The expelled United Nations officials include those from UNICEF; OHCHR, the United Nations’s human rights office; and UNOCHA, the UN’s humanitarian agency.
Famine like conditions in the Tigray region of Ethiopia had been seen as a matter of concern that was fast slipping out of control, over the past few months.
With more than 5 million people going hungry and around 400,000 pushed to utter poverty, the Ethiopian region was being monitored by the United Nations, and the global body had flagged the issue that could spiral into a problem that would need the world’s attention.
UN meddling with country’s internal affairs, says Ethiopia
And when the UN officials in Ethiopia intervened to help, Ethiopia wasn’t ready to welcome their efforts. Instead, the African nation decided to declare the UN officials as persona non grata and even expelled seven UN humanitarian workers.
Ethiopia believes that the UN humanitarian workers have been meddling with the country’s internal affairs and the expulsion came about in no time. They were asked to leave in 72 hours.
It has been revealed that the malnutrition rates in the region had breached the 80 per cent mark among pregnant women and new mothers. However, Ethiopia’s act of expelling the UN officials who tried to help comes as a shocker. It has in fact taken the global organization aback.
UN officials from UNICEF, OHCHR, UNOCHA expelled
The expelled UN officials include those from UNICEF; OHCHR, the UN’s human rights office; and UNOCHA, the UN’s humanitarian agency.
The act by Ethiopia has not down well with the United Nations, with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stating that all humanitarian work done by the United Nations adhere to the core principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence. CBS in a report quoted Guterres saying that the UN is delivering life-saving aid, including food, medicine, water, and sanitation supplies, to the Ethiopian people in desperate need, and that it is talking to the Ethiopian administration in a bid to convince the country that the UN officials need to stay back and continue their work.
Global majors respond to Ethiopian action
Earlier, the US, Ireland, Estonia, France, Norway and the UK, the nations on the Security Council, called for closed consultations in this regard.
The United States was also quick in responding to the expulsion of the UN officials. Appealing for a reversal of the decision, US. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Ethiopia’s decision warning that the US will not hesitate to respond decisively. Britain’s Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward also responded saying Ethiopia has brought forth a real humanitarian emergency.