UN Alarmed as Agencies Ordered Out of Ukraine’s Luhansk

UN Alarmed as Agencies Ordered  Out of Ukraine’s LuhanskUN Alarmed as Agencies Ordered  Out of Ukraine’s Luhansk

The UN humanitarian chief has said he is alarmed that UN agencies have been ordered out of eastern Ukraine’s separatist-controlled Luhansk region by the “de facto authorities” there.

In a statement on Thursday, Stephen O’Brien’s said the agencies had been told to end operations and leave by Friday, and several international non-governmental organizations have been told to leave the region by Saturday, Al Jazeera reported.

It is rare that UN agencies are ordered to cease operations in a country or region.

Separatists began fighting government forces in April 2014, occupying parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.

Earlier this month, the UN human rights agency said at least 7,962 people have died in the conflict.O’Brien’s statement does not name the NGOs being ordered out, though Medecins Sans Frontieres issued a separate statement on Thursday saying it was “extremely concerned” by the move. MSF said it has closed its office in Lugansk.

“A decision by the de facto authorities in Donetsk on the UN’s future operations remains on hold, and all UN agency operations have been suspended,” his statement said. The MSF statement said it continues its work in Donetsk.