Government of Zambia through its Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit successfully evacuated Zambian citizens from Ethiopia following the escalating conflicts between the federal government and the rebels. The 31 families arrived in Zambia aboard an Ethiopian airline.
Minister of Foreign affairs led a contingence of other government officials to welcome the evacuatees at Lusaka’s Zaf Airport.
President Hakainde Hichilema thanked Ethiopian authorities for their cooperation and everyone involved in this operation. He also appealed to AU,UN and Ethiopian authorities to address the war situation with urgency.
“We will remain fully engaged on the matter as a conflict free Africa is good for everyone.
For us, the life of our Zambian citizens matter wherever they are, we will do everything to get them home safely when faced with insecurity.” Mr Hichilema said.
Zambia becomes the first African country to evacuate its citizens from Ethiopia as rebels advance towards the capital city of Addis Ababa and the country announcing a state of emergency. On the side, the Ethiopian government said that there was no imminent threat to the capital despite claims by the rebel forces.
President HH writes:
Fellow Zambians, on my orders, we have today safely evacuated our fellow citizens from Ethiopia.
We thank the Ethiopian authorities for their cooperation and everyone involved in this operation. We pray that the conflict in Ethiopia is resolved as soon as possible. We call on the African Union and the United Nations to work with the Ethiopian Authorities to quickly address the situation. We will remain fully engaged on the matter as a conflict free Africa is good for everyone.
For us, the life of our Zambian citizens matter wherever they are, we will do everything to get them home safely when faced with insecurity.
God bless Zambia.
Thousands of people have been killed in the year-long war, others detained and millions displaced. According to local news reports, Ethiopia’s UN ambassador said that reaching a solution would not be easy since there is the government on one side and a ‘criminal group’ on the other. However, envoys from the African Union and United States are trying to encourage an immediate ceasefire by Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray forces.
Meanwhile, the US State Department urged all US citizens in Ethiopia to leave the country as soon as possible. “The security environment in Ethiopia is very fluid,” the US embassy in Addis Ababa wrote in a statement published online. “We advise US citizens who are in Ethiopia to leave the country as soon as possible.” The statement also directed people that commercial flights could be booked from Bole International Airport. The State Department set up a task force to oversee the evacuation of and voluntary departure of US embassy staff and their families and other US citizens.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry also announced that it will start the evacuation of its diplomats and their families from Ethiopia. Meanwhile the ministry has since advised people against traveling to Ethiopia and cancel any trips already set.