Home | News    Tuesday 7 April 2015

Attack on Ethiopian embassy in Yemen not deliberate

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By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

April 6, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Ethiopian embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, was shelled last Friday during fighting between government forces and Houthi militias.

The Ethiopian government however said it didn’t believe the attack was deliberate, saying the embassy appeared to have been caught in the crossfire.

No diplomatic consular staff were injured, with the incident causing some minor damage to the embassy buildings.

Following the recent upsurge in violence, many countries have shut down their missions in Sana’a and evacuated their diplomatic personnel amid growing security fears.

However, the embassy, which is currently tied up evacuating hundreds of Ethiopian nationals, said it would continue to operate in the capital.

According to the ministry of foreign affairs, more than 2,000 Ethiopians have registered to be evacuated from Yemen, with many due to arrive in Ethiopia in the coming days.

Officials said the worsening security situation has impeded the rescue operations.

The first group of 30 Ethiopian evacuees have arrived at the Djibouti port with many more waiting for safe return.

An estimated 50,000 Ethiopians live in Yemen.

The evacuation comes after the Ethiopian government established a national committee last week to organise the operation.

SUPPORT FOR SAUDI-LED ALLIANCE

Meanwhile, Ethiopian prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn has voiced his government’s support for military actions by the Arab alliance forces against Yemen’s Houthi rebels who deposed president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Last month, Saudi Arabia led a coalition in a military operation against the Shi’ite rebels who took control of the Yemeni capital six months ago.

Saudi says the operation is aimed at defending the Yemeni people and reinstating the legitimate government.

Desalegn said Ethiopia opposes unconstitutional attempts at regime change.

“Ethiopia supports efforts to bring about political stability in Yemen and foster peace,” he told the state-run Ethiopia Broadcasting Corporation (EBC).

Desalegn, who is also chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), has stressed that restoring Yemen’s security and stability was equally critical for development in East Africa’s Red Sea region.

A total of 10 mainly Sunni Arab states are taking part in the military operation, which is carrying out air strikes in a bid to stop the radical rebel group from taking full control of Yemen.

(ST)

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