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Seven UN Staffers in Unexplained Detention as Ethiopia Arrests UNICEF Employee

© AP Photo / HERMANN J. KNIPPERTZThe UNICEF logo is seen in the German headquarter in Cologne, Germany
The UNICEF logo is seen in the German headquarter in Cologne, Germany - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.11.2021
UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The Ethiopian authorities on Monday detained a UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) employee, bringing the total of United Nations staff members arrested to seven, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
“We were advised this morning that a UNICEF colleague was detained, which means that seven UN staff remain in unexplained and unacceptable detention,” Dujarric said during a press briefing.
Another three UN dependents also remain in detention “in the same conditions,” Dujarric added.
Earlier in November, at least 16 local UN staff and dependents and 70 truck drivers contracted by the United Nations were detained across Ethiopia. According to Dujarric, the truck drivers were released last week.
Earlier this month, the Ethiopian government declared a six-month state of emergency nationwide, allowing authorities to detain everyone suspected to have ties with terrorists.
In May, Ethiopia designated the rebel Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) as a terrorist organization.
Ethiopia has been embroiled in a domestic conflict since last November when the central government accused the TPLF of attacking a military base and launched a counter-operation in the country's northern parts.
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