DUBLIN, Ireland - The Irish Foreign Affairs' Department has asked its citizens to leave Ethiopia immediately.
The intensifying battle in Ethiopia has heightened international concern as Tigrayan rebels get closer to the capital, Addis Ababa.
According to Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney, due to an intensification in the political situation in the conflict-ridden nation, roughly 80 Irish citizens in Ethiopia have been urged to leave the country.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian government has warned Ireland's embassy in Addis Ababa that four of the embassy's 6 Irish diplomats must leave the country within a week. It has allowed Ireland's ambassador and one other diplomat to stay.
According to Ethiopian officials, the decision to reduce the size of Ireland's embassy in Addis Ababa is owing to Ireland's international stance on the ongoing violence and humanitarian situation in Ethiopia, particularly at the United Nations Security Council.
Simon Coveney responded to the news by saying he profoundly regretted the Ethiopian government's decision and that the Ethiopian government was targeting Ireland because of its commentary.