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3 Bangladeshis unaccounted for in war-torn Ethiopia

  • Published at 04:33 am November 25th, 2020
Ethiopia Conflict
File photo: Members of Amhara region militias ride on their truck as they head to face the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), in Sanja, Amhara region near a border with Tigray on November 9, 2020 Reuters

Five more evacuated from war-ravaged areas in addition to 102 earlier rescued

Three Bangladesh nationals are unaccounted for in war-torn Ethiopia and their fate is unknown.

"Unfortunately, three Bangladeshis are unaccounted for. They did not update their location in the embassy database," Tarik Hasan, counsellor and chargé d'affaires of Bangladesh embassy in Ethiopia, told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday night from Addis Ababa. 

"We did not know about them. When we checked area by area, we were reported about three Bangladeshis in Axum. According to our database, they should be in another location," he said.

"We tried to reach them but by this time all United Nations and International organizations like Red Cross have already pulled out of the area. Despite several attempts, they could not be located," Hasan said. 

"Now, the place is a warzone and nobody has access. I'm afraid I cannot tell you how they are right now. We have exhausted all our options to find them," said the official.

"We've requested the Ethiopian government, UN and Red Cross to help us find them. We're also constantly trying their cell phones without any success, as the mobile networks are disrupted due to the ongoing war," he said.

Also Read - Calls to protect civilians in Ethiopia as decisive battle looms

Earlier, 102 Bangladeshi readymade garment workers were rescued from the war-torn Tigray region.

However, four Bangladeshis had been still stuck in the region situated in the north of Ethiopia.

Those four Bangladesh nationals were flown back to Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, on Saturday night, informed Counselor Hasan.

"Another Bangladeshi named Sister Monica Rozario was also taken into safe custody," he said. 

Altogether, 107 Bangladeshis were evacuated to safety, he said.

The military confrontation between the federal government of Ethiopia and defiant authorities of its northern Tigray region, about 950 kilometres from Addis Ababa, began on November 4 after the prime minister of the country accused Tigray People’s Liberation Front of attacking a military base.

Around 1,000 Bangladeshis used to live in Ethiopia before the outbreak of coronavirus. Now, it is estimated that 700-750 Bangladeshis are currently living in that country.

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