The cabinet calls on the Dutch in Ethiopia “urgently” to leave the country. Outgoing minister Knapen said in the House of Representatives that there are enough commercial flights available for this. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously warned about the situation in the East African country, but this encouragement goes further. Knapen said the ministry is monitoring the situation day by day and that “we have now reached the next phase”.

A war has long been raging in Ethiopia and rebels from the Tigray People’s Liberation Army say they are getting closer to the capital Addis Ababa. Countries such as the United States, France and Germany have also called on their citizens to leave Ethiopia.

Only a ‘core staff’ of the Dutch embassy remains present. The rest of the employees and their relatives have already returned to the Netherlands.

Code red

Furthermore, code red now applies to all of Ethiopia. This means that traveling to the country is strongly discouraged.

For the time being, Knapen does not intend to pay for the tickets of Dutch people who want to return home: “If there are major problems, we are always willing to lend a helping hand. But that people can now apply for financing, while we are already knowing for a long time what the situation is in Addis Ababa, we think it is a bit premature.”

The Ethiopian Tigray was not accessible to journalists for a long time, but correspondent Elles van Gelder was allowed to enter the area last summer:

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