State Department urges US citizens to leave Ethiopia

State Department urges US citizens to leave Ethiopia
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The State Department urged Americans in Ethiopia to leave the country "as soon as possible," posting a security alert on the website for the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia on Friday.

The embassy stated that "the security environment in Ethiopia is very fluid. We advise U.S. citizens who are in Ethiopia to leave the country as soon as possible."

The embassy's website then explained the different options available for Americans to depart Ethiopia, specifically from Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport via commercial airlines.

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The embassy also outlined financial assistance options, as well as aid available upon return to the United States and a list of contact information for those who need to get out of Ethiopia. 

The State Department requests that U.S. citizens in Ethiopia — or family members of such citizens — contact the embassy immediately with their names, dates of birth, passport numbers, last known locations, and contact information. 

The State Department's travel advisory website also very strongly urged Americans who are not already in Ethiopia against visiting the country.

The travel advisory cites "armed conflict, civil unrest, communications disruptions, crime, and the potential for terrorism and kidnapping in border areas," as the primary reasons that Americans should not come to Ethiopia at this time, also noting that "further escalation is likely."

On Thursday, the State Department announced that it would be allowing nonemergency U.S. government employees and family members of U.S. government employees to leave as the conflict escalated

The State Department warned that the embassy would have restricted internet access and phone service and would potentially be unable to provide emergency services because of strict travel limitations imposed by Ethiopian forces. 

The war in Ethiopia has been characterized by "extreme brutality" as described by the United Nations. A special U.S. envoy has been sent to the country to urge the deescalation of tensions in the war-torn nation.