Tigray: China Evacuates 630 Nationals After Ethiopian Bombs Hit Sugar Factory

The Chinese government evacuated no fewer than 630 of its nationals from Ethiopia’s conflict-hit northern region of Tigray after federal government forces launched airstrikes.

According to reports, the bombs hit civilian areas, destroyed infrastructure and a Chinese-funded sugar factory.

“On the 13th, the Valkate sugar factory built by a Chinese company in Tigray State was attacked by bombs,” a report by Chinese owned Guancha said.

“Three bombs fell on the sugar factory area and the concrete mixing equipment was damaged.

“Fortunately, no Chinese compatriots were killed or injured. A total of 187 Chinese compatriots work in this sugar factory, and their lives are constantly threatened by war.”

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Over the weekend Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that the month-long offensive was over, saying that the air strikes did not target civilian areas.

Tigray’s regional leaders, who Mr Abiy accuses of treason, have said that fighting still continues despite his claim of victory.

There are several Chinese-funded projects in Ethiopia with many Chinese working in industrial parks in Tigray.

The Tigray conflict coincided with a shutdown of internet and mobile phone communications. It also led to shortages of basic supplies in the local market.

The Chinese embassy in Ethiopia decided to withdraw its nationals from Tigray, saying it was concerned about their wellbeing.

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They were taken to safer areas in the country, the Chinese media report.

For the past decade, Ethiopia has been one of China’s most important bases for its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative – a multi-billion infrastructure project consisting of roads, railways and ports.

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