NAIROBI, Kenya — The United States is ordering non-emergency government employees and their families to leave Ethiopia and urging other U.S. citizens that they should “depart now” as the country’s war escalates and fighters approach the capital of Addis Ababa.
“Incidents of civil unrest and ethnic violence are occurring without warning,” a statement on Saturday says, and it warns of possible communications blackouts and supply chain shortages.
Ethiopia’s government this week declared a national state of emergency as rival Tigray forces and allied fighters seized key cities and moved toward Addis Ababa.
The Tigray force, which had dominated the nation’s government for many years before falling out with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmad, formed an alliance on Friday with eight other opposition and armed groups. While they stated that they want a political transition, the alliance included eight other armed and opposition groups. They also left open the possibility to use force to remove Abiy Ahmed.
The U.S. warning also comes a day after the U.S. special envoy for the Horn of Africa met with Ethiopia’s prime minister amid growing calls for an immediate cease-fire and talks.