UNFPA recalls country rep from Ethiopia

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative to Ethiopia has been recalled after criticism she allegedly levelled against senior officials of the UN.

Dennia Gayle follows out of the country the International Organization Migration (IOM) Ethiopian head, Maureen Achieng, who was put on administrative leave this week after audio recordings containing condemnation of U.N. officials were released online.

In the recordings, two women who said they work for the U.N. in Ethiopia but did not give their names told a freelance journalist that some top U.N. officials globally sympathize with forces from the northern Tigray region that are fighting the Ethiopian government.

The two also accused recent emergency coordinators sent by the UN of side-lining their office in Ethiopia and suggested there is a power struggle within the international body.

The departure of the two officials could risk further friction between the UN and the East African nation which last month expelled seven other senior UN officials for allegedly meddling in its affairs.

 On Tuesday, the spokeswoman of the Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office, Billene Seyoum, criticized the UN's decision to send the IOM Ethiopia Chief on “administrative leave”.

Billene said Achieng had told “the unvarnished truth on institutional bias within the UN system and in relation to the terrorist TPLF’s criminality is deeply disturbing”.

“Internal and external politics of influence within the higher echelons of power in the UN system needs to be thoroughly investigated,” she added.


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