Home | News    Wednesday 18 July 2012

IOM, UNHCR officials visit Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia

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July 17, 2012 (ADDIS ABABA) - IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, UNHCR High Commissioner, António Guterres and Ethiopia’s Deputy Director for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), Ayalew Awoke visited the newly opened Bambasi refugee camp in Benshangul Gumuz region, on Monday, where thousands of Sudanese refugees are being sheltered.

The Director General and the High Commissioner urged the international community to extend its support to the thousands of Sudanese refugees who are forced to cross borders to Ethiopia due to continued fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in Sudan’s Blue Nile State.

"We are very pleased that Ethiopia has kept the border open. But this situation is serious and requires the continued attention of the international community," said Ambassador Swing.

Since fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the SPLA-N, broke out last year, Sudanese refugees have been crossing into Ethiopia at an average rate of 200 to 300 a day, according to the IOM.

Currently Ethiopia hosts over 35,000 Sudanese refugees who have fled conflict in Blue Nile state.

UNHCR High Commissioner Guterres made a similar appeal, asking for more support to assist the Sudanese refugees with basic services.

He stressed that the humanitarian community needs more international help "to engage much more resolutely."

Located in Ethiopia’s south west, Bambasi camp is the third camp established in the Benshangul Gumz region bordering Sudan. Since mid June the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been relocating hundreds of Sudanese refugees from the Al Damazin Transit Center to this recently opened camp.

The IOM was forced to relocate the refugees after the Al Damazin Transit Center reached maximum capacity of more than 14,000 refugees in June.

UNHCR representative in Ethiopia, Kisut Gebregzabhir, recently told Sudan Tribune that the Sudanese refugees are fleeing violence in Blue Nile State and new arrivals claim to have been attacked by unknown people and their fields burnt.

According to Gebregzabhir, Ethiopia has seen a high influx of refugees in April and May; however, June has seen a relative decline.

IOM said that in addition to providing transport to relocate the refugees, the organization is seeking funds to build 1,500 shelters at the Bambasi refugee camp. UNHCR will cover part of the funding.

Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), which is an implementing partner of IOM and the UNHCR, has been collaborating with the international Aid groups in providing basic assistance and in assisting emergency transport and pre-departure medical checks.

(ST)

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  • 18 July 2012 08:46, by Ayom Dor

    Surely, They are the poorest and needy ones that the world should help out in feeding them at that remote part of the world!!



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