PH warns citizens against travel to Tigray Region in Ethiopia amid political unrest
Marje Pelayo • November 6, 2020 • 742
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Embassy in Cairo, Egypt advises Filipino nationals to defer non-essential travels to Tigray Region in view of the ongoing unrest in that part of northern Ethiopia.
The State of Emergency has been decreed for a period of six months throughout the National Regional State of Tigray, the Embassy said.
Thus, all Filipinos in Ethiopia, particularly those living in the Tigray region, are strongly advised to coordinate closely with the Philippe Embassy in Cairo and with their employers in the event mandatory evacuation will be necessary.
They may reach the Embassy through its Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) section:
The Philippine Embassy in Cairo on Thursday (November 4) called on Filipinos in Ethiopia to exercise caution, restrict movements, and be prepared for any eventuality.
The warning is brought about by the nationwide state of emergency in Ethiopia.
The advisory said Filipinos in the said country are urged to contact and coordinate with the Philippine Embassy in Cairo in Egypt and the Philippine Consulate in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital regarding their current circumstances and other developments.
The Philippine Embassy in Cairo is accessible through WhatsApp/Mobile: (+20) 1227436472, Facebook/Messenger: PHinEgypt, and email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Philippine Consulate in Addis Ababa, on the other hand, can be reached through telephone number: +251 941110144 and email: email@example.com. —/mbmf
Swarms of desert locusts that that have spread across East Africa could soon threaten widespread food production as they continue to move to more areas, the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.
The locusts, first sighted in Somalia in December, have since spread to Kenya and Ethiopia and are now within 200 km of Uganda and South Sudan, the FAO said in a statement on Monday (February 3).
“For now, Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia have been the main countries that have been infested by the desert locust in billions. But then, there also other countries at risk, especially South Sudan, Uganda, Eritrea, which is also infested so far,” FAO Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department Assistant Director-General Bukar Tijani said.
The hungry swarms threaten to exacerbate food insecurity in a region where up to 25 million people are reeling from three consecutive years of droughts and floods, say aid agencies.
On Sunday (February 2), Somalia declared the locust invasion a national disaster.
“We are in a region where over 11 million people in the three countries are already in acute food insecurity. Therefore, we need to make all possible efforts to avoid such a deterioration. We know that these locusts, the locusts that we see here can create massive devastation not only in terms of crops but also in terms of pasture and therefore affecting the livelihoods of the pastoralist communities. For that to happen, at this critical point, the only solution that works is aerial spraying (of pesticides),” FAO Director of the Emergencies and Rehabilitation Division Dominique Burgeon.
Authorities are responding with aerial spraying of pesticides, but experts say the scale of the infestation is beyond local capacity as desert locusts can travel up to 150 km in a day and multiply at terrifying speeds. (Reuters)
(Production: Donna Omulo, Shane Tietjens, Louisa Naks)
An Ethiopian Airlines jet has crashed shortly after it took off from Addis Ababa, killing all on board.
The airline company said 149 passengers and eight crew members were on board Boeing 737 Max-8, flight ET302 enroute to Nairobi in Kenya.
It added that 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, eight Americans and seven British nationals were among the passengers.
The crash took place at 8:44 a.m. local time, six minutes after the months-old jet took off.
The Philippines expressed its condolences to Ethiopia following the crash.
The Philippine government through the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “the loved ones of those who perished in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 are in our thoughts and prayers.”
The statement also said that the department has directed the Philippine embassies in Cairo and Nairobi to coordinate with concerned authorities in Addis Ababa and Nairobi to determine if there are Filipinos among the 33 foreign nationalities on board the ill-fated aircraft. — Maris Federez
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