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New York (ANN)- The United Nations has condemned the arrest of 22 Ethiopian aid workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during a government crackdown on ethnic Tigrayans in the capital.

A United Nations envoy confirmed on Tuesday that 22 Ethiopian workers had been arrested during a government crackdown on ethnic Tigreans in the capital, Addis Ababa.

Six people have been released, but 16 remain in custody, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in New York.

“Of course, we are actively working with the Ethiopian government to secure his release as soon as possible,” Dujarric said.

“As far as I know, no explanation has been given as to why these workers were arrested,” the UN official added.

Addis Ababa police officials told reporters on Monday that they were being held by the TPLF, and said the arrests were not racially motivated.

The US State Department has strongly condemned the arrests of Tigrayans in Addis Ababa, and described reports of harassment of Tigreans as unacceptable.

White House spokesman Ned Price said the racially motivated arrests were “absolutely unacceptable”.

Related: Getachew Reda, a member of the TPLF group removed the Mengistu regime, thirty years ago, is warming up in Addis Ababa to oust Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia, which has been embroiled in more than a year of civil war, has declared a state of emergency after TPLF forces seized key towns in the north in recent days, closing the only supply route from the Port of Djibouti.

The government of Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, who is currently in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, has rejected efforts by diplomats seeking to end the conflict, with the United States and Western countries calling on TPLF fighters near the capital to stay away to continue fighting, to find lasting solutions and dialogue.

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By Arraale M Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights activist.

Araweelo News Network.