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UN clarifies position on Ethiopia’s expulsion of humanitarian officials

Application of doctrine of persona non grata is contrary to obligations under Charter of UN, says spokesman

Gozde Bayar   |01.10.2021

A day after Ethiopia ordered seven UN humanitarian staff to leave the country, UN said on Friday it is the long-standing legal position of the organization not to accept the application of the doctrine of persona non grata, with respect to UN officials.

“This is a doctrine that applies to diplomatic agents accredited by one state to another state,” said Farhan Haq, the spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at a press briefing.

“The application of this doctrine to United Nations officials is contrary to obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and the privileges and immunities to be accorded to the United Nations and its officials,” he added.

The spokesman also said Guterres received a call on Friday from the Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed, in which he reiterated the “position of the United Nations, which was formerly conveyed today to the permanent mission”.

He said the rule is that when concerns arise with regard to the conduct of UN personnel, the requirement is that such concerns are appropriately conveyed to the organization and then the Secretary-General will make the necessary determinations and take the necessary steps to address the matter.

On Thursday, Ethiopia ordered the UN officials to leave the country within 72 hours.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, staffers from different UN organizations have been declared “persona non grata” for “meddling in the internal affairs” of the nation.

The statement did not provide further details but the declaration was made in connection with the agencies’ operations in Ethiopia’s northernmost region of Tigray.

A region of 5.5 million people, Tigray came under intense international spotlight after an armed conflict began between the federal government and forces of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The US strongly condemned Ethiopia for expelling the UN officials and urged the international community to take action.

The White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the expulsions came amid reports that warn that thousands of people are starving to death in northern Ethiopia.


  1. Correction typing,

    Hummmmmm, UN vowing now??????????????????????????????????? You see what a mess is doing in this bullshit UN officials & their allies? It is not a surprise for actions but it is too late for expulsion. UN in general has to be investigated and be sue on international criminal court as they have done so many sabotages on supporting one rebellion and terrorist group TPLF. UN files on supporting this group has to be investigated by independent group.

    Though they try to make imposition on Ethiopia, the government of Ethiopia has to keep its stands and position until TPLF vanished from holy land of Ethiopia.

    Thanks for Russia, China, India and other countries who are fighting in UN meeting for prevalence of truth. No more game by them with your effort shortly the balance of power to lead UN will shift to genuine and honest countries, as it is time to say spade-is-spade for their bullshit policies.

    Long live to Ethiopia!!

  2. It may be the Ethiopian regime poor diplomatic protocol and communication skill that is jeopardizing it’s relationship with everyone. It’s always defending itself instead of going the offensive and putting the other party at fault with clarity

  3. We as Ethiopian we have the rigth todo that so Please call and them back to protection our big sovereignty Ethiopia UN is not Exceplacted to do this and on LAw is not aloud
    Seife Jemal Haje Keder
    Welnes farmers union party

  4. I tell you what! Debre and his cabals have somewhat succeeded in leading Abiy and his administration into a conundrum they have no clue how to proceed in search of a lasting solution. Look at it this way. Debre and his predecessor TPLF warlords had the region of Tigray as their own for more than 45 years of which 30 years were peaceful except for a brief interruption of 2 years during their fracas with Eritrea. They have had the whole region as their own fiefdom all along and uncontested. They were also in charge of the federal coffers for almost 30 years. During those years individuals among them have enriched themselves beyond belief but their fiefdom was only buffed up to make it look it was developed. They told us Mekele University was also known as MIT that it was so advanced it put Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) to shame! A developed region won’t fall apart and send its citizens to starvation that easily. They tell us now that their region was so developed until Abiy sent troops there and destroy everything in sight. Eritreans also joined Abiy in thrashing ‘tens of thousands of factories’. Folks, it was all a facade just like those Old West make-believe streets at Universal Studios in Hollywood. It makes you think that those upright people of Tigray were already starving well before this conflict began. It was just kept under wraps by heavy handed Sebhat Nega and his protégés. Now the innocent citizens there who were already starving before the conflict began have started dying from famine. Abiy should have known about the inevitable famine. Dying from lack of food is the most agonizing death a human being can face. Not one Tigre or Amhara should die from starvation. Not one!!! I will be holding both Abiy and Debre responsible for every citizen dying from starvation.

    Now Debre and his goons will use this famine card from the bottom of the deck until their fiefdom is awash with 18-wheelers and foodstuff as high as the tallest building on earth and no one should stop the flow of food aid and other life saving and sustaining supplies into that region. The federal government, I believe, has the ability and resources to stop Debre and his cabals from proliferating their evil ways into other regions. Abiy and his cabals should rather try to get rid of those bigots who have been slaughtering innocent and bread seeking unarmed citizens in his own backyard, my own Oromia. He has lost the battle both on the war and diplomatic fronts in Tigray. Let Debre and his entourage live like hermits stuck in their region. He better watch his tail right there just a stone throw away from his comfy palace.

    I also think that this young and visionary PM should pass the baton after the formation of the next government is announced. Let those fire spitting patriots from Afar, Somali, Gambela, Sidama and Beni have their golden opportunity to lead the country. Not from Oromia, Amhara or Tigray ever again! These three will have a lot of baggage they will bring with them all the way to the palace that will be too distracting for them to do their job due diligence. This is just my two cents worth of an opinion. Hey bigots!!! I you don’t like it go and jump in a lake and don’t come up! That would be good riddance!!!

  5. We strongly tell, the solid truth about Ethiopia’s uncompromising position on sovereignty, freedom and unrestricted use of its national resources for development and national advancement. We strongly tell,, that Ethiopia will not allow foreign interference into its internal affairs. We strongly tell, that Ethiopia knows and is conversant in handling its affairs, resolving issues and restoring peace, stability and ensuring the conduct of law and order in its territory. We strongly tell, the UN offices, western administrations and their media to stop fake and invalid information about Ethiopia openly siding with a terrorist junta. We strongly tell the solid truth that Ethiopia will not yield for ant pressure against its freedom, sovereignty and national value. The world is watching and history is recording this conspiracy and hidden motive the west and their media is engaged in against Ethiopia. Mr UN Secretary General, shame on you, shame on your aid trucks sent to Terrorist junta to transport child soldiers to war front, shame on you supplying communication equipment, food and medication to terrorist junta as “humanitarian aid” and shame on you in appeasing terrorists. Ethiopia will not yield for any conspiracy, Ethiopia will prevail. Long Live Ethiopia

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