Kenyan President Uhuru arrives in Ethiopia, received by PM Abiy

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday arrived in Ethiopia for a visit.

He was received by Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali.

PM Abiy confirmed Uhuru’s arrival in a a statement via Twitter.

“I welcome my dear brother President Uhuru Kenyatta to his second home,” Abiy said.

Uhuru’s visit comes as Ethiopia continues to deal with armed conflict which has raged the country since November 2020.

Last week, Ethiopian authorities rounded up high-profile Tigrayans – from a bank CEO to priests – as well as United Nations staff in a mass crackdown on suspected supporters of rebellious northern forces, according to people linked to the detainees.

Police denied targeting the Tigrayan ethnic group, saying those arrested were believed to have links to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which has fought central government for a year.

The war has killed thousands, forced more than two million people from their homes, sucked in troops from neighbouring Eritrea and left hundreds of thousands in famine. Fighting has spread into neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions, threatening the stability of Ethiopia and the wider Horn of Africa.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency last week as Tigrayan forces pushed south towards the capital Addis Ababa. That allows for indefinite detentions and requires citizens to carry ID cards that can indicate ethnic origin.

The United Nations said on Tuesday at least 16 Ethiopian staff and dependents were detained but has not specified their ethnicity. On Wednesday, it said nine were still in custody.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said the arrests of Tigrayans – the latest in repeated waves documented by Reuters – were at least in the hundreds, including elderly people and mothers with children.

More than a dozen Ethiopian staffers working for the United Nations have been arrested in Addis Ababa in raids targeting ethnic Tigrayans under a  state of emergency, UN and humanitarian sources told AFP Tuesday.

“Some of them were taken from their homes,” one of the sources said, while a UN spokeswoman in Geneva said requests for their release had been submitted to the foreign ministry.

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