It is not even a week since the U.S. government urged citizens to leave Ethiopia citing armed conflict and civil unrest. But a team of American missionaries called on peace-loving fellow citizens to come to Ethiopia.
The team arrived in Ethiopia four days before the issuance of a travel warning by the U.S. State Department in a bid to attend church service and visit various places in Addis and some parts of the country.
During their departure yesterday, the missionaries told The Ethiopian Press Agency (EPA) that the situation in country is quite opposite to what is portrayed by some international media outlets and the U.S. embassy’s statement in Ethiopia.
Flame of Fire Missionary Director Eliana Mikylesh said that she was alarmed by media reports and the U.S. travel advisory but during her visit, she found it all untrue. “If you go in the embassy website, it says don’t go. It is in red. It says don’t travel at all. It is absolutely not true. It is very safe very peaceful nothing to worry about. I would tell anyone with plans to visit Ethiopia to come without security concerns. It is very safe to come here.”
The news isn’t portraying the country in the right way,” she said adding that: “anyone who what to know about Ethiopia must come and see it with their own eyes. It is questionable what to trust the government and the media we don’t know what to trust. But I encourage them to see it here. It is all safe.”
Flame of Fire Missionary CEO Andrey Shapoun said on his part that there is a misunderstanding around the world about Ethiopia. “I am here right now. I am a witness. I came here with fifty more people to Addis. I am sitting here right now in the middle of the city. I can testify there is peace here, so welcome and enjoy this country.”
The missionaries said that upon their return, they would try to let people know that Ethiopia is peaceful, the capital is safe and many parts of the country are peaceful.
In an interview with Sputnik, Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S. Fitsum Arega said the U.S. and other countries’ urgency for citizens to leave isn’t realistic.
“Addis Ababa is safe and secure as always. There is no need for alarm. People are living their normal lives. It makes no sense to urge ‘evacuations.’ What we have seen in other parts of the world with people clambering to hold onto planes to make an escape recently is far from occurring in Ethiopia,” he said.
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