Ethiopian officials are kicking out foreign aid workers from the United Nations despite an ongoing famine in the country's Tigray region. The Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that it is expelling some of the non-profit organization's officials for meddling in the country's internal affairs.

The ministry expelled seven senior members of the UN, including officials from the organization's Children Fund (UNICEF) and Office of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). The group has been given 72 hours to leave the country.

Earlier this month, one of the officials revealed that the government had set up a "de facto humanitarian aid blockade" going into the war-torn Tigray region. UNOCHA said there were at least 400,000 people in the region that were at risk of dying of starvation.

Since July, aid workers have been finding it hard to bring supplies and aid personnel to the region. UNOCHA said it had only managed to bring in about 600 trucks carrying humanitarian supplies, which is not enough to assist the more than 5.2 million people in need of aid.

The UN estimates that it would need to bring in at least 100 trucks per day to meet the demand for food and medical supplies. The UN said the Ethiopian government has continued to deny entry to trucks bringing in medical supplies.

The UN said "logistical and bureaucratic impediments" continue to delay the entry the essential humanitarian supplies to the region. The organization said fuel shortage and the continued harassment of drivers were also partly to blame. The Ethiopian government has repeatedly denied that it is blocking the entry of aid workers and supplies.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was "shocked" to learn of the threats from the Ethiopian government. He said the Un will continue to work with the government to ensure that it can keep its staff in the country.

"I have full confidence in the UN staff who are in Ethiopia doing this work. The UN is committed to helping Ethiopian people who rely on humanitarian assistance," Guterres said.

The UN had previously criticized the Ethiopian government for not committing to its promise of facilitating access. UN aid chief, Martin Griffiths, said that the problems in the country could be solved if the government would only cooperate.