The Secretary of State to the Minister Resident in Ethiopia (Engert)
26. Your 49, February 21, 9 a.m. received late last night. The situation is being brought to the attention of the Embassy at Rome which is to request that the necessary instructions be sent to the authorities at Addis Ababa to take prompt and effective steps to protect the Legation and its personnel.
While the Department, for humanitarian reasons, does not desire to instruct you regarding the natives who have taken refuge in the compound, it is obvious that the presence of these persons adds greatly to the danger of you and your staff. It is hoped that you will be able to take steps to remove such refugees as soon as you can do so without placing them in danger of their lives.
Please reply as quickly as possible to our cable of yesterday4 and report situation to date.