Americas, Africa

Canada warns nationals to ‘immediately’ leave Ethiopia

Trudeau urges warring sides to negotiate 'peaceful resolution’

Barry Ellsworth   | 26.11.2021
Canada warns nationals to ‘immediately’ leave Ethiopia

TRENTON, Canada 

Canada issued an urgent warning Thursday for its nationals to “immediately” leave warn-torn Ethiopia. 

"If you are in Ethiopia, leave the country immediately if it is safe to do so," the government said on its website. "The availability of commercial flights could become limited in the near future. Our ability to provide consular assistance is limited, including in Addis Ababa."

The statement said to avoid all travel to Ethiopia "due to ethnic conflicts, civil unrest, the ongoing armed conflicts in the north of the country and the risk of them spreading."

The Ethiopian government under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is battling Tigray People’s Liberation Front forces in the north and there is documented evidence that both sides have contributed to "appalling, deeply disturbing and completely unacceptable violence,” according to a Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights joint investigation report that was accepted by Canada and other western countries.

The warning comes days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Abiy and attempted to stop the violence.

"I underscored the need for an immediate cessation of hostilities, increased humanitarian access on an urgent basis and meaningful dialogue towards a peaceful resolution," Trudeau said at the time.

It did not work, and Thursday, Trudeau was on the phone again, this time with the African Union's representative Olusegun Obasanjo.

Trudeau said he expressed "Canada's strong and ongoing commitment to supporting efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to the conflict," according to a readout of the conservation.

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