Norway’s foreign ministry was calling on Norwegian citizens to leave war-torn Ethiopia during the weekend. Norwegian missionaries were being evacuated, confirmed two Norwegian Lutheran organizations.
“We have 17 adults and 10 children in Ethiopia,” Espen Ottosen, acting secretary general of Misjonssambandet told state broadcaster NRK. All were threatened by growing uncertainty and political tension, along with extreme violence as demonstrations both for and against Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed broke out during the weekend. He accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo just two years ago, after striking peace agreements with Eritrea, but now is waging war against his political opponents in the disputed Tigray region.
Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said Norway was sharpening its travel warnings and urging Norwegian citizens to leave while the airport in Addis Ababa was still open. The Norwegian government, meanwhile, was urging all parties involved in the conflicts “to put down weapons and go into dialogue.”
The UN Security Council, of which Norway is a member, was also urging a ceasefire and warning that “both the humanitarian situation and Ethiopia itself could collapse,” according to Norway’s UN ambassador Mona Juul.