Categories: Africa

Over A Dozen Local UN Staff Held In Ethiopia

In this file photo taken on August 01, 2019 Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed gives a press conference at the Prime Minister’s office in the capital, Addis Ababa. MICHAEL TEWELDE / AFP

 

More than a dozen Ethiopian staffers working for the United Nations have been arrested in Addis Ababa in raids targeting ethnic Tigrayans under a state of emergency, UN and humanitarian sources told AFP Tuesday.

“Some of them were taken from their homes,” one of the sources said, while a UN spokeswoman in Geneva said requests for their release had been submitted to the foreign ministry.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government announced a six-month nationwide emergency a week ago amid rising fears that fighters from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) rebel groups could advance on the capital.

Human rights groups including Amnesty have denounced the emergency measures, which allow for anyone suspected of supporting “terrorist groups” to be searched and held without a warrant.

READ ALSO: Ethiopia’s Oromo Rebel Leader Predicts Victory ‘Very Soon’

Lawyers say arbitrary detentions of ethnic Tigrayans — commonplace during the war — have spiked in the last week, ensnaring thousands.

Law enforcement officials describe such detentions as part of a legitimate crackdown on the TPLF and OLA.

Tensions between Abiy’s government and the UN have been high throughout the war, which has left thousands dead and, according to UN estimates, pushed hundreds of thousands into famine-like conditions.

In late September Ethiopia’s foreign ministry announced it was expelling seven senior UN officials for “meddling” in the country’s affairs.

Abiy sent troops into Tigray in November 2020 to topple the TPLF, but by late June the TPLF had regrouped and retaken most of the region.

Since then Tigray has been under what the UN describes as a de facto aid blockade.

UN security officers “have visited the detained colleagues”, a UN spokeswoman in Geneva told AFP Tuesday.

“Notes verbales have also been sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to request the immediate release of the detained personnel,” the spokeswoman said.

A spokesperson for the world body in Ethiopia, meanwhile, said the UN was “in the process of verifying and following up on the reports of arrests related to its staff members”.

“The safety and security of UN staff remain at the highest priority for the UN in Ethiopia,” the spokesperson said.

AFP

Solomon Elusoji

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
Solomon Elusoji
Tags: Ethiopia Tigray United Nations

Recent Posts

  • Local

Residents Celebrate As Military Dislodge Bandit Camps In Zamfara Forest

  Nigerian Troops have destroyed many bandit camps in Gwashi, Bukkuyum Local Government Area, and some parts of Anka forest…

3 mins ago
  • Sports

Southampton End Man City’s 12-Game Winning Run

  Manchester City's 12-game winning run in the Premier League came to an end as Aymeric Laporte rescued a 1-1…

55 mins ago
  • Politics

‘I Am No Longer In Partisan Politics’, Obasanjo Tells PDP Leaders

   Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Saturday said he is no longer interested in partisan politics. He made the…

2 hours ago
  • Features
  • Local

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Rice Pyramids & Ethiopian Epiphany

  As curated by channelstv.com's photo editor, Sodiq Adelakun, here are the photographs that captured our attention this week:  …

2 hours ago
  • Sports

Rashford Stuns West Ham To Send Man Utd Into Top Four

  Marcus Rashford struck with virtually the last kick of the game to take Manchester United into the Premier League top four at…

3 hours ago
  • Headlines

Labour Gives FG Conditions For Removing Fuel Subsidy

  The Trade Union Congress on Saturday gave conditions for the removal of fuel subsidies. The Federal Government has hinted…

3 hours ago