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Ethiopia to Expel Senior UN Staff Following Criticism of Tigray Aid Blockade | #TigrayGenocide

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on September 30, 2021

💭 ይህን “ሳሙኤል ጌታቸው” የተባለ ውዳቂ የአውሬው ቱልቱላ ቸል እንበለው።

Ethiopia said Thursday it would expel seven senior UN officials for “meddling” in its affairs, a move that came after aid workers sounded the alarm on humanitarian access to conflict-torn Tigray.

The seven, who include individuals from UNICEF and UNOCHA, have been declared “persona non grata” and given 72 hours to leave the country, a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday.

The foreign ministry said it had “declared a ‘persona non grata’ for seven individuals who are working for various international NGOs in Ethiopia for meddling in the internal affairs of the country.”

“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 on its Facebook page.

The statement named seven officials working for various UN agencies.

.@mfaethiopia declared ”persona non grata” for seven individuals who have been working for some international NGOs 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/9sk9e7YFYE

— MFA Ethiopia?￰゚ヌᄍ (@mfaethiopia) September 30, 2021

Ethiopia’s northern-most region of Tigray has been mired in conflict since November.

The United Nations has previously estimated that 400,000 people face famine-like conditions there, and fears are growing of deaths from starvation.

The UN has said the region remains under a de-facto blockade and warned of a “looming catastrophe” as fighting between Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed‘s forces and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has spread to neighboring areas.

The UN’s acting humanitarian coordinator for Ethiopia, Grant Leaity – one of the officials facing expulson – warned this month that stocks of relief aid, cash and fuel were “running very low or are completely depleted” and food stocks had run out in late August.

As the war has expanded, claiming thousands of lives, the humanitarian crisis has only deepened.

Earlier this month, doctors told AFP that Tigray was entering a new phase of fatalities driven by the kind of widespread starvation that turned Ethiopia into a byword for famine in the 1980s.

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