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Ethiopia Calls for Restraint in Ukraine Crisis

FILE - Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends a rally in Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia, April 11, 2018.
Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has called for restraint in the Ukraine conflict, noting his country's own suffering after a year of war. The statement notably did not condemn Russia for invading its neighbor.

Many countries over the past week have condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Ethiopia refrained from joining the chorus Thursday, issuing an official statement in which it called for restraint from both parties in the Ukraine crisis.

The statement from the office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Ethiopia is concerned by what it termed the escalation of rhetoric that is intensifying the conflict.

It called on all parties to find pathways toward reaching an end to hostilities,

and noted that Ethiopia’s own war in the Tigray region has devastated communities and families and has damaged the country’s economy.

However, the statement did not condemn any entity for the conflict in Ukraine.

A day earlier, Ethiopia also abstained from voting on a United Nations General Assembly vote that called on Russia to remove its troops from Ukraine.

Ethiopian officials have not explained the decision to avoid condemning Moscow. However, Ethiopia had close ties to the Soviet Union during the 14-year rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam, and a number of Ethiopian students are currently studying in Russia.

Other Ethiopian students were in Ukraine when the invasion began, and the Ethiopian embassy there says 25 had been evacuated as of Wednesday.