ADDIS ABABA – The South Korean foreign ministry has recalled its top envoy to Ethiopia for sexual harassment and assault on the local staff members of the Korean International Cooperation Agency, according to the Reporter.
Ambassador Kim Moon-Hwan has been under investigation for sexual harassment and assault charges leveled against him by young staff members from its development agency for close to a month now. A month ago, a South Korean delegation was sent to Ethiopia to conduct an investigation and interview all the alleged victims in Addis Ababa.
This is not the first time the embassy faced backlash about the conduct of its staff members. Its top political director was accused of rape of a drunken young employee who was on her first diplomatic assignment.
This occurred a year after another allegation surfaced involving South Korean diplomats who were accused of harassing minors in Chile and in the Middle East. The ministry promised to constitute heavy punishment for those proven to be guilty of any sexual offense.
“Bowing low, the ministry offers the most sincere apology to the people, holding itself deeply responsible for the sex crime committed by a diplomat in Ethiopia,” the ministry said in a statement to Korean media.
It was the government’s disciplinary board that decided to relive the now former ambassador of his duties. It made its decision public on Tuesday as the foreign ministry was conducting its own investigation into the same allegations.
The allegations first surfaced as the embassy was looking into the matter of its political director sending shockwaves in Seoul.
The Embassy in Ethiopia continues to insist that the allegations and what has transpired were outside of the boundaries of Ethiopian authorities and local media – as they do not involve Ethiopian nationals and refused to speak on the latest development.