Turkish embassy in Ethiopia forced to move to Kenya over insecurity

Drones said to be increasing threats against the consulate

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his Ethiopian counterpart Demeke Mekonnen attend the inauguration ceremony of Ethiopia's new embassy building in Ankara, Turkey, Feb. 15, 2021 (AA Photo)

Turkey's embassy in Ethiopia has had to move to Kenya due to mounting 'drone threats' to the consulate.

A drone strike on a flour mill in May Tsebri, a town in the northwest of Ethiopia (Tigray region), reportedly killed 17 people on Monday January 10 and injured dozens more, according to eyewitnesses.

The January 10 bombings came just days after a similar attack on a camp for displaced persons in Dedebit killed 59 and injured nearly 140 on Friday January 7.

The sale of drones turned the tide of war in Ethiopia. There have been widespread rumours that the Ethiopian government bought drones from Turkey.

The rumours intensified once it was reported that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited Turkey and met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan twice in the past six months.

As the threat to the embassy increased, activities were stopped and Embassy employees have been working from Kenya since, about 1 month.

Ethiopia has been ravaged by a war that broke out between Tigrayan forces and federal troops 14 months ago. Fighting has caused a humanitarian crisis in Tigray with allegations of atrocities leveled against all parties in the conflict.

More than 2 million people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands are living in famine-like conditions with aid to the region blocked.

The TPLF had dominated Ethiopia's central government for nearly 30 years before Abiy came to power in 2018.

Abiy, a Nobel Peace laureate, has come under criticism for his approach to the situation and more recently as government and allied forces supported by neighboring Eritrea have pounded rebel strongholds despite TPLF retreating back to their region in December.

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