Ethiopia Suspends Three Humanitarian Groups in Tigray

The government of Ethiopia on Wednesday suspended the activities of three foreign humanitarian organizations which have been working in the restive northern Tigray region.

The country’s Agency for Civil Society Organisations had identified rule violations by the three aid groups namely Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), and Maktoume Foundation while monitoring their activities.

The agency said in a statement it issued on Wednesday that “MSF and the 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,”

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It said MSF has illegally imported and used satellite radio communication equipment that was not authorized by the relevant authorities

It added that MSF staff workers who were in possession of the equipment were apprehended by the security forces for using it for illegal purposes.

The agency also accused the three aid organizations of employing foreign nationals for more than six months without the appropriate work permits from the Ethiopian government.

Maktoume Foundation’s operations were suspended over what the agency said was a failure to comply with the Ministry of Education Covid-19 protocols, budget mismanagement, and problems with staff management.

“Despite repeated discussions with the executives of the three organizations, they were unable to fix the situation,” the Ethiopian state said.

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The agency emphasized that the activities of the three organizations have been suspended for three months until a final decision is made.

The Ethiopian government last month said that some aid agencies are engaged in undisclosed “destructive acts” and warned that it will expel them if they do not refrain from the said activities.

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