The Ethiopian government is attempting to expel top UN officials for “meddling” in its affairs, 11 months into a grinding conflict with the northern Tigray region that has left thousands dead and forced 2 million people from their homes, Reuters reported.
The move came hours after a UN report published Thursday detailed Tigray’s descent into humanitarian catastrophe, including shocking levels of malnutrition, AFP reported.
- 79% of 15,000+ pregnant and lactating women screened were diagnosed with acute malnutrition.
- Moderate malnutrition among under-5s is ~18%, exceeding the 15% global emergency threshold; severe malnutrition is 2.4%.
The officials were given 72 hours to leave the country—but the UN warned Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Friday that it has no legal right to expel its staff, Reuters reported.
Tigray is receiving ~10% of the aid it needs, with the Ethiopian government obstructing deliveries of essential supplies and services, according to the US State Department, according to AFP.
Making matters worse: Tigray is one of the areas worst-hit by a plague of desert locusts that has flooded the Horn of Africa in the past 2 years, decimating crops, Vox noted.