ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian police on Wednesday arrested the head of Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) Mitiku Kassa on charges of corruption.
Kassa, who has headed the state body since 2015, was previously Minister of State for Disaster Risk Reduction and Food Security.
In December 2019, he was also appointed as a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Internal Displacement.
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Tadesse Ayalewe, deputy head of the Federal Police’s Corruption Crimes Investigation Bureau said Kassa is suspected of conspiring with the head of an NGO called Elshadai.
The charity received food and clothing believed to be for the displaced, and these were later sold “to buy an apartment building for the suspect,” Tadesse said.
The arrest came after police closely watched the suspect, he added.
Ethiopia faces a major humanitarian crisis triggered by conflict and drought.
With nearly five million people displaced, a total of 26 million Ethiopians – almost a quarter of the population – need emergency food aid, according to the United Nations.
- Editor/ additional report by AFP