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AU chief dismisses bloc’s security head after Ethiopia raises loyalty concerns

ADDIS ABABA, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The African Union has dismissed its security head, an Ethiopian national, after the Ethiopian government accused him of disloyalty to the country amid its conflict with a restive region that threatens to destabilize the Horn of Africa.

The office of the bloc’s chair, Moussa Faki Mahamat, ordered the dismissal of Gebreegziabher Mebratu Melese in a memo dated Nov. 11 that was reviewed by Reuters. The order came after a Nov. 10 letter from Ethiopia’s Defense Ministry. An African Union official confirmed the authenticity of the two letters to Reuters.

Air strikes and ground combat between Ethiopian troops and local forces in the Tigray region have killed hundreds, sent refugees flooding into Sudan, and stirred Ethiopia’s ethnic divisions. (Reporting by Giulia Paravicini Writing by Maggie Fick Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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