The United Nations says three Ethiopian peacekeepers on a Mission in South Sudan were withdrawn and deported to their country without due procedure.
Reports had emerged from last Saturday that three Ethiopian soldiers from the Tigray ethnic group had been taken back to their country ostensibly to cull their influence.
Officials at the UN Mission in South Sudan say the deportation could have violated their human rights if based on their ethnic background.
“The Mission’s Human Rights Division is following up on their situation. As a Troop Contributing Country, Ethiopia is ultimately responsible for the conduct and movement of its troops,” a spokesperson at UNMISS said.
“However, if personnel are discriminated against because of their ethnicity or any other reason, this could involve a human rights violation under international law.”
UNMISS said it has requested access to any soldier who might need protection under international law.
Ethiopia is a strong supporter of the United Nations and its peacekeeping efforts. In South Sudan, there are three Ethiopian battalions, comprising around 2000 personnel, who are assisting with protection and peace-building programs.