Statement by the Norwegian Refugee Council's Regional Director, Nigel Tricks:
“We are deeply disappointed by the Government of Ethiopia’s decision to extend the suspension of our activities in the country by a further two months. We are engaging with the relevant authorities to better understand and respond to this decision as we seek a speedy return to previous levels of collaboration with the Ethiopian government and people.”
On 30 July, the Ethiopian authorities ordered NRC to suspend all operations with immediate effect for three months pending an investigation. The government accused NRC of spreading false information on social media and failing to obtain the appropriate permissions for international staff working in country. NRC responded to the government’s allegations, insisting that it operates legally and with the best intentions. Regardless, it complied with the order and suspended its programmes.
On 28 October, the authorities informed NRC that the suspension had been extended by a further two months, with further questions for us to respond to.