The Ethiopian authorities expelled four Irish diplomats from the country, informs Reuters citing Irish Foreign and Defense Minister Simon Coveni. The reason for the expulsion of the diplomats is the position taken by Ireland against the backdrop of the unfolding internal political crisis in Ethiopia.
Kouveni said that Dublin’s policy towards Ethiopia is fully consistent with the positions of the UN Security Council and the European Union. Only two Irish diplomats now remain in Ethiopia.
September 30 Ethiopian authorities announced personami non grata of seven UN humanitarian workers. They were accused of interfering in the internal affairs of the country.
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. The expulsion of UN employees caused an international scandal, and the US authorities announced their readiness to impose sanctions against 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.
At the end of June 2021, the Ethiopian federal government unilaterally declared a ceasefire, after which it imposed a blockade on Tigray, not allowing food, medicine and fuel to enter the region in violation of international law.
According to reports from human rights defenders, 400,000 people are dying of hunger in Tigray. At the same time, the country’s authorities, in an effort to suppress the resistance of the rebels, are hindering the delivery of food, medicine and other basic necessities, which are needed by more than five million residents of Tigray.
In early November, UN experts published a report on human rights violations in Ethiopia. The experts came to the conclusion that all parties to the armed conflict, to one degree or another, have committed violations of international and humanitarian law. Some of these violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. In particular, all parties to the conflict committed murder, torture and sexual violence. However, the blockade of Tigray, for which the government forces are responsible, significantly aggravates the situation and prevents the provision of assistance to the victims.