Ethiopia is being urged by Kenya to depoliticize humanitarian assistance in Tigray.
Ethiopian authorities have been urged to depoliticize humanitarian assistance in the Tigray area, according to Kenyan officials.
Nairobi expressed worry over Ethiopia’s handling of the issue when it assumed the chair of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October.
Although Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Martin Kimani, expects a comprehensive report on the situation from the Secretary-General, the problems will be discussed by the council under AoB.
This follows Ethiopia’s designation of seven UN personnel as persona non grata for assisting with humanitarian assistance in the Tigray area. According to Ethiopia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they were given 72 hours to depart the country.
The action occurred a day after the UN’s top humanitarian official warned that the government’s assistance embargo is putting hundreds of thousands of people in Tigray at risk of starvation.
The international community is becoming concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Tigray, and Ethiopia may face US sanctions.
The US, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, opposes the expulsions and would not hesitate to apply penalties on anyone who impedes humanitarian operations.
The UN has previously called Ethiopia’s action unlawful, claiming that a persona non grata designation only applies to nations, not UN employees.
Severe limitations on urgently needed assistance to the conflict-torn Tigray area, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, have created a humanitarian and human rights catastrophe that is spiralling out of control.
According to Guterres, at least 5.2 million people in the area need humanitarian help, with at least 400,000 of them suffering in famine-like circumstances.
He also said that child malnutrition is currently at the same level as it was at the onset of the Somalia famine in 2011.
Ambassador Kimani said that the UN has always pushed for a dialogue aimed at ensuring the safety of humanitarian workers and would continue to do so in the future.
“Humanitarian assistance must always be protected in terms of security and safety. As a result, we request that Ethiopian authorities depoliticize the situation.
Ethiopians fleeing the Tigray area walk towards a river at the Hamdeyat refugee transit camp to cross from Ethiopia to Sudan. [Reuters]
Kimani said that while pushing for peaceful solutions, it would heed the voices of the A3+1 countries that have expressed worry about the situation.
In November 2020, a conflict began between federal troops and individuals affiliated with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the region’s ruling political party.
At the end of June, Tigrayan troops retook the majority of the area, then advanced into the neighbouring regions of Afar and Amhara, causing hundreds of thousands of civilians to leave their homes.