To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of recent reports of the detention of UN staff in Ethiopia; and what representations she has made to the Ethiopian government as a result of such reports.
17 November 2021
We are concerned by recent reports of the detention of several UN staff in Ethiopia. Expulsions and detention of key UN personnel will have a direct impact on the ability of the international community to deliver vital humanitarian assistance. On 30 September I [Minister Ford] called on the Government of Ethiopia to reverse the decision to expel UN officials from the country. Our concerns were reiterated at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 4 October where a joint statement was issued by the UK Ambassador to the UN on behalf of over 40 countries. We also raised these concerns at the UN Security Council (UNSC) briefing on Ethiopia on 6 October. The British Ambassador to Ethiopia raised our concerns about ongoing detentions with President Sahle-Work of Ethiopia on 12 November. On 5 November the Foreign Secretary spoke to the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, setting out the pressing need for a ceasefire and a humanitarian access.