Ethiopia Suspends Aid Groups for Spreading "False Information"
Médecins Sans Frontières and the Norwegian Refugee Aid Association, both active in Tigray, could be banned.
The Ethiopian government has suspended two international aid organizations from working for three months, accusing them of spreading misinformation.
A government-run website, Ethiopia Current Issues Fact Check, focused on the war-torn Tigray, accusing both Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) of violating several rules.
A statement by MSF said the ban applied to activities by its Dutch section in Ethiopia’s Tigray, Gambella, Amhara, and Somali regions.
“Access to healthcare in these regions is already limited, and the impact of a further reduction in services because of a forced suspension will have dire consequences for the people we are assisting, including Ethiopian citizens and refugee communities hosted by Ethiopia,” MSF said.
Moreover, the UN’s aid chief, Martin Griffiths, rejected claims by the Ethiopian government that aid groups were biased towards Tigrayan political factions.
“Blanket accusations of humanitarian aid workers need to stop,” he said. “They need to be backed up by evidence if there is any and, frankly, it’s dangerous.”
In June, MSF suspended work in parts of Tigray after three of its employees were murdered in the region. Their bodies were found near the car in which they had been traveling a day after they went missing.