Ethiopia Warns US Against Spreading False Information on War 

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Ethiopia’s government has asked the United States to stop spreading lies against the country, state communications minister Kebede Desisa said on Thursday, after the State Department issued an alert about possible “terrorist attacks.”

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government and rebel forces in the Tigre region to the north have been at loggerheads for more than a year, killing thousands and displacing millions in Africa’s second most populous country.

This week, the Irish government said Ethiopia had expelled four of the six Irish diplomats from the country because of Ireland’s stance on the conflict. Ethiopian government spokespeople have also warned against unknown external threats and have repeatedly criticized Western governments for what they say is false coverage of the war.

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Kebede, Minister of State for Communications, told a news conference by state broadcaster EBC that the US government should refrain from spreading “shameful fake news and defamation about Ethiopia”.

He cited a statement on Twitter by the US embassy in Addis Ababa on Wednesday urging its citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance because of the “current potential for terrorist attacks in Ethiopia”.

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Earlier this month, thousands of Ethiopians flocked to the capital to support the government, where they denounced the United States for alleged interference in Ethiopia’s internal affairs. Washington has urged its citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately while the security situation still allows.

On Thursday, dozens of protesters vented their anger at the US embassy in the city, where they displayed banners reading “intervention undemocratic” and “truth triumphs”.

Asked for comment, a US embassy official said the safety of US citizens overseas is one of the State Department’s top priorities, adding: “We are asking US citizens in Ethiopia by using commercially available flight options. Now urge you to leave.”

Tigris forces and their allies have threatened to march on the capital, Addis Ababa. They are also fighting hard to try to cut a transport corridor connecting land-locked Ethiopia with the region’s main port, Djibouti.

On Tuesday, US special envoy Jeffrey Feltman warned of an “alarming” escalation in military operations and said both Abiy and the Tigreyan army feel they are on the verge of a military victory.

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