Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday announced that the country will shut down several embassies, including one in Kenya, in a bid to manage costs.
The Prime Minister said that it was an unnecessary expenditure to have about 60 embassies and consulates, saying most diplomats should work as non-resident ambassadors.
“Ethiopia shouldn’t have 60 or so embassies and consulates in the present moment. Instead of throwing US dollars everywhere … at least 30 of the embassies should be closed. The ambassadors should instead be here,” Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.
The Prime Minister singled out the Ethiopian Embassy in Kenya, saying the Ambassador could be based in Addis Ababa.
“The Ethiopian ambassador in Kenya probably meets the foreign minister once a year or in two years,” he said.
He further said soon the leaders will be required to drive themselves as the government would not incur the cost of hiring drives, adding that the Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Ministry needs serious reforms.
“What we want is a person who gets wet in the mud and runs while reforming the country,” he said.
The Ethiopian government’s resources have been overstretched following the conflict in Tigray. The government revealed that the country had lost about $2.3 billion since the conflict in the Tigray region erupted in November 2020.
The Tigray War is an ongoing armed conflict that began around midnight of 3–4 November 2020 in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia. The Special Forces of the Tigray Regional government are fighting the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF).
400,000 Facing Starvation in Ethiopia, UN warns
UN officials have warned that recent fighting in the Tigray region of Ethiopia has resulted in a famine that is now affecting more than 400,000 people.
Members of the UN Security Council warned that as many as 33,000 children were severely malnourished and said a further 1.8m people are on the brink of famine as a result of the eight-month conflict.
The Ethiopian government declared a unilateral ceasefire on Monday.