UN chief ‘shocked’ by aid worker expulsions from Ethiopia
(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.
.@mfaethiopia declared ”persona non grata” for seven individuals who have been working for some #UN humanitarian agencies in #Ethiopia for meddling in the internal affairs of the country. They must leave the country within the next 72 hrs. 30 September 2021 pic.twitter.com/IDHv6AD145
— MFA Ethiopia🇪🇹 (@mfaethiopia) September 30, 2021
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.
US Says It Will Sanction Those Obstructing Aid to #Tigray@JrPsaki: “The US gov’t condemns in the strongest possible terms the gov’t of #Ethiopia‘s unprecedented action to expel the leadership of all of the @UN organizations involved in ongoing humanitarian operations.” pic.twitter.com/7r2OKXJJrC
— Yonas Nigussie (@Yonigussie) September 30, 2021