UN Security Council to discuss Ethiopia’s decision to expel 7 of the UN senior workers



Fri, 01 Oct 2021 - 08:30 GMT


Fri, 01 Oct 2021 - 08:30 GMT

CAIRO – 1 October 2021: The UN Security Council will privately discuss, Friday Ethiopia’s decision to expel seven of the United Nations senior workers, according to Reuters.

On Thursday, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign affairs issued a statement announcing expelling seven individuals ‘who are working for UN humanitarian agencies in Ethiopia for meddling in the internal affairs of the country.’

The Ministry declared the seven individuals as “persona non grata”, and said that they must leave the territory of Ethiopia within the next 72 hours.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement saying that he was shocked by the information that the Government of Ethiopia has declared seven UN officials, including senior UN humanitarian officials, as persona non grata.

“All UN humanitarian operations are guided by the core principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence.  In Ethiopia, the UN is delivering lifesaving aid - including food, medicine, water, and sanitation supplies – to people in desperate need. I have full confidence in the UN staff who are in Ethiopia doing this work.” the statement said.

It was added that the UN is committed to helping Ethiopian people who rely on humanitarian assistance.

“We are now engaging with the Government of Ethiopia in the expectation that the concerned UN staff will be allowed to continue their important work.” The statement concluded.

The United States condemned Ethiopia's expulsion of seven UN officials, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said, warning that Washington will not hesitate to use sanctions against those who obstruct humanitarian efforts in the country.

"The US government condemns in the strongest possible terms the government of Ethiopia's unprecedented action to expel the leadership of all of the United Nations organizations involved in ongoing humanitarian operations," Psaki told reporters at a regular news briefing.

"This is a stain on our collective conscience, and it must stop," he warned.

"The action follows the release of reports warning that hundreds of thousands of people are starving to death in northern Ethiopia. We’re deeply concerned that this action continues a pattern by the Ethiopian government of obstructing the delivery of food, medicine, and other lifesaving supplies that most — to those most in need," Psaki said.

"We call on the UN Security Council and members of the international community to take urgent action to make clear to the government of Ethiopia that impeding humanitarian operations and depriving your own citizens of the basic means of survival is unacceptable," he added.

On September 17, US President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing for sanctions against the warring parties in northern Ethiopia if they fail to commit to a negotiated settlement.





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