Two AfDB workers assaulted, arrested ‘without explanation’ in Ethiopia

Abu-Bakarr Jalloh
Abu-Bakarr Jalloh

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has kicked against the assault of its staff in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.

According to a statement released by the bank on Thursday, two staff members were “unlawfully arrested, physically assaulted, and detained for many hours by elements of the security forces without any official explanation” on October 31.

AfDB said it has since lodged a formal complaint with the Ethiopian government which addressed the incident promptly.

“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,” the statement reads.

“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.”

The statement added that the Ethiopian government reassured the AfDB that its staff and those travelling to the country on mission would continue to enjoy full respect of their rights, privileges and diplomatic immunities under the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations as well as the bank’s host country agreement with 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 bank said.

“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.”

AfDB assured its partners that its operations in Ethiopia continue and have not been affected by the incident.

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