U.S. embassy orders U.S citizens out of Ethiopia as rebels close in on Addis Ababa

U.S. embassy orders U.S citizens out of Ethiopia as rebels close in on Addis Ababa

The U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa advised all U.S. citizens to leave Ethiopia as soon as possible, a statement on their website said on Friday.

The advisory was issued after an alliance of anti-government forces threatened to march on the capital city.

“The security environment in Ethiopia is very fluid. We advise U.S. citizens who are in Ethiopia to leave the country as soon as possible,” the statement said.

U.S. embassy orders U.S citizens out of Ethiopia as rebels close in on Addis Ababa
PM Abiy Ahmed

A newly-formed alliance of Ethiopian factions said on Friday it aimed to bring down Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed by force or by negotiation and to form a transitional government.

The Ethiopian government dismissed the alliance as a publicity stunt and said some groups in it had a history of ethnic violence.

The alliance was announced by faction leaders in Washington despite calls from African and Western leaders for a ceasefire in the war, which pits the central government against the northern-based Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its allies.

With the rebel forces threatening to move on the capital Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian army on Friday called on former personnel to rejoin the military to fight them, state media said.

The year-long war has killed thousands of people and forced more than two million more from their homes. It has intensified in recent weeks.

Announcing the formation of the United Front of Ethiopian Federalist and Confederalist Forces at an event in Washington, the alliance said it was setting up a command to coordinate its military and political efforts.

“The next step will be to organize ourselves and totally dismantle the existing government, either by force or by negotiation … then insert a transitional government,” said Mahamud Ugas Muhumed, Somali State Resistance.

The pact expands an existing agreement between the TPLF and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), organisers said, and includes nine groups who all have armed units.

“We’re trying to bring an end to this terrible situation in Ethiopia, which is created single-handedly by the Abiy government,” said Berhane Gebrekristos, a TPLF leader and former Ethiopian ambassador to the United States. “Time is running out for him.”

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