France will begin repatriating some of its nationals from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday night after chartering a special flight to bring them back to Paris, a Foreign Ministry source said.
France last week urged all its nationals to leave Ethiopia without delay as the conflict in the country escalates.
“The European and Foreign Affairs Ministry has decided to charter a special flight to facilitate the departure of our compatriots. It is fully paid for,” the source said.
Ethiopian government spokesperson Legesse Tulu did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Meanwhile, Ethiopia has announced new restrictions on the sharing of information about the war in the north of the country which stipulates that battlefront updates can only come from the government.
“Disseminating information on military maneuvers, war front updates and results via any medium is forbidden,” except for information provided by a joint civilian-military command set up to oversee a state of emergency, the government’s communication service said late on Thursday.
The statement did not specify the implications of the new rules for journalists or media outlets covering the war, which broke out last November between the government and rebellious forces from the northern region of Tigray.
It did not, for instance, address the consequence of publishing information provided by unauthorised sources.
Ethiopia’s media regulator did not return calls from Reuters seeking clarification on the matter.
The Prime Minister’s spokesperson, Billene Seyoum, told Reuters on Friday, “The state of emergency prohibits unauthorised entities from disseminating activities from the front via various channels including media.”
She did not elaborate.
Ethiopia’s parliament designated the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, the party that controls most of Tigray, a terrorist group earlier this year.