In what a defense official with first-hand knowledge of matters described as “prudent planning”, three warships in the Middle East have also been put on hold to provide support for evacuations should it become necessary, although State Department officials have warned that there are no plans to conduct a full-scale military evacuation in Ethiopia.
“There are no plans to send the US military to Ethiopia to facilitate evacuations or replicate the emergency effort we recently undertook in Afghanistan, which was a unique situation for many reasons,” said Monday. a senior State Department official told reporters, stressing that US citizens should leave immediately using available commercial flights.
“We’re still, of course, engaged in contingency planning for assumptions, but again, with airports wide open, there’s no reason for that,” they said.
In early November, the State Department ordered the departure of non-urgent US government personnel and their family members from the US Embassy in Addis Ababa “due to armed conflict, civil unrest and possible supply shortages ”.
The defense official with first-hand knowledge told CNN on Monday that three amphibious warships currently in the Middle East – the USS Essex, the USS Portland and the USS Pearl Harbor – were on standby and could be used for possible civilian evacuation efforts. The official said that at this point the United States is not planning a widespread evacuation of Americans, but even a small number will not be able to get to the airport and catch a commercial flight.
The U.S. Embassy has issued frequent alerts warning U.S. citizens to leave, and in early November, the State Department raised its travel advisory for Ethiopia to Level 4: Do not travel and issued guidelines. strict for those planning to travel or stay in the country, including making a will, leaving DNA samples with a medical provider, and designating someone as a point of contact in case the person is taken hostage .