BY SOLOMON DIBABA
Article 2 sub articles 1 and 7 of the UN Charter state that “The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. The UN charter allows UN to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state when it is allowed by the specific Members. Moreover the non-intervention principle received official United Nations recognition when the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Domestic Affairs of States in 1965.
Ethiopia was a founding member of the League of Nation and the UN and since the foundation of the global organization it has actively contributed to the UN mandate of ensuring peace and security of member countries by deploying its best trained battalion of the Royal Body Guards both in the Korean Peninsula and Congo. Today, Ethiopia stands out as the second largest contributor of UN peace keeping forces in Africa. Suffice it to mention, Rwanda, Burundi, Abiye, Darfur and Somalia under the auspices of the AU.
Pursuant to its rights enshrined in the UN Charter cited above and other legal instruments in international law and a multiple of conventions, about a month back, the government declared 7 UN officials persona non grata and ordered them to leave the country. The government of Ethiopia has revealed the breaches committed by these individuals in violation of their professional code of conduct, international principles and the country’s laws. Diversion of humanitarian assistance to the TPLF, violating agreed-upon security arrangements, and transferring communication equipment to be used by the TPLF are some of the breaches. The UN staff members have also continued reticence in demanding the return of more than 400 trucks commandeered by the TPLF for military mobilization and for the transportation of its forces since July 2021 as well as dissemination of misinformation and politicization of humanitarian assistance.
This was a legitimate action though the decision has “shocked” Mr. Antonio’ Guterres the Secretary General of the UN. Although the Secretary General has denied its receipt of the letters, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has twice warned and informed the UN on the illegal transactions and networking between its officials in Ethiopia and terrorist TPLF incurring gross violation of the UN Charter and the UN General Assembly resolution of 1965, the standard norms of behavior of UN personnel in any member country and the normative laws of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Evidence based resources indicate that the UN officials, with total disregard to the official duties to which they were entrusted, were directly supporting and corresponding with the leaders of terrorist TPLF by retracing relief aid to the terrorists, engaging in misinformation and provided logistics services to terrorist TPLF who was committing crimes against humanity in Tigray, Amhara and Afar regions.
The Secretary General blindly supported the expelled officials noting ““This unprecedented expulsion should be a matter of deep concern for us all as it relates to the core of relations between the United Nations and Member States,” Mr. Guterres said, referring to Ethiopia’s recent decision to expel seven senior United Nations officials.
“For us, the question is very simple,” Mr. Guterres said in a rare public exchange with Ethiopia’s representative. The United Nations believes that Ethiopia is not right to expel these individuals. “We believe Ethiopia is violating international law in doing so.”
While the truth is that his own officials have violated well documented international law by interfering into the internal affairs of Ethiopia, trying to defend the officials for their wrong doing, the Secretary General “ believes that Ethiopia has violated international law” shifting the blame on a sovereign country which acted to defend the safety and security of Ethiopia in accordance to rules and regulations of international law.
The statements above indicates the extent to which the Secretary General has voiced disrespect to a member state of the UN taking no pain to account his officials for what they have done in violating international law and standard norms of behavior as UN functionaries. Their nonchalance to respect the law and the rule of law in Ethiopia, choosing to serve a terrorist organization outside of their mandate is indeed a double jeopardy they have committed on a country which has remained an ardent supporter of the lofty goals for which the UN was established more than 70 years ago.
Nonetheless, the 7 UN officials were well aware of the fact that terrorist TPLF was recruiting under age children to serve in its notorious army but as advocates of child rights, they never uttered a word about this heinous crimes of the terrorists and continued to contact them as if nothing has happened.
As officials of the UN they were expected to abide by the laws of the host country in utter underestimation of not only the law of the country but also its sovereignty. Their official and clandestine actions vividly demonstrated that they are biased against the government of Ethiopia but favored a terrorist culprit to a sovereign state well rooted and positioned both in the UN and the AU.
According to observers the UN is meddling in the internal affairs of Ethiopia by violating international principles and agreements. Media reports have also been indicating the fact that the organization is attacking those who attempt to criticize its actions in Ethiopia. According to Reuters, two women who say they work for the U.N. in Ethiopia but do not give their names tell a freelance journalist that some top U.N. officials globally sympathize with forces from the northern Tigray region that are fighting Ethiopia’s government. This indicates that the UN is well aware of the situation and concerns being expressed by the government of Ethiopia regarding the UN staff’s involvement with the TPLF.
Although Ethiopia has taken a legal measure with full and uncontestable evidence, the UN and the Secretary General have shown no interest in trying to fully investigate the matter but simply attested that Ethiopia’s action was “illegal”. An Ethiopia anecdote says that “a wipe loudly cracks as if harmed while it hits the victim.”
Recent events indicate that the western powers and the UN systems prefer and favor weak government and countries which easily fall prey to their interests and their hidden motives. They are never at ease with stronger governments which strives to determine their own fate and their people’s destiny on their own decisions without bowing down to the diktat of other powerful countries that use aid in a carrot and stick style.
For the first time in the history of the UN, the UNSC sat of 10 sessions on issues related to Ethiopia in a bid to drawn resolutions that could somehow favor Sudan and Egypt as well as the Arab League on matters which should have never been put before the UN. This implies that while the UN has far more urgent agenda like climate change, COVID-19, problems related to global poverty and economic inequality among member nations, issues that are closer to interest groups are being addressed in gross wastage of UN business time.
The UN, EU and the US are trying to buy time for prolonging the war with terrorist TPLF not as such from a genuine desire to restore peace in Ethiopia but to offer a breathing space and time for terrorist TPLF as their orchestra of conspiracies looms out. The UN is dead silent when the UNWHO Director Dr. Tewodros Adhanom was openly supporting terrorist TPLF in its genocide crimes against the people of Ethiopia.
On the other hand, the western powers and supporting media outlets are vigorously opposed to the close ties between Ethiopia, Eretria and Somalia because they are afraid of the joint political and economic power that they can generate in balancing the power rivalry in the Horn of Africa in favor of the three countries and their peoples. So they hunt for every bit of conspiracy they can find including lobbying in the corridors of the UN headquarters for additional diplomatic and economic pressures on Ethiopia. The UN and its agencies are becoming told for big powers to exert their interests on less developed countries whose agenda is usually suppressed in the UN.
Suffice it to mention the recent report on wide spread rape by UNWHO personnel in Democratic Congo whose reports are well documented at office of the WHO’s General Director. No action has so far been taken by the WHO in making the UN staff accountable for their actions.
All told, Ethiopia and the AU and member states wish to see a balanced, equitable, sincere UN body that prioritizes the interest of less developed countries rather than serving as a pawn for the big powers who care less about peace and security as long as their national interests are well served.