Guterres criticizes ‘unprecedented expulsion’ of staff from Ethiopia; calls for focus on saving lives

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Wednesday urged authorities in Ethiopia to allow vital humanitarian work there to continue, following the recent decision to declare seven of the Organization’s staff persona non grata and expel them from the country.

Mr. Guterres was addressing the Security Council, where he briefed on the growing needs in the north, stemming from the war in the Tigray region.

In the face of the immense crisis, the UN chief said all efforts should be focused on saving lives and avoiding a massive human tragedy.

“This makes last Thursday’s announcement by the Government of Ethiopia to expel seven senior UN officials – most of them humanitarian staff – particularly disturbing,” he told ambassadors.

“I urge the Government to allow the unrestricted movement of desperately needed fuel, cash, communications equipment, and humanitarian supplies into all the regions in need,” said the Secretary-General.

“I appeal to all members of the Security Council to do all they can to support these calls and to unify behind the efforts of the United Nations and its partners in Ethiopia.” More