The State Department on Wednesday authorized the departure of non-emergency government personnel and family members from Ethiopia “due to armed conflict, civil unrest, and possible supply shortages,” according to a security alert from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa.
U.S. citizens in Ethiopia should consider departing now using commercial options. Those planning to remain should ensure they have sufficient provisions stocked in case they need to shelter in place,” the alert said.
On Tuesday, the State Department raised its travel advisory level to the highest -- Level 4: Do Not Travel -- after Ethiopian authorities announced a nationwide state of emergency amid escalating violence.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price reiterated on Wednesday that the US is “gravely concerned by the escalating violence" and "the expansion of the fighting" in northern Ethiopia and other parts of the country.
Price also confirmed that America's special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, will travel to Ethiopia on Thursday.
We call on all Ethiopians to commit to peace and resolution of grievances through dialogue and Ambassador Feltman in his travels there, will have an opportunity to continue the discussions that have been ongoing, including with the Ethiopian government for some time now,” Price said.
The government of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed refused a visit from him as recently as last month, according to a senior administration official, and it is unclear who in Ethiopia's government Feltman will meet with during his trip.
The African Union's chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat, who is based in Addis, said that he had met with Feltman to discuss developments in Ethiopia on Thursday.