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Ethiopia expels 7 United Nations agencies staff in pursuit of sovereignty, UN calls it “shocking”

The UN workers were meddling in Ethiopian internal affairs, according to the gov’t. The UN secretary general said his office is engaging Ethiopia after the news was heard. The White House denounced it. 

Ethiopia expels 7 UN staff
PM Abiy Ahmed visits a needy Ethiopia during the Ethiopian New Year (Photo credit : SM)

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Ethiopia on Thursday announced that it has declared seven individuals working for United Nations agencies operating in the country a “persona non grata.”  The individuals are required to leave the country within  the next 72 hours. . 

Based on a brief statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia issued on Thursday, the decision seems to be a move in the direction of defending the sovereignty of Ethiopia. 

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, in letters issued today (30 September 2021), has declared a ”persona non grata” for seven individuals who are working for UN humanitarian agencies in Ethiopia for meddling in the internal affairs of the country,” said the statement from the country. 

UNICEF representative in Ethiopia, Mr. Adele Khodr, is among those who must leave Ethiopia within 72 hours.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed the names of the individuals required to leave the country. They are : 

1. Mr. Adele Khodr, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia

2. Mr. Sonny Onyegbula, Monitoring, Reporting and Advocacy Team Leader : United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights

3. Mr. Kwesi Sansculotte, Peace and Development Advisor: UNOCHA

4.  Mr. Saeed Mohamoud Hersi: Deputy Head of Office: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia 

5.  Mr. Grant Leaity, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia

6. Ms. Ghada Eltahir Mudawi: Acting Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia

7. Mrs. Marcy Vigoda, Head of office: Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Ethiopia

Office of the Spokesperson 

The United Nations called Ethiopia’s decision “shocking.”  Mr. Antonio Guterres said “I was shocked by the information that the Government of Ethiopia has declared seven UN officials, including senior UN humanitarian officials, as persona non grata.”  (https://www.un.org/sg/en/node/259817) 

The UN seems to be engaging the Ethiopian government with the hope that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government will change the decision.  

MR António Guterres said, “We are now engaging with the Government of Ethiopia in the expectation that the concerned UN staff will be allowed to continue their important work.” 

For many Ethiopians, Ethiopia’s action is rather late in view of credible allegations that the United Nations, and other state funded aid agencies in the country, were involved in facilitating different forms of support for the Tigray rebels. 

Many Ethiopians who are active on social media seem to be rather shocked that the “UN is shocked” by the Ethiopian government decision. 

Bisrat Lemessa Kabeta replied to the UN Secretary General spokesperson saying, “You’re still pointing fingers at #Ethiopia while blindly defending your staffers. Is this how multilateralism works? Instead of, at least gesturally, hinting on investigating the accusations, you arrogantly dismissed them. Then you’re demanding the Govt to reverse its decision!…” 

Dr. Ir. Middle Lander, apparently using the Twitter platform anonymously, reacted to the news “Shocked ??? I thought they would say expected (knowing how they treated Ethiopia).” 

Ethiopia’s decision came at a time when the country is  facing increasing pressure from the UN in connection with aid delivery to the Tigray region of Ethiopia. 

This week, the UN aid chief remarked about the situation in Ethiopia in a way that seems to implicate the Ethiopian government. 

The United Nations branch office in Ethiopia admitted earlier this month that only 38 of the 466 trucks that entered the Tigray region of Ethiopia since July 12 returned. It means the  remaining trucks are under the control of the Tigray rebels, Tigray People’s Liberation Front  (TPLF) – but the UN has not officially condemned it. 

Apart from the UN, the U.S. government has reacted to Ethiopia’s decision. The White House said, “The U.S. Government condemns in the strongest possible terms the Government of Ethiopia’s unprecedented action to expel the leadership of all of the United Nations organizations involved in ongoing humanitarian operations,” as tweeted by the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. “Shocking as it may” pack up and leave Ethiopia ASAP, you’re the soldiers of evil doers, the Nazis, Fascists, the white supremacists and the neocolonialists, therefore leave our beloved country Ethiopia, you don’t belong in Ethiopia and or Ethiopia does not need you, period end of your story.

  2. No this is just uncalled for. Now expect one back breaking sanction after another. This is not right. What was their crime? Is that because of what Guterres recently said? This expulsion is gonna make the chief’s allegations look were true. It also shows that PM Abiy’s administration slowly and surely that it is giving up on its diplomatic effort. This is going to prove that it is miserably falling short in the diplomatic affairs. It attests that its diplomatic corps is staffed with inept individuals unqualified for the job. They were given the job just because someone at higher position had strong connection with them. It makes me wish if those diplomatic during the late emperor’s are still around. For good or bad those diplomatic did their job effectively and thoroughly. This expulsion makes me and the rest of the world think that the government there has something egregious to hide. I tell you what. Debre and his operatives just won a huge jackpot from this dismissal.

  3. BTW, those of you guys in UAE and Oman or others who plan to travel there should keep an eye on the weather. There is a cyclone(hurricane) heading that way this weekend and it will bring very heavy rainfall. This is a very rare weather phenomenon for that part of the peninsula.

  4. Subject: “Ethiopia expels 7 United Nations agencies staff in pursuit of sovereignty, UN calls it “shocking” borkena.com September 30, 2021

    Humble Commentary, 30 September 2021
    Had it been the USA instead of Ethiopia would we, the bystanders and the World Organization at large, be quick to question, condemn and blame USA openly?!?!?!?

    Of course, we know the answer and it is very innocent of me to even think beyond my hallucination about it — let alone to quetion the action of the All Mighty, Benevolent, and Judicious Country of the Universe. Let us be honest, how many countries of the 190 members of the UN would challenge a Blessed Country, a HOME to millions and millions of exodus of people, who abandoned their birth places, looking for a safe and tranquil Life. They found it in THE GOOD OLD USA. HAPPY ENDING TO US ALL.

  5. They all are ‘Lords of Poverty’. More chaos, deepening poverty, and in general more troubles in Ethiopia (and other places) are good businesses for their employers, which they use to raise more funds for hiring highly paid staff who live lavishly in styles they could never have dreamed of living in their own home countries. Of course, they are also fronts for security agencies of countries like USA and cohort European nations that aim to control third world countries but failing that destroy them as happened in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and others. Ethiopia did the absolute right thing to expel those lords of poverty, and hopefully would take similar measures against others that continue to misbehave.

  6. The Heroic leader of ETHIOPIA, Dr. Prime Minister ABIYE AHMED, we ETHIOPIANS in the diaspora and from within the country are one hundred percent behind you, keep on your stupendous job, keep on responding and taking actions against those who are Traitors and saleouts of from ETHIOPIAN origin and foreign enemies. Kickout all neocolonialists, Fascists, white supremacists out off our precious country ETHIOPIA and AFRICA, they are egregious criminals and terrorists.

  7. I tell you what! Debre and his cabals have somewhat succeeded in leading Abiy and his administration into a conundrum they have no clue how to proceed in search of a lasting solution. Look at it this way. Debre and his predecessor TPLF warlords had the region of Tigray as their own for more than 45 years of which 30 years were peaceful except for a brief interruption of 2 years during their fracas with Eritrea. They have had the whole region as their own fiefdom all along and uncontested. They were also in charge of the federal coffers for almost 30 years. During those years individuals among them have enriched themselves beyond belief but their fiefdom was only buffed up to make it look it was developed. They told us Mekele University was also known as MIT that it was so advanced it put Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) to shame! A developed region won’t fall apart and send its citizens to starvation that easily. They tell us now that their region was so developed until Abiy sent troops there and destroy everything in sight. Eritreans also joined Abiy in thrashing ‘tens of thousands of factories’. Folks, it was all a facade just like those Old West make-believe streets at Universal Studios in Hollywood. It makes you think that those upright people of Tigray were already starving well before this conflict began. It was just kept under wraps by heavy handed Sebhat Nega and his protégés. Now the innocent citizens there who were already starving before the conflict began have started dying from famine. Abiy should have known about the inevitable famine. Dying from lack of food is the most agonizing death a human being can face. Not one Tigre or Amhara should die from starvation. Not one!!! I will be holding both Abiy and Debre responsible for every citizen dying from starvation.

    Now Debre and his goons will use this famine card from the bottom of the deck until their fiefdom is awash with 18-wheelers and foodstuff as high as the tallest building on earth and no one should stop the flow of food aid and other life saving and sustaining supplies into that region. The federal government, I believe, has the ability and resources to stop Debre and his cabals from proliferating their evil ways into other regions. Abiy and his cabals should rather try to get rid of those bigots who have been slaughtering innocent and bread seeking unarmed citizens in his own backyard, my own Oromia. He has lost the battle both on the war and diplomatic fronts in Tigray. Let Debre and his entourage live like hermits stuck in their region. He better watch his tail right there just a stone throw away from his comfy palace.

    I also think that this young and visionary PM should pass the baton after the formation of the next government is announced. Let those fire spitting patriots from Afar, Somali, Gambela, Sidama and Beni have their golden opportunity to lead the country. Not from Oromia, Amhara or Tigray ever again! These three will have a lot of baggage they will bring with them all the way to the palace that will be too distracting for them to do their job due diligence. This is just my two cents worth of an opinion. Hey bigots!!! I you don’t like it go and jump in a lake and don’t come up! That would be good riddance!!!

  8. Listen every one! I am Not leaving! I’m telling you I’m Not leaving!
    Ok, Ittu! First time you were telling us you were not eating then you were not going. What is it now that you are not leaving from?
    Yes I told you I was not eating then and I did not eat anything for 42 days straight.
    Wait a minute Ittu. You told us last time you did not eat for 35 days and it is 42 days? How is that?
    Well I was using a lunar calendar system designed by the Amhara Winnie the Pooh. I am now using a scientific calendar designed by homeboys in Minnesota.
    Wow! People in Minnesota are now designing scientific calendars?
    Not everyone in that state. Only my homeboys are capable of doing that. So for 42 scientific days I did not eat or drink. Now I am not leaving.
    From where Ittu?
    Not only me but also 6 other friends are not also leaving from Ethiopia. We cannot be expelled.
    Aha! We got it now. But the host country, Ethiopia wants you to leave the country.
    No it cannot do that. Ethiopia has no right to expel us.
    Why not? It is a sovereign nation recognized as such by the UN itself. Can you do that to the USA?
    No USA is a different arrangement.
    How about in Europe?
    No Europe is a different clause.
    How about Asia, Oceania and Latin America?
    Those are in a different arrangement also.
    How about in Africa?
    Yes it applies there since 99% of them are not the founding members
    Ittu, that would be a re-introduction of colonialism.
    No it is called super vision. Remember I said ‘super vision’ not supervision. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.
    So Africans need super vision but not Europeans or Asians?
    Yes and that is right there in the unwritten but conceived UN constitution. So I’m not, we are not leaving!!! Ethiopia is the property of the UN.

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