Faced with the advance of the rebels, the evacuations of French accelerate

Tuesday November 23 France asked its nationals to leave “without delay“More than 200 people packed up and left Addis Ababa on commercial flights, where seats had been reserved and paid for by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
But that was insufficient to evacuate the roughly 1,000 French present in the country. Therefore, a charter flight was urgently booked that night to get everyone back to Paris.

The authorities cannot guarantee that another theft will occur. before the rebels reached Addis Ababa.

If evacuations are accelerating, it is because fighters from the The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (the name of a northern province that wants to secede), at war for more than a year against government forces, has made a dazzling advance in recent days. They would be less than 200 kilometers from the capital.

France is not the only one, the other countries also evacuate their nationals: Germany, the United Kingdom, especially the United States, which has 30,000 people there. They are the ones who set the pace. Evacuations began and some fifteen standby jumbo jets were deployed to the nearby Djibouti base.

In Israel, the government gave the green light on Sunday, November 28 than 3,000 Ethiopians whose relatives live in Israel. Announcement welcomed by the Minister of Immigration, herself of Ethiopian origin. On the other hand, China, which is well established in the country with some 15,000 citizens, has so far given no instructions. We are not yet in a scenario similar to what happened in Afghanistan this summer, when the Taliban took Kabul by surprise and Western countries evacuated their citizens in general panic.

But the situation is very tense, especially with expats. Pro-government protesters gathered outside the US and UK embassies last week, accusing the two countries of disinformation, accusing them of deliberately causing a panic by leaving the country.

Today it is forbidden to give an account of the conflict outside the official word. And the official word is that of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, a former 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner turned warlord.

On Friday, November 26, four days after promising to go to the front himself, he appeared in the field in the Afar region, wearing a camouflage uniform and sunglasses, radio in hand. In television footage from the Oromo region (his home region), he is seen leading a section that inspects the bush. Face camera, Abiy Ahmed ensures the communication operation: the advance of the Tigray rebels, he says, is exaggerated. “We are confident that we will win. People back us“.

The announcement this week of his departure to the front line to carry out military operations in particular drew support from artists and athletes, including legendary marathoner Haile Gebreselassie, who participated in a ceremony in Addis Ababa on Saturday. “You are completely destroying the enemy, there is no going back without victory.“Mr. Abiy told the military, in a 34-minute video posted on Twitter by the Prime Minister’s Office on Saturday.”We will win, the enemy disperses. (…) Until we destroy it there will be no rest“.

The power as a whole continues to denounce sensationalist media coverage, even when journalists and NGOs are undesirable in the country and communications in combat zones are cut off. This civil war that extends beyond the Tigray region and that has plunged several hundred thousand people into starvation is a war without images.

Diplomats are also the target: at the end of September, seven UN officials were expelled for “interferenceHe alleged in the affairs of the country. Last week it was the turn of four Irish diplomats, just because their country had given its support to the United Nations Security Council call for a ceasefire.

In recent weeks, diplomatic efforts by the international community have intensified in an attempt to reach an agreement. The African Union envoy for the Horn of Africa and his American counterpart have visited Ethiopia once again. “Without a political solution“US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned, Ethiopia’s ethnic mosaic of 110 million people is in danger of establishing itself.”implode“.

Vince Fernandez

"Professional food trailblazer. Devoted communicator. Friendly writer. Avid problem solver. Tv aficionado. Lifelong social media fanatic."

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