Ethiopian authorities expel seven high-level United Nations officials, including heads of humanitarian missions, informs CNN citing the Foreign Ministry of this African state. In a statement released on Thursday, the agency said UN officials were accused of “interfering in the internal affairs” of Ethiopia. They were given 72 hours to leave the country. The expulsion of UN representatives caused an international scandal, and Washington announced its readiness to impose sanctions against Ethiopia.
The decision of the Ethiopian authorities concerns the representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the head of the monitoring team of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the staff of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Moreover, the expulsion of UN representatives was announced a few days after the secretary general of the international organization, Antonio Guterres, announced a humanitarian disaster in the Ethiopian region of Tigray.
“I was shocked to hear that the Ethiopian government had declared seven UN staff persona non grata,” Guterres said. According to him, this is an unprecedented step in the entire history of the existence of an international organization. Guterres noted that the UN is in contact with the Ethiopian authorities. He expressed the hope that “UN staff affected by this decision will receive permission to continue their important work,” transfers Interfax.
The head of the US Department of State Anthony Blinken condemned the decision to expel representatives of UN humanitarian missions and threatened with sanctions if it is not canceled. About it it says in a statement posted on the US Department of State website.
The expulsion is counterproductive to international efforts to ensure the safety of civilians and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the millions of people in need, Blinken said. He called on the international community to use all necessary measures to put pressure on the Ethiopian government to obstruct the work of humanitarian organizations.
On September 17, US President Joe Biden issued a decree allowing sectoral restrictions to be imposed in response to the crisis in northern Ethiopia.
In November 2020, fighting broke out in Tigray in northern Ethiopia between government forces and the region’s former ruling party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Tigray. As a result of the hostilities, local residents lost their livelihoods, important civilian infrastructure was destroyed, and most of the population was forced to flee their homes.
According to reports from human rights defenders, 400,000 people are dying of hunger in Tigray, in northern Ethiopia. At the same time, the country’s authorities, seeking to suppress the rebels in the region, are preventing the delivery of food, medicine and other basic necessities, which are needed by more than five million people suffering from malnutrition.
On November 1, UN experts plan to release a report on extrajudicial executions, torture, abductions and rapes committed during the armed conflict in Ethiopia.
Leave a Reply