UN Team Shot at in Tigray After Defying Checkpoints, Ethiopia Says

Ethiopian federal troops shot at a United Nations (UN) team visiting a refugee camp in Tigray after failing to stop at two checkpoints, the government said on Dec. 8.

Ethiopian federal troops shot at a United Nations (UN) team visiting a refugee camp in Tigray after failing to stop at two checkpoints, the government said on Dec. 8.

The UN team was trying to reach the Shimelba refugee camp in the war-hit region of Tigray when Ethiopian troops shot at and detained them last Dec. 6.

“These are alarming reports and we are engaging at the highest level with the federal government to express our concern and avoid any such incidents in the future,” UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

Dujarric also said that four people were in the UN team.

Spokesperson for the Ethiopian government’s task force for Tigray, Redwan Hussein, told reporters that the UN team “broke” two checkpoints, driving through them hastily without stopping.

“When they were about to break the third one, they were shot at and detained,” Hussein said. He also said that the team has been released.

Hussein also blamed the team for trying to reach an area where “they were not supposed to go.”

The UN has been trying to seek safe humanitarian access to the refugee camps in Tigray since the conflict between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front started last Nov. 4.

“The agreement we entered with the UN was in the belief that the UN would coordinate with us but the government would call the shots,” Hussein said.

“Ethiopia is being run by a strong functional government. It doesn’t need a babysitter,” Hussein added.


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