ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopia Wednesday suspended the activities of MSF Holland (Doctors Without Borders), the Norwegian Refugee Council and Al Maktoume Foundation for three months for breach of rules.
The Ethiopian Current Issues Fact Check, a news website, said the Ethiopian Agency for Civil Society Organizations made the decision to suspend the three agencies after repeated discussions with their respective officials failed to bring them back on legal tracks.
“First, MSF Holland and Norwegian Refugee Council have been disseminating misinformation on social media and other platforms outside of the mandate and purpose for which the organizations were permitted to operate.
“Second, all of three organizations employed foreign nationals without the appropriate work permit from the Ethiopian government for more than six months.
“Third, MSF Holland illegally imported and used satellite radio equipment that was not authorized by the relevant authority and the employees were thus apprehended by the security forces for using the equipment for illegal purpose.
“Fourth, Al Maktoume Foundation failed to comply with the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 Protocol, and mismanaged the budget,” the agency said.
The agency, which regulates civil society organizations in the Horn of Africa country, stated activities of the said organizations have been suspended for three months until a final decision is made.
“We are in the process of urgently seeking clarification from the authorities around the reasons and details for this suspension,” MSF said in a statement earlier.
Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, upon conclusion of his six-day visit to Ethiopia, said: “Blanket accusations (against) humanitarian aid workers need to stop…They need to be backed up by evidence if there is any and, frankly, it’s dangerous.”