FILIPINOS in Ethiopia have been advised to be vigilant and to refrain from going out of their homes amid an escalating civil war in the African nation.
The advisory came from the Philippine Embassy in Egypt which also has diplomatic and consular jurisdiction over Ethiopia.
The Embassy also asked Filipinos there to be “prepared for any eventuality.”
“Dahil sa state of emergency sa Ethiopia, ang Pasuguan ng Pilipinas sa Cairo ay nananawagan sa ating mga kababayan sa Ethiopia na mag-ingat at maging handa. Mangyari ay makipag-ugnayan sa Pasuguan at sa Consulado sa Addis Ababa ukol sa inyong kalagayan [Because of the state of emergency in Ethiopia, the Philippine Embassy in Cairo is calling on our countrymen to take precautions and be prepared. Please get in touch with the Embassy and the Consulate in Addis Ababa to give an update of your situation] ,” the Embassy said.
There are 800 Filipinos in Ethiopia, mostly working as technical and vocational instructors, and international civil servants. Some are spouses of Ethiopians.
Ethiopia declared a nationwide state of emergency last week as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front is moving towards the capital of Addis Ababa. For the past year, Tigray forces have been trying to topple the government, and recently the rebels have seized control over other key cities.
Last August, 3,000 railway workers — including 299 Filipinos — lost their jobs after their employer, the Turkish Yapi Merkezi company, suspended operations following attacks by the Tigray on the construction camps and the railway itself. The 394 km-railway was supposed to link the northern and eastern corridors of Ethiopia to passenger and freight traffic. A special flight was facilitated for the Filipinos’ repatriation from Addis Ababa to Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Filipinos in Ethiopia are also encouraged to fill out an online form to update their contact details. For more information, they may reach the Embass in Cairo or the honorary consulate in Addis Ababa.
Image courtesy of AP