Printed on Wed Aug 10 2022 5:47:46 PM

Ethiopia detained 86 UN workers

International Desk
UN workers
Ethiopian law enforcement has detained more than 70 drivers and at least 16 other workers working with the United Nations. A spokesman for the United Nations said in a statement on Wednesday that the UN staff had been detained during a crackdown on ethnic Tigrayans.

An internal e-mail from the United Nations found that 70 drivers had been detained, according to Reuters. However, it is not clear which ethnic group these drivers belong to.

Earlier on Sunday, the state-appointed Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said it had received numerous reports of arrests of members of the Tigrayans community in the capital. However, Ethiopian government spokeswoman Ligse Tulu and Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Dina Mufti declined to comment immediately, according to Reuters.

"We are working actively with the Ethiopian government to ensure the immediate release of these workers," UN spokeswoman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York. However, he avoided the question of which ethnic group the detainees belonged to.

The UN official said: "They are UN staff members, they are Ethiopians ... We want to see them free no matter what nation they are listed on their identity cards. Ethiopian government spokesman Legese Tulu said those detained were Ethiopians; Those who have violated the law.

The People's Liberation Front (TPLF), a rebel group in the north of the country, has been battling Ethiopian government forces for the past few years. The conflict has escalated since the country's rebel group recently announced a march on the country's capital.

A state of emergency was declared in the country on November 2 after TPLF members threatened to seize the capital, Addis Ababa. At the same time, law enforcement is allowed to arrest anyone associated with the TPLF without a court order. Earlier this year, the country's parliament declared the TPLF a terrorist group.

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