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Zambian president orders evacuation of nationals from Ethiopia

Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema presents his national statement as part of the World Leaders' Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021 [ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Zambia's President Hakainde Hichilema presents his national statement as part of the World Leaders' Summit of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021 [ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

President Hakainde Hichilema, on Tuesday, ordered Zambians who live and work in Ethiopia to leave because of civil unrest in the East African nation.

"Fellow Zambians, on my orders, we have today safely evacuated our fellow citizens from Ethiopia. We thank the Ethiopian authorities for their cooperation and everyone involved in this operation and we pray that the conflict in Ethiopia is resolved as soon as possible," Hichilema's office said in a statement.

A group of 31 Zambians arrived aboard an Ethiopian flight at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and were greeted by Foreign Minister, Stanley Kakubo.

"We started [the evacuation] with our female diplomats and non-essential staff last week; we still have a skeleton staff to man the mission and also to arrange for any other eventualities," Emmanuel Mwamba, outgoing Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union (AU), said via a text message to reporters.

Hichilema asked the AU and the UN to work with Ethiopian authorities to quickly address the volatile situation in Ethiopia, saying his government remained fully engaged in the matter as a conflict-free Africa was good for everyone.

"For us, the life of our Zambian citizens' matter wherever they are, we will do everything to get them home safely when faced with insecurity," he added.

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