Cameroon – A few days after expelling seven UN officials, Ethiopia inflated the scale of the humanitarian crisis on Wednesday, accusing them of not providing evidence of their involvement in the war in the Tigray region, and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Pressured the state ambassador to document the allegations.
The unexpected exchange took place at a Security Council meeting convened to discuss the expulsion of officials, as the United Nations considers it an extension of the humanitarian catastrophe in the Horn of Africa. For some council members, the expulsion of officials, most of whom belong to UN humanitarian agencies, will complicate already difficult aid efforts.
Ethiopian Ambassador Taye Atske Selassie made a new detailed claim on officials. He increased the number of poor people by one million, supported the Tigrinya army fighting the government, invented 12 dead in camps for displaced people, and Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia to another African country. Immigrants “preparing to fight the Tigrinyas, among other training and accusations.”
“Ethiopia is deeply resentful of this experience,” the ambassador said, adding that the government wrote to the United Nations about the actions of its staff in July.
Surprised, Guterres replied that he knew nothing about these allegations and twice asked Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to send details of his concerns about the impartiality of UN staff.
Guterres, who maintains Ethiopia, did not have the right to expel officials under the Charter of the United Nations, but took a rare step for the Secretary-General by responding directly to the council. He asked the ambassador to provide documents that the government may have about alleged misconduct by any of the seven officials.
“It is my duty to protect the honor of the United Nations,” Guterres later told reporters. He said that if such a document were provided, the United Nations would investigate why he was not warned about the matter.
Ethiopia announced its expulsion last Thursday, accusing UN officials of interfering with domestic operations.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country later made more specific allegations of “serious violations” such as violations of security agreements, transfer of communication equipment used by the Tigray army, dissemination of false information, and “politicization of humanitarian aid”. Added.
But much of what the ambassador said on Wednesday was not previously publicly raised.
The expulsion was carried out as the United Nations spoke more and more frankly about what was called the de facto blockade by the Ethiopian government in the Tigray region, where local troops had fought government soldiers and allied forces since November.
The conflict began as a political dispute after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed abstained from the Tigrinya local party, which had ruled the Ethiopian government for decades. The clash swirled into a war that killed thousands of people and an even more threatening hunger crisis.
In Tigray and its surrounding areas, where fighting is widespread, up to 7 million people need food and other aid, and an estimated 400,000 people live in “famine-like situations,” Guterres said. ..
“The people of Ethiopia are suffering. We have no other interest in helping to stop the suffering,” he said.
United Nations Humanitarian Director Martin Griffiths told The Associated Press last week that only 10% of the humanitarian supplies needed have arrived in Tigray in the last few weeks.
Five of the staff were banished from cooperation with the United Nations Humanitarian Aid Agency, the other with the United Nations Human Rights Agency, and the seventh with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund.
After Friday’s urgent private talks, the council took no action and the division was held at a meeting on Wednesday.
The United States and some European member states lamented the expulsion before the Ethiopian ambassador leveled the new claim.
“There is no excuse or neglect,” said Irish ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason.
US Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield called the expulsion reckless and unjustified and an insult to the United Nations, its member states, and humanitarian principles.
Later asked about the Ethiopian envoy’s accusation, she said the United States wanted to see the allegations and “where they came from”, but that “some” they appeared after the authorities were expelled. Raise concerns. ”
Thomas Greenfield urged the Board to consider passing a resolution to enable the United Nations to provide humanitarian assistance in Ethiopia.
“If these demands for humanitarian access remain inaudible, the Security Council must act,” she said.
However, representatives of China and Tunisia, the latter speaking with three African members of the council on behalf of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, called for “quiet diplomacy.”
India’s ambassador to TS Tirmulti wants to “worse the situation through involvement and dialogue,” and Russia’s deputy ambassador to Anna Eftigniva said the council “progressed” about what it considers to be Ethiopia’s internal affairs. It should not be overly exaggerated. ”
The Ethiopian ambassador called on the United Nations to send new staff in place of those forced to deport, and said his country would like to cooperate with the international community.
“You shouldn’t doubt the tradition of Ethiopian hospitality,” he said. “We want respect, dignity, and integrity.”
Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Ethiopia broadcasts allegations about UN staff.United Nations wants documents
Source link Ethiopia broadcasts allegations about UN staff.United Nations wants documents