ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The Ethiopian government has called on the United States to stop spreading lies against the country, the Minister of State for Communications said on Thursday after the United States State Department issued a alert on possible “terrorist attacks”.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and rebel forces in the northern Tigray region have been fighting for more than a year, in a conflict that has left thousands dead and displaced millions in the second-most populated by Africa.
This week the Irish government said Ethiopia expelled four of the six Irish diplomats https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/ireland-says-ethiopia-expels-four-irish-diplomats-2021-11 -24 due to position on conflict. Ethiopian government spokespersons have also warned of anonymous external threats and criticized Western governments for what they say is inaccurate coverage of the war.
Kebede Dessisa, Minister of State, said the US government should refrain from broadcasting “shameful false news and slander concerning Ethiopia,” state broadcaster EBC reported.
He referred on Tuesday to a statement by the US Embassy urging its citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance due to “the continuing possibility of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia”.
Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Ethiopians gathered in the capital to denounce https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/rally-back-militarys-campaign-ethiopians-denounce-us- 2021-11-07 the United States for alleged interference in the internal affairs of Ethiopia.
On Thursday, dozens of protesters expressed their anger at the US embassy in the city, where they displayed banners saying “Interference is undemocratic” and “The truth prevails.”
Asked for comment, a US Embassy official said the security of US citizens abroad is one of the State Department’s top priorities, adding that Washington continues to urge US citizens in Ethiopia to depart using commercially available flights.
Ethiopia’s state-run news agency said a protest also took place outside the UK embassy. It was not immediately possible to contact the UK government for comment. Britain on Wednesday asked its nationals to leave Ethiopia immediately.
More than 400,000 people are facing famine in Tigray, the United Nations has said for months.
A convoy of around 40 trucks carrying relief supplies, including food, had left for Tigray from Afar, the UN said on Wednesday. The UN estimates that 100 trucks should enter Tigray each day to meet humanitarian needs.
(Reporting from the Addis Ababa Newsroom, written by Duncan Miriri; edited by George Obulutsa, William Maclean and Maggie Fick)