UN staff detained amid Ethiopia crackdown — RT World News

According to the UN, at least 16 United Nations staff members and their dependents were taken into custody in Addis Ababa. These arrests are part of a government crackdown on ethnic separatism.

Staff detained in Ethiopia are Ethiopians. UN spokesperson Stephane dujarric stated to reporters Tuesday in New York that UN personnel is being held accountable. “actively working with the government of Ethiopia to secure their immediate release.” Dujarric did not give any further information on the captured staffers’ ethnicity.

As the Ethiopian government is currently embroiled with Tigrayan separatists, the issue of ethnicity has been crucial. These Tigrayans were once dominant among the country’s 80 different ethnic groups, but have complained in recent years of discrimination from Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government, made up of a coalition of other ethnic factions.

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Ahmed declared a state of emergency lasting six months after Tigrayan fighters took over several villages and pledged to march against Addis Ababa. “Hundreds”The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission confirmed that Tigrayans had been detained in the capital. In the crackdown across the entire city, UN staffers could have been detained.

“These are United Nations staff members, they’re Ethiopians…and we would like to see them released, whatever ethnicity is listed on their identity cards,”Dujarric said.

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Legesse Tulu, a government spokesperson, told Reuters he didn’t have information regarding the UN staff members being detained. “those that have been detained are Ethiopians who violate[d] the law.”

Back in September, Ahmed’s government expelledSeven UN officials are accused of committing crimes “meddling” in the country’s affairs.

Both the expulsions of these people were strongly condemned by international authorities, and so were their alleged arrests Tuesday. Ned Price, spokesperson at the State Department of Washington stated that US authorities found the arrests. “concerning,”We would keep pushing for an Ethiopia ceasefire.

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