Foreigners, diplomats and citizens are said to be fleeing Addis Ababa, as rebel forces close in on the Ethiopian capital.
Tigray fighters and Oromo rebels are said to have surrounded the capital.
George Anderson, a freelance journalist and researcher, in a tweet on Wednesday, said that airlines departing Addis Ababa were ”reported to be fully-booked as diplomats, government officials and Ethiopian citizens flee Addis with imminent takeover by Tigray/Oromo forces.”
Airlines departing from Addis Ababa are reported to be fully booked as diplomats, government officials and Ethiopian citizens flee Addis with imminent takeover by Tigray/Oromo force,” he said.
Ethiopia declared a six-month state of emergency on Tuesday after Tigray rebels captured strategic cities and said they were moving towards the capital, Addis Ababa.
The announcement came two days after the country’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed asked citizens to take up arms to defend themselves against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
According to the BBC, Ahmed was said to have asked his countrymen to “pick up arms and defend” Addis Ababa against the rebels.
“Any type of weapons to block the destructive TPLF, to overturn it and bury it. Dying for Ethiopia is a duty (for) all of us,” he said.
War broke out in 2020 between Ethiopia and rebels in the Tigray region seeking to break away from the country.
Ahmed, who won the Nobel Peace Prizein 2019, has been accused of committing crimes against humanity in the Tigray region.
The United States on November 2, issued a travel advisory, saying the security environment in Ethiopia has deteriorated significantly in the last several days with a continued escalation of armed conflict and civil unrest in Amhara, Afar and Tigray.
“A significant portion of the A2 highway connecting Addis Ababa with cities to the North has been restricted by federal authorities which has led to disruptions, stranded travellers, and a generally non-permissive travel environment,” the advisory read.
Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State, expressed concern in a tweet.
“The United States is alarmed by reports of the TPLF takeover of Dessie and Kombolcha. Continued fighting prolongs the dire humanitarian crisis in Northern Ethiopia. All parties must stop military operations and begin ceasefire negotiations without preconditions,” Blinken said.