Jan 20, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

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Ethiopia lifts 5-month suspension of Norwegian Refugee Council operations

Ethiopia has lifted a five-month suspension of operations against the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Authorities in Ethiopia had the NRC and the Dutch section of Doctors Without Borders, known by., suspended its in July 2021 French name Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and accused them of “disseminating misinformation” online.

The two humanitarian groups work in the war-hit Tigray region.

NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland said the organization is ready to resume its humanitarian work.

“We look forward to resuming our longstanding humanitarian work for refugees in Ethiopia and for people displaced by conflict and disaster. In order to resume operations for people in great need, our competent and committed Ethiopian and international employees urgently need the same basic freedom of action that we enjoy all over the world, ”he said.

The Civil Society Authority The organization (ACSO) ordered the suspension in late July, citing the NRC’s advocacy of humanitarian needs and access in the country and a number of administrative issues related to the organization’s work. The ACSO Board of Directors extended the suspension in late October and asked additional questions.

NRC provided answers and explanations to all allegations and questions raised throughout the process.

NRC said, It was announced that the ACSO Board lifted the suspension on December 31, 2021 and cleared the organization of most of the allegations.

On July 30, 2021, the NRC was requested by the Ethiopian authorities to cease all of its operations in Ethiopia for three months pending an investigation into its work. The suspension was extended for an additional two months to January 3, 2022 in October when the organization officially received the letter informing it that the suspension had been lifted.

At the time of the suspension NRC more than. reaches 250,000 people in Ethiopia and aims to double that number by the end of this year.

NRC in Ethiopia provides education, clean water, shelter, food and legal aid to displaced Ethiopians and refugees.

” We are relieved that the suspension, which has temporarily suspended our humanitarian work for hundreds of thousands of people in great need, has been lifted, “said the organization.

Mr Egeland said the organization’s staff are looking forward to it the resumption of dialogue with the government, and the NRC would obtain the much-needed permits, visas and green lights to ensure they are properly resumed and providing effective assistance.

The Secretary-General said the organization would continue with. local, national and international partners work together to provide assistance and protection in accordance with international humanitarian law and the principles. couldn’t reach 2021. Now that we have to start over, it will take time to reach as many people again as we did before the suspension. We lost many of our employees; We urgently need return permits for our international staff and we need to be able to pay our suppliers, ”said Mr Egeland.