Thirty-eight Sri Lankan nationals evacuated from Tigray, Ethiopia
- The Sri Lankan nationals, all employed in the garment industry in Ethiopia, are due to be repatriated back to Sri Lanka soon
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
The Foreign Ministry has repatriated 1,600 Sri Lankans who had been stranded in 32 African countries in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic in the last few weeks, a senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MFR) said yesterday.
Director General of African Affairs at the MFR, Sumith Dassanayake said the Ministry took measures to send five flights to Kenya, Madagascar, Seychelles and Addis Ababa to bring those stranded Sri Lankans home.
Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Embassy in Ethiopia announced yesterday that in consultation with the MFR and the United Nations in Ethiopia, successfully facilitated the evacuation of thirty-eight (38) Sri Lankan nationals from the war zone in Tigray region in the northern part of Ethiopia.
The Sri Lankan nationals, along with foreign nationals belonging to a number of countries, were evacuated by United Nations convoys from Tigray to the Afar region of Ethiopia and have been transported to the capital Addis Ababa. The Sri Lankan nationals, all employed in the garment industry in Ethiopia, are due to be repatriated back to Sri Lanka soon.
The Government of Ethiopia commenced military operations in the Tigray region on November 4th, 2020 after regional forces belonging to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) attacked a federal army base.
Mr. Dassanayake who has also served as the first ambassador of Sri Lanka in Ethiopia pointed out that the rescue mission in Ethiopia to bring Sri Lankans home was carried out as there was a civil war in the north of Ethiopia but other Sri Lankans from African countries were repatriated because they had been stranded due to COVID-19 viral infection.
- The Sri Lankan nationals, along with foreign nationals belonging to a number of countries, were evacuated by United Nations convoys from Tigray