‘We are calling for their release,’ says spokesman for UN chief

Servet Gunerigok   |10.11.2021

Ethiopia has detained at least 70 truck drivers carrying humanitarian aid on behalf of the UN and international NGOs, a UN spokesman said Wednesday.

Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio, said at his daily news conference that nine UN aid staff are still being held by the Ethiopian government.

“We are calling for their release,” he said.

On Tuesday, Dujarric said 16 UN national staff were detained in Ethiopia, while six others have been released and the UN was “actively working” with the government to secure their immediate release.

No explanation was given to the international body why the staffers were detained, said Dujarric.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency last week as the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) made military gains in the Amhara region, adjacent to the Tigray region.

The TPLF said it had controlled the strategic cities of Disi and Kombolcha in the northern state of Amhara.

Millions have been internally displaced due to the Tigray conflict, according to the UN, which warned of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed sent troops to Tigray last November in response to attacks on army camps by the TPLF.


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