Canada keeps only essential personnel in Ethiopia as security deteriorates

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OTTAWA – The worsening security in Ethiopia has prompted Canada to withdraw relatives of diplomats and non-essential personnel from the country.

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Global Affairs Canada issued a statement today saying that the situation is rapidly deteriorating amid hostilities in the northern region of the country, and that the safety of Canadians is the department’s top priority.

The department is urging people to consider leaving the country if they can do so safely.

It also encourages all Canadians in Ethiopia to frequently refer to Global Affairs travel advice and advisories and to register with the department.

Global Affairs says the Canadian embassy in Addis Ababa remains open and consular officials are ready to assist Canadians in need of emergency assistance.

Canadians can also contact the department’s Emergency Surveillance and Response Center 24 hours a day at [email protected].

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The United Nations says that after heavy fighting broke out a year ago between government troops and those loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), some 5.2 million people remain in need of assistance in Ethiopian Tigray regions, Amhara and Afar.

Amid reports of widespread human rights abuses on all sides, it is feared that thousands of people have been killed and more than two million have been forced to flee their homes, the UN says.

“Canada supports all the people of Ethiopia. The documented violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law are deeply concerning, ”said Global Affairs Canada.

“Canada calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and an end to indiscriminate attacks against civilians and humanitarian personnel in northern Ethiopia. Humanitarian access must be guaranteed ”.

In a tweet on Sunday, Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said she spoke with Ambassador Stephane Jobin about the events.

“Our hearts go out to all Canadians who are concerned for their loved ones in Ethiopia.”

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