Addis Standard Staff
Addis Abeba, October 01/2021 – The UN Security Council members will convene today under “Any Other Business” to discuss the situation in the Tigray regional state.
The meeting was requested by Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States and comes a day after Ethiopia ordered seven UN senior staff members to leave the country within 72 hours.
The UN, EU, US, UK, and Germany as well as several international humanitarian organizations have condemned the expulsion and requested the Ethiopian government to reverse the decision. However the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the decision to expel the seven staff was taken to ensure rule of law, and give lesson for others. “Some international organizations which were licensed to deliver health related services are found wrecking havoc that jeopardize the health condition of the community,” Ambassador Dina Mufti, Spokesperson of the MoFA, was quoted by state media as saying.
Today’s meeting by members of the UNSC will be the ninth since war broke out in Tigray in November 2020. But the members reached at a consensus only once, when on April 22, the SC issued a statement calling for “a scaled up humanitarian response and unfettered humanitarian access to all people in need, including in the context of the food security situation” in Tigray regional state .
“The members of the Security Council call for continuation of international relief efforts in a manner consistent with the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance, including humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence,” the statement said adding that “insecurity in Tigray constitutes an impediment to the ongoing humanitarian operations and called for a restoration of normalcy.”
However, there has been no follow up by the SC to ensure the implementation of its own statement. On September 28, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) chief, Martin Griffiths, said “he assumes famine has taken hold in Ethiopia’s Tigray where a nearly three-month long “de-facto blockade” has restricted aid deliveries to 10% of what is needed in the war-torn region.” AS