African Development Bank Withdraws International Staff from Ethiopia After Assault on Members

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced its decision to withdraw its international staff from Ethiopia, following an incident in October where Ethiopian security forces arrested and assaulted two AfDB staffers. The affected staff members, based in Addis Ababa, faced unlawful arrest, physical assault, and hours of detention without any charges or official justification.

The AfDB clarified that this decision would not impact nationally recruited staff from Ethiopia, who will continue their work and remain employed by the Bank, with the institution ensuring their well-being and that of their families.

The move comes in response to what the AfDB described as a breach of diplomatic protocol and assault on two of its international staff members by Ethiopian security forces during a visit to Ethiopia’s finance ministry on October 31. The incident coincided with an email phishing incident perpetrated by fraudsters, leading to the disappearance of over $5 million intended for deposit into the bank.

While it remains unclear whether the assaults on the AfDB officials are directly linked to the missing funds, the bank is awaiting the results of Ethiopia’s investigation, expecting a prompt and transparent process.

During the attack, senior leadership of AfDB in Addis Ababa, led by Ethiopia’s country manager Abdul Kamara, faced initial detention and subsequent violent assault. A photo showing Kamara with visible facial injuries has circulated on influential Ethiopian social media platforms.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina has reassured staff that the matter is being treated with the utmost seriousness. Adesina has also engaged with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, regarding the incident. As a precautionary measure, Adesina announced that the bank’s international staff in Ethiopia will work remotely until the government shares the investigation results transparently with the bank. Additionally, they will await complete information on actions taken to hold those responsible accountable.



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