More condemnation as Ethiopia expels UN staff

The US and the UK are the latest nations to condemn Ethiopia’s decision to expel seven senior United Nations officials, amid growing international condemnation.

Ethiopia accuses the UN of meddling in the country’s internal affairs, which the UN denies.

Washington has said it “condemns in the strongest possible terms” the expulsion of the UN officials, who include the heads of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN Ocha) and the head of the UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) in Ethiopia.

The UK government has also called for the decision to be reversed with immediate effect.

Ethiopian authorities have not provided details to support their claims of meddling, but the expulsions came after the UN aid chief, Martin Griffiths, raised concerns about a “de-facto” blockade of aid to the war-torn region of Tigray.

Thousands of people have been killed and more than two million have fled their homes since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered a military offensive against regional forces in Tigray in November 2020.

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