ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – The Ethiopian government has asked the United States to stop spreading lies against the country, the Prime Minister of Communications said on Thursday after the US State Department issued a warning of potential “terrorist attacks”.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and rebel forces from the Tigray region in the north have been fighting for more than a year in a conflict that has killed thousands and displaced millions in Africa’s second most populous nation.
This week, the Irish government said Ethiopia had expelled four out of six Irish diplomats https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/ireland-says-ethiopia-expels-four-irish-diplomats-2021-11- 24 because of Ireland’s position on the conflict. Spokesmen for the Ethiopian government have also warned of unnamed external threats and criticized Western governments for what they say is inaccurate coverage of the war.
Kebede Dessisa, the prime minister, said the US government should refrain from spreading “shameful fake news and defamation concerning Ethiopia,” the state television station EBC reported.
He referred to a statement from the US Embassy on Tuesday urging its citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance because of “the ongoing possibility of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia.”
Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Ethiopians met in the capital to condemn https://www.reuters.com/world/africa/rally-back-militarys-campaign-ethiopians-denounce-us-2021-11-07 United States for alleged interference in Ethiopia’s internal affairs.
On Thursday, dozens of protesters took their anger to the U.S. embassy in the city, displaying banners that read “Interference is Unemocratic” and “Truth Wins.”
Asked for comment, a U.S. embassy official said security for U.S. citizens abroad is one of the State Department’s top priorities, adding that Washington continued to urge U.S. citizens in Ethiopia to leave using commercial available aircraft.
The state-run Ethiopian Press Agency said a protest was also taking place outside the British embassy. It was not immediately possible to reach the British government for comment. On Wednesday, Britain asked its nationals to leave Ethiopia immediately.
More than 400,000 people are facing famine in Tigray, the UN has said for months.
A convoy of about 40 trucks carrying emergency supplies, including food, had been driven to Tigray from neighboring Afar, the UN said on Wednesday. The UN estimates that 100 trucks must drive into Tigray every day to meet humanitarian needs.
(Reporting on the Addis Ababa newsroom, writing by Duncan Miriri; editing by George Obulutsa, William Maclean and Maggie Fick)