On Friday, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency consultation session to discuss the crisis in the Ethiopian region of Tigray, after Addis Ababa expelled 7 senior UN staff.
Diplomatic sources told The Eastern Herald that 6 member states of the council demanded, late Thursday evening, New York time, to hold an emergency session; To discuss the implications of the Ethiopian decision on the humanitarian operations carried out by United Nations agencies in the region.
The sources indicated that the six countries are: the United States, Britain, France, Norway, Estonia, and Ireland, adding that the session will be held in the form of a closed meeting, and it is not known whether a presidential statement will be issued from the meeting or not.
The issuance of Security Council statements requires the approval of all representatives of its member states (15 countries).
And on Thursday, Ethiopia announced the expulsion of 7 senior staff members of the United Nations, designating them “persona non grata“.
The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said, in a statement, that this step came in response to their “interference in the country’s internal affairs”, and demanded them to leave its lands within 72 hours.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his shock at the Ethiopian government’s decision.
“All UN humanitarian operations are guided by the fundamental principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence,” he stressed in a statement.
On November 4, 2020, clashes erupted in the Tigray region between the Ethiopian army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, after government forces entered the region, in response to an attack on an army base.
On the 28th of the same month, Ethiopia announced the end of a “law enforcement” operation by taking control of the entire region, despite reports of continued human rights violations in the region since then, where thousands of civilians were killed.
The conflict caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands, and the flight of more than 60,000 people to Sudan, according to observers.