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The Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development (ECHRD) condemns Ethiopia’s expulsion of seven senior officials of the United Nations mission

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October 3, 2021

Press Release

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ECHRD condemns Ethiopia’s expulsion of seven senior officials of the United Nations mission from its country for allegedly interfering in the internal affairs of Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government had announced earlier that 7 senior staff of the United Nations were “Unwanted Characters” and demanded them to leave its lands, within 72 hours – since last Friday. The Ethiopian decision came after a warning from the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Aids that the ban on aid by Addis Ababa could put hundreds of thousands of people in conditions similar to famine.

It is worth noting that the United Nations Humanitarian Resident Coordinator of Ethiopia accused the Abiy government in early September of obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid to Tigray and that the nearly three-month “actual blockade” of the Tigray border had limited aid access to 10% of what was needed. The TPLF accused the government of committing genocide, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military attack on the TPLF last November 2020.

The Ethiopian decision came after a similar step last August When the Ethiopian government demanded Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)- one of the international charitable organizations providing health care to people in conflict areas- stop its operations. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), which provides assistance to some 600,000 people in six regions across Ethiopia, has also received similar orders.

The Ethiopian government has named the seven UN officials, who are: Adele Khoder- UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia, Sonny Onigula- Head of the Monitoring, Reporting and Advocacy Team at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Kwesi Sanskolot- Peace and Development Adviser United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Said Mahmoud Hersi- Deputy Head of the OCHA in Ethiopia, Grant Leyte- Deputy pf the OCHA, Ghada Taher Midawi- Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the OCHA in Ethiopia, and Marcy Vegoda- Head of the OCHA in Ethiopia.

ECHRD denounces the hostilities in the Tigray region, which are deliberate by the Ethiopian army, which increase the scale of the humanitarian disasters against the Ethiopian people, which prompted hundreds of thousands of people to flee from the Tigray region. According to UN figures, more than 5.2 million people in the north of the country are currently dependent on humanitarian aid and more than 400,000 are at risk of famine.

ECHRD shares the United Nations and the countries providing aid, food, medicine and other life-saving supplies, concern over the worsening humanitarian crisis in Tigray.

Finally, ECHRD demands the international community and the Security Council to intervene and take decisive decisions to stop human rights violations by the Ethiopian government.

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