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Ethiopia's House of Peoples' Representatives approves state of emergency, in Addis Ababa on Nov. 4. Photo: Eduardo Soteras/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration is sounding the alarm over the deteriorating security situation in Ethiopia, where the government in Addis Ababa has called on civilians to arm themselves against rebels marching on the capital.

Why it matters: The collapse of Ethiopia — a major African country with a population of 115 million — could cause a massive humanitarian crisis and destabilize the entire region.

In the northern region of Tigray, there have been credible reports of ethnic cleansing and the government using starvation as a weapon of war. Now the Tigrayan rebels are on the offensive and reportedly within 200 miles of the capital.

  • The State Department has issued multiple advisories and held a series of briefings to hammer the same message: There will be no Kabul-style airlift, and U.S. citizens need to get out now while commercial flights are still available.
  • Non-emergency staff at the U.S. embassy in Addis Ababa was ordered to leave in early November. The embassy has not been fully evacuated, but that could change in instant.

What they're saying: “There are no plans to fly the U.S. military into Ethiopia to facilitate evacuations or replicate the contingency effort we recently undertook in Afghanistan, which was a unique situation for many reasons," a senior State Department official told reporters in a briefing Monday.

Between the lines: The Tigray People's Liberation Front, an ethnic nationalist group that ruled Ethiopia until 2018, is no Taliban.

  • But the potential for street violence, arbitrary detentions, supply shortages, and lessons from Afghanistan are driving the Biden administration to take extra precautions.

Go deeper

Nov 24, 2021 - Podcasts

Escalating war in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — a Nobel Peace Prize-winning politician — has said he’ll lead troops who are fighting rebels from the Tigray region of the country in what he’s calling "the final fight" to save Ethopia. Meanwhile, the Biden administration is warning of a potential humanitarian crisis there that could destabilize the entire region.

  • Plus, the rise of vegan Thanksgiving.
  • And, the story of the first Thanksgiving - 1200 miles south of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Guests: Axios' Zach Basu, Ben Montgomery and Russell Contreras.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Julia Redpath, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Alex Sugiura, Sabeena Singhani, Lydia McMullen-Laird, David Toledo and Jayk Cherry. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

Updated 45 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.