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Ethiopia withdraws 3 peacekeepers from S Sudan – UN

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: December 1, 2020

Ethiopia has withdrawn three of its peacekeepers without due procedures, the UN Mission in South Sudan has said.

Ethiopia is a strong supporter of the United Nations and its peacekeeping efforts.

There are three Ethiopian battalions in South Sudan, comprising around 2,000 soldiers, who are assisting with protection and peace-building programs.

However last week, reports emerged some peacekeepers from Ethiopia’s Tigray ethnic group had been taken back to their country.

When contacted by Eye Radio, the UN Mission said it was aware that three soldiers were repatriated.

UNMISS Chief of Communications and Public Information, Francesca Mold, said the mission’s human rights division was following up on their situation.

“As a Troop Contributing Country, Ethiopia is ultimately responsible for the conduct and movement of its troops,” Mold stated.

“If the personnel is discriminated against because of their ethnicity or any other reason, this could involve a human rights violation under international law.”

She further stated that UNMISS had requested access to any soldier, who might be in need of protection under international law.

Early this month, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched military operations in the northern Tigray region, accusing the regional government of attacking federal soldiers.

Hundreds of people are said to have died and thousands have fled into Sudan.

Human Rights Watch said last week it feared the conflict would spark ethnic profiling.

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