Nairobi, Kenya (FBC) Ethiopian government says it has arrested about 70 truck drivers who signed contracts with the United Nations and other aid agencies last week after the government declared a state of emergency in the country.

The United Nations said in a statement on Wednesday that it was looking into the cause of the arrests in the town of Semera, the gateway to aid convoys trying to reach the Tigray region. Government spokesman Legesse Tulu did not respond to requests for comment.

The statement comes a day after the United Nations said at least 16 domestic workers had been arrested in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. Witnesses say thousands of people have been evacuated since the declaration of the state of emergency.

Government spokesman Legesse told the Associated Press that the 16 UN staff members were arrested in connection with “unspecified” acts of terrorism. The government says it is arresting people suspected of supporting Tigray forces.

A new United Nations report says the drivers in custody are “different ethnic groups.” It was not clear whether such a large number of drivers had been arrested during the war.

The arrests are another test of the Ethiopian military’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to millions of people in the Tigray region since it launched airstrikes on the Tigray capital on October 18, 2008. .

“It is estimated that” 80% of the necessary medicines will no longer be available, “the UN humanitarian agency said last week. The Ethiopian government is wary of using the aid to support Tigrayan forces, and without providing any evidence, it has falsely accused human rights groups of arming the militants.

Africa’s second most populous war has killed thousands and displaced millions. Urgent Diplomatic Efforts Ceasefire and Talks Have a Small Window Opportunity But Tigrayan Forces Spokesman Getachew Reda tweeted on Wednesday that “most of the ‘peace initiatives’ are primarily to save (Ethiopian Prime Minister) The tendency will fail! ”

Tigray forces took control of the national government for 27 years before a political clash with the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize winner Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.