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An Open Letter to H.E. Antonio Guterres

Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI)

An Open Letter to H.E. Antonio Guterres 

October 14, 2021 
H.E. Antonio Guterres  
Secretary-General of the United Nations  

RE: The Discriminatory and Unfair Treatment of Black Female Whistleblowers 

Dear Secretary-General Guterres, 

We the undersigned civic society and professional associations are deeply concerned and  incensed at the United Nations’ formal treatment of two senior female officials, Ms. Maureen  Achieng and Ms. Dennia Gayle, after they acted as whistleblowers and spoke to a Canadian  writer visiting Ethiopia in August of 2021.  

Barely a week after details emerged of the infamous audio of their interview, there are credible  reports that the two officials of the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN  Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) have been recalled to their respective headquarters and  may now be on suspension while they are investigated. 

We especially mark with grave concern a clear intent of marginalization and hostility towards  female professionals. The draconian measures taken against the two black female officials is in  sharp contrast to the manner in which your organization has handled other more egregious  cases. For example, there is no evidence of rush for such swift investigation and retribution  against Mr. Kwesi Sansculotte-Greenridge, who reportedly was involved in a leaked Zoom  conference on sexual violence in March of 2021. As one of the whistleblowers pointed  out during the recorded interview, the individual had misrepresented the meeting, and subjected  the UN staff and the organization as a whole to open to ridicule, thereby undermining trust in its  operations.  

Most astonishingly, one wonders why your office has not expressed qualms about Dr. Tedros  Adhanom’s repeated public and one-sided pronouncements on the conflict in northern Ethiopia  in violation of Article 37 of the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) that  patently proscribes that the Director-General and the staff “refrain from any action which might  reflect on their position as international officers.” 

Mr. Secretary-General, 

It is in the interest of all your stakeholders, and the vulnerable populations that look to the UN  for humanitarian aid, for your organization to follow the highest moral standard and to act with  transparency. When these two officials spoke to the writer, Jeff Pearce, they were pursuing  these values and acting with the goal that the UN return to a respected level of integrity.

It is worth noting that one of these suspended officials pointed out that one senior UN official  who has been presiding as a Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) operative, and who is  known for his unprofessional social media comments which align with the TPLF narrative, tried  to bully staff into providing the names of sexual assault victims and their safe houses. Why, we  ask, was this information not allowed to be made public? Why should your senior official be  punished, in part, for revealing an incident that puts the most vulnerable at risk? Why  would your most senior staff not want this known? 

Rather than frighten away potential whistleblowers, it is clear that circulation of the audio and  the subsequent suspension of your officials have actually emboldened other sources to step  forward. For example, as elucidated in a recent official report, your staff appear to implicate  themselves in knowing about forced recruitment incidents by the TPLF. Paradoxically, and  for reasons which still have to be explained by your office, such details are not provided in the  public Situation Report, and there ostensibly seems to be no demonstrable interest in  investigating further the episodes of forced recruitment.  

Mr. Secretary-General, 

We submit that the burden of proof is on your organization to show that it has lived up to its  ideals by refraining from punishing those who dare to speak the truth while rewarding others  who are willing to cast aside the vulnerable and needy to collaborate with one side in a conflict. 

We, therefore, demand that you reinstate these two officials and launch a proper and transparent investigation that focuses on the divergence of staff loyalty away from UN core  principles and humanitarian goals to aiding and abetting the TPLF. Evidence is already  available of such collusion, both in documents and from sources speaking out, and you may  count on us to continue to insist you act upon it. 

Sincerely, 

1. Global Ethiopian Scholars Initiative (GESI) 
2. People To People, Inc.(P2P) 
3. Ethiopiawinnet 
4. Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians (GARE) 
5. Menelik Hall Foundation (MHF) 
6. The Society of Ethiopians Established in the Diaspora (SEED) 
7. Vision Ethiopia (VE) 
8. Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Association Network (WE-CAN)

https://ethioscholars.org/

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Amid all these information/misinformation there is no mention about a rare event that took place around Dire Dawa. There was an earthquake yesterday there that tipped the Richter scale at 4.5.

  2. Stop Discrimination !!! Time to Reshuffle UN Structure and Fair Representation of the forgotten Black Continent !!!

  3. Gutierrez is part and parcel of the whole agenda. Why do you thing ALL Westerners support TPLF? Because they can hide behind TPLF for colonization and break up of Ethiopia.

  4. Guterres may tell you just to zip it complaining about his heavy trucks being used by my homeboy Debre to transport his boys and girls. It is right there in the rules and procedures of the UN. Trucks and all other vehicles, except the one UN bought Guterres for his personal use, are all the property of the world, That meets the perfect description and intended purpose of every humanitarian aid. So what are you moaning and crying about? You’re being so silly!!! Or you must be some of those Anti-Semi Amharas and their collaborator Oromos!!! In fact, I am gonna wrap up jerrycans of petroleum with high energy crackers labeled with ‘Donated by the American People’ and ship all on another fleet of 560 heavy trucks. If my hommie Debre returns the new fleet of heavy trucks that is fine and if he does not that is fine too with me. Hayilikethat?!!!

  5. I personally suspect UN itself that it’s extremly labouring in dismantling Ethiopia. The reason is that, it said nothing about those UN trucks that are moving TPLF fighters from one area to another until it was made known to the public. Plus to that, UN never condemned its irresponsible recruits(eg. Mark Lowcock,

    cgdev.org/blog/how-destroy-country-does-ethiopia-have-future YWcwo0twCCE.facebook who were hideously working with partiality against the objective of UN.

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