ADDIS ABABA, Nov 25, Reuters - Ethiopia's government has asked the United States to stop spreading falsehoods against the country, the state minister of communication Kebede Dessisa said on Thursday after the State Department issued an alert about potential terrorist attacks Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's government and rebellious 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.
The Irish government said this week that four of six Irish diplomats were expelled from the country because of Ireland's stance on the conflict. Spokespeople for the Ethiopian government have warned against unnamed external threats and repeatedly criticised Western governments for their inaccurate coverage of the war.
Kebede, the state minister, was quoted by EBC as saying that the U.S. government should not disseminating shameful fake news and defamation regarding Ethiopia. He urged citizens to maintain a high level of vigilance due to the possibility of terrorist attacks in Ethiopia, a statement on Wednesday by the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa. Earlier this month, tens of thousands of Ethiopians rallied in the capital to support the government, where they denounced the United States for interference in Ethiopia's internal affairs. Washington urged citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately while the security situation still permits.
On Thursday dozens of protesters took their anger to the U.S. embassy in the city, where they displayed banners saying "Interference is Undemocratic and Truth Wins Asked for comment. We continue to urge US citizens in Ethiopia to depart now using commercially available flight options," a U.S. official said. Tigrayan forces and their allies have threatened to march on the capital Addis Ababa. They have been fighting fiercely to try to cut a transport corridor connecting landlocked Ethiopia with the region's main port Djibouti.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Special Envoy Jeffrey Feltman warned of an alarming increase in military operations and said Abiy and the Tigrayan forces seem to believe they are on the brink of military victory.