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News: US calls for accountability in assault against two AfDB staff in Addis Abeba

AFDB office building

Addis Abeba – The U.S. government has called for accountability in the assault against two international staff of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Addis Abeba, forcing the bank to withdraw its international staff from Ethiopia.

Through a short statement issued via the its Embassy in Addis Abeba, the U.S. government highlighted “the importance of all nations observing and protecting the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to ensure diplomats around the world can carry out their missions in safety,” and added that the U.S. is “concerned by the assault and detention of African Development Bank personnel and call for those responsible to be held accountable.”

It is recalled that on 16 November, the bank admitted that two of its staff members “were unlawfully arrested, physically assaulted, and detained for many hours by elements of the security forces without any official explanation” on 31 October 2023.

Last week, the Bank said it has decided to withdraw all its international staff from Ethiopia with immediate effect as of 19 December 2023 on accounts that despite its attempts to get response from the Ethiopian government, “the situation is not yet resolved in any satisfactory manner, nor does it provide full confidence that all our employees feel safe and secure to carry out their duties and move around the country without fear of harassment”.

Furthermore, Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the Bank, has cautioned that “while the Bank appreciates the excellent relations it has with Ethiopia until this egregious incident, its continued operations and future presence in the country could be negatively affected if the incident is not fully resolved.”

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As of the publishing of the this news, the Ethiopian government has not issued a statement on the assault, which the bank described as “a very serious diplomatic incident.” AS

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