ethiopia at risk due to the military escalation.
In an internal document, the UN security services asked the organization to “coordinate the evacuations and ensure that all family members of eligible international staff leave Ethiopia no later than November 25, 2021.”
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced that “in view of the security situation in the country,” the United Nations decided to “reduce its mission in the country through a temporary evacuation” of all its personnel.
Several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have urged their nationals to leave Ethiopia, as the international community is still unable to obtain a ceasefire.
At the same time, the French embassy in Addis Ababa said in an email sent to French nationals, “All French nationals are officially invited to leave the country as soon as possible.”
The French embassy indicated that it took this decision in light of the “evolving military situation,” stressing that it seeks to facilitate the departure of nationals by reserving seats for them on commercial flights, and they will organize, “if necessary,” a charter flight, according to the e-mail.
According to the French embassy, more than 1,000 French nationals live in Ethiopia.
An official at the French embassy did not rule out “voluntary departures of embassy staff, especially those who have families.”
Elements loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front
The US envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, warned that diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ethiopia would be jeopardized by the military escalation.
Feltman added that there is progress towards a diplomatic solution between the government and the Tigray Liberation Front, but that worrying developments on the ground may undermine this progress.
For his part, the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abi Ahmed, declared himself going to the fronts to lead his army in the “fight against the rebels.”
emergency for six months
On November 2, the Ethiopian federal government declared a state of emergency for six months throughout the country and called on the residents of Addis Ababa to organize their ranks and prepare to defend their city in light of the growing fears of the advance of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front fighters and their allies towards the capital.
At the same time, however, the authorities assert that the Tigray forces’ declarations of military progress and an imminent threat to Addis Ababa are exaggerated.
In the fall of 2020, Addis Ababa sent its forces to Tigray to overthrow the regional authorities emanating from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, after the Prime Minister accused the region’s forces of attacking federal army positions.
In the wake of fierce battles, Abi Ahmed declared victory on November 28, but in June the fighters of the front regained control of the greater part of Tigray before advancing towards the neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara.
Prime Minister Abi Ahmed
The Front also allied itself with other groups such as the Oromo Liberation Army, which is active in the Oromia region surrounding Addis Ababa.
This week, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front declared control of Shewa Rubet, 220 km northeast of Addis Ababa, by land, which the government did not want to comment on.
It is believed that some of the Front’s fighters have reached Debre Sina, about 30 km from Addis Ababa, according to diplomats who were briefed on the security situation.
According to the United Nations, hundreds of thousands of people are threatened with starvation in Tigray as a result of the conflict, which also resulted in thousands of deaths and more than two million displaced people.
On Tuesday, the United Nations World Food Program announced in Geneva the launch of a “major” operation to provide humanitarian aid to more than 450,000 people in Disi and Kombolcha in northern Ethiopia.