The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised Norwegians to refrain from traveling to Ethiopia due to fears of civil war.
Yesterday, the Ethiopian government declared a state of emergency as the rebel group seized cities from the country’s northern regions and is moving towards the capital, Addis Ababa, according to the Schengen Visa Info website.
The current crisis in Ethiopia is complex and confusing. Fighting between the Ethiopian National Defense Force and its affiliated forces, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front/Tigrayan Defense Forces and affiliated forces have recently moved to the south. As of November 2, a state of emergency has been imposed across Ethiopia. Visitors are required to comply with these regulations,” stated the press release issued by the Norwegian authorities.
Just one year after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Prize for making peace with neighboring Eritrea, after more than 30 years of fighting, Prime Minister Ahmed declared a state of emergency and called on civilians to arm themselves and protect the capital from being seized.
Norway’s Foreign Minister, Anneken Hetvelt, said the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia and its impact on the region is alarming.
“Norway, including as a member of the United Nations Security Council, has consistently called for a ceasefire, dialogue between the parties and unhindered humanitarian access to Tigray and other parts of Ethiopia,” Minister Hoytfeldt said.
According to Reuters, nine anti-government groups are expected to form a coalition aimed at pushing for a political transition in Ethiopia. Two of them, the Oromo Liberation Army and the Agao Democratic Movement, confirmed to Reuters that the alliance’s announcement was true.
But the leading group remains the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that has been fighting against the policy set by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for more than a year now, a conflict that has killed thousands of people and forces more than two million Ethiopians from their homes due to security concerns.
According to CNN, the fighting left thousands dead, and was said to have dismantled refugee camps, looting, sexual violence, massacres, and unlawful killings. As the United Nations (UN) estimated, many Ethiopians fled to Sudan, recording the worst mass exodus of Ethiopian refugees in the past two decades, as the United Nations (UN) estimated.
Due to COVID-19, all visitors to Ethiopia must submit a negative PCR test upon arrival in the country, which is taken within four days prior to arrival in Ethiopia. Travelers arriving in Ethiopia without a negative test result must be isolated for 14 days. Furthermore, travelers may be subject to screening requirements (telemetry) and questions.
With the exception of Ethiopia, Norway has advised its citizens not to travel to Afghanistan, as safety concerns have increased due to Taliban forces taking control of the country and the former president fleeing the province.
Travel advice for Sudan has also been imposed due to safety concerns, which have increased after the coup in recent weeks.