The UN announced that all of 70 aid drivers detained in the capital of Afar province have been freed as five other staff employees and one dependent have remained in custody.

All of the World Food Program drivers arrested last week in Ethiopia’s conflict-torn north have been released.

The 70 drivers were arrested in the capital of Afar province, on the only functional road leading into famine-threatened Tigray.

The arrests happened after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government declared a state of emergency in early November, when rebel fighters threatened to march on the national capital Addis Ababa.

Thirty-four drivers were released earlier this week, and UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric confirmed that the remaining drivers were set free on Thursday.

“All of the 70 were released,” he told reporters in New York.

Dujarric also announced that six UN staff members detained in a separate round-up were released on Thursday. Five other staff employees and one dependent remain in custody, he added.



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