Ethiopia expels seven UN staff
The Federal Republic of Ethiopia has suspended seven staff members working for the United Nations (UN) agencies for ‘meddling’ in the internal affairs of the Horn of the African country.
Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the development Thursday saying those suspended have been given 72 hours to leave the country.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia 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,” it tweeted.
“They must leave the country within the next 72 hrs,” the statement added.
According to the list shared by the Office of the Spokesperson, those expelled include Mr. Adele Khodr, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia, Mr. Sonny Onyegbula, Monitoring, Reporting and Advocacy Team Leader; United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The list also includes Mr. Kwesi Sansculotte, Peace and Development Advisor; OCHA, Mr. Saeed Mohamoud Hersi: Deputy Head of Office: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia, and Mr. Grant Leaity, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia.
Ms. Ghada Eltahir Mudawi: Acting Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia, and Mrs. Marcy Vigoda, Head of Office: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia are among also among those ordered to leave within the 72-hour ultimatum.
The expulsion came amid reports that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was blocking humanitarian access to people affected by conflict in the Tigray region.
On September 17, 2021, Mr. Abiy wrote an open letter to U.S. President Joe Biden accusing international organizations of distorting the narrative of the conflict between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front.