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Statement by the African Development Bank Group following the illegal arrest of its staff in Ethiopia

Mekelleፑ 17 November 2023(Tigray Herald)

Statement by the African Development Bank Group following the illegal arrest of its staff in Ethiopia

On 31 October 2023, two staff members of the African Development Bank Group based in Addis Ababa were unlawfully arrested, physically assaulted, and detained for many hours by elements of the security forces without any official explanation.

We are pleased that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia immediately acted when he learnt of the incident, ordered the immediate release of the affected staff and promised to order an immediate investigation into the incident.

This is a very serious diplomatic incident, and the African Development Bank has since lodged a formal complaint with the Ethiopian authorities. For their part, the government has formally acknowledged our complaint, recognised the gravity of the incident, and reassured us that all those involved in breaking the law will be thoroughly investigated and brought to justice, ensuring transparency and full accountability.

Furthermore, the government has also reassured the African Development Bank that its staff in Ethiopia and those travelling to the country on mission will continue to enjoy full respect of their rights, privileges and diplomatic immunities under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as well as the African Development Bank’s Host Country Agreement with the Government of Ethiopia.

The African Development Bank values its excellent relations with the government of Ethiopia and is currently engaged with the authorities, through diplomatic channels, concerning the incident.

The African Development Bank’s management would like to reiterate its commitment to the safety, security, rights and privileges of all its staff in all countries where the Bank operates.

The African Development Bank wishes to assure all its partners that its operations in Ethiopia have not been affected by this incident.

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