UN chief ‘shocked’ by aid worker expulsions from Ethiopia

UN chief ‘shocked’ by aid worker expulsions from Ethiopia

AFP

(i24news)—Seven UN officials were declared expelled for ‘meddling’ in the country’s affairs

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “shocked” Thursday by Ethiopia’s decision to expel seven senior United Nations officials from the African country, which is facing the threat of famine in its war-torn Tigray region.

“I was shocked by the information that the Government of Ethiopia has declared seven UN officials … as persona non grata,” Guterres said in a statement after the announcement by Ethiopia’s foreign ministry, which accused the officials of “meddling.”

He said the body was “delivering lifesaving aid — including food, medicine, water, and sanitation supplies -– to people in desperate need” in Ethiopia.

“I have full confidence in the UN staff who are in Ethiopia doing this work,” Guterres continued. 

The expulsions ratcheted up worries over the humanitarian response in Tigray, which has been mired in conflict since November

The seven UN officials, including the local heads of the UN children’s agency UNICEF and its humanitarian coordination office, were declared “persona non grata” for “meddling in the internal affairs of the country,” Ethiopia’s foreign ministry said in a statement published on its Facebook page. 

“According to the letters addressed to each of the 7 individuals listed below, all of them must leave the territory of Ethiopia within the next 72 hours,” it said.

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