Skip to main content
SG/SM/21029

Reiterating Call for Immediate Release of United Nations Staff in Ethiopia, Secretary-General Urges Parties to End Hostilities, Prioritize Civilians

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary‑General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General reiterates his call for the immediate release of United Nations staff members detained in Ethiopia.  As far as the Secretary‑General is aware, the staff members are being held without charge, and no specific information has been provided regarding the reasons for their arrest.  United Nations personnel carry out critical and impartial work in Ethiopia.  The Secretary-General stresses the obligation of respecting the privileges and immunities of United Nations personnel, both international and Ethiopian, as well as protecting United Nations personnel and other humanitarian workers in Ethiopia, including from arbitrary detention.

The Secretary-General expresses his concern over reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions, which serve to widen divisions and resentment between groups.  He calls upon the authorities to publicly and unequivocally speak out against the targeting of any particular ethnic group or groups and to demonstrate their commitment to human rights and the rule of law.

The course of military conflict will not bring lasting peace and stability to Ethiopia.  The Secretary-General urges the parties to end hostilities and prioritize the welfare of civilians.  Safe and unhindered humanitarian access must be restored urgently.  The Secretary-General underlines that the challenges facing Ethiopia can only be resolved through dialogue involving all Ethiopians.

For information media. Not an official record.