UNITED NATIONS,– The last UN staff member detained by authorities in Ethiopia is now free, a UN spokesman said on Friday.
“This is an issue that the deputy secretary-general (Amina Mohammed) brought to the attention of the Ethiopian leadership during her travels there recently,” said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Mohammed returned last week from a five-day visit to Ethiopia.
Dujarric did not give any details on the identity of the released staffer except that the staffer is an Ethiopian national.
Asked whether the staffer and the other two who were released days earlier were Tigrayans, Dujarric said the United Nations does not keep data on ethnicity.
“For us, they were Ethiopians who were working for the United Nations,” he said.
Challenges for the humanitarian community remain in trying to help victims of the conflict in northern Ethiopia, said the spokesman.
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and UN humanitarian partners are working with Ethiopian authorities to provide emergency aid to thousands of Eritrean refugees who recently fled a refugee camp in the northern Afar region in Ethiopia due to fighting, Dujarric said. At least five refugees were killed in the recent raids, and several women were kidnapped.
“Refugees who trekked the long distance to the regional capital in Semera told the UNHCR that armed men stole their belongings and occupied their homes,” he said. “With yet another refugee camp severely impacted, the UNHCR remains extremely worried about the safety and well-being of thousands of Eritrean refugees caught up in the conflict.