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Ireland says Ethiopia has ordered the expulsion of four Irish diplomats News

The Irish ambassador and another diplomat said they could stay, but others had to leave, the government says.

The Irish government said Ethiopia had told them to leave the country with four Irish diplomats serving in the Addis Ababa embassy next week.

The Irish ambassador and another diplomat were told he could be there this week, but the others had to leave, he said in a note on Wednesday.

“I deeply regret this decision by the Ethiopian government,” Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said, adding that he hoped the move would be temporary.

Ethiopian officials did not comment immediately.

Coveney defended Ireland’s stance on the conflict between the government and Tigray’s forces, saying it was in line with other institutions, including the European Union.

Ireland was the signatory to a statement from the United Nations Security Council on 5 November calling for a ceasefire as fighting escalates in the north of the country.

The Irish government said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had called for full humanitarian access, an end to the fighting and the need for political dialogue.

The Irish embassy in Addis Ababa has not closed and the other two diplomats continued to work with the organs, including the African Union.

“Ireland fully supports the role of the African Union in seeking a peaceful solution to the conflict, as well as through the work of its special envoy, former Nigerian President Olesegun Obasanjo,” Coveney said. “We are committed to Ethiopia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The announcement came less than two months after the Ethiopian government ordered seven-year-olds UN officials Leaving Ethiopia accused of ‘getting involved’ in its internal affairs.

The seven officials, including people from UNICEF and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Rights (UNOCHA), called them “persona non grata” and gave them 72 hours to leave the country.

Fighting in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia has been between federal forces and those aligned with them since November 2020.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to Tigray in November 2020 to remove the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which had dominated state politics for three decades after months of tensions with the northern regional government party.

The winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize promised a quick victory, but by the end of June Tigray’s forces had joined forces and recaptured most of Tigray, including the capital Mekelle.

Since then, Tigris forces have pushed into the neighboring Afar and Amhara regions and this week claimed control of Shewa Robit, a road 220 km (135 miles) northeast of Addis Ababa. Tigris forces and their allies have threatened to march on the capital Addis Ababa. They have also been fighting to try to cut off a transport corridor that connects the main port of Djibouti in the Ethiopian region.

Ethiopian state media reported on Wednesday Abiy went to the front line to personally direct the war effort.

“The time has come to drive the country sacrificially,” Abiy said on Twitter on Monday night. “Those who want to be among the Ethiopian children who will be greeted by history, stand up for your country today. Let’s unite on the battlefield. ‘

Thousands of people have been killed in savage conflict caused by gang rape, mass expulsions and the destruction of medical centers.

The chances of breaking up the country have worried both Ethiopians and observers, who are often afraid of what will happen to the region in general. Several countries include the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Turkey he told the citizens to leave immediately.

Today, Ireland recommends not making all trips to Ethiopia and that Irish citizens should leave the country immediately by trade.

Ireland has had a diplomatic presence in Ethiopia since 1994, and has provided $ 185 million in government funding over the past five years.

In the coming weeks, Irish Aid will distribute $ 18 million to partners operating in Ethiopia, including the United Nations Humanitarian Organization.

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