Home | News    Sunday 15 November 2020

Over 24,000 Ethiopian refugees cross into Sudan

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Ethiopians who fled the fighting in Tigray region are seen at the Setit River on the Sudan-Ethiopia border in Hamdait village in eastern Kassala state, Sudan November 14, 2020. (Reuters photo)November 14, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The number of Ethiopian refugees that crossed the Sudanese border has reached over 24,000, as Sudanese and UN refugees (UNHCR) officials travelled again to the border areas in eastern Sudan on Sunday.

"The number of Ethiopian refugees who arrived in the states of Gedaref and Kassala, until today Saturday, increased to 24,944 refugees," reported the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) in coverage to a visit to the border area in Gadaref State by Sudan’s Commissioner for Refugees Abdallah Suleiman and UNHCR Assistant Representative in Sudan Jan Hansmann on Saturday

They discussed with health officials in Gadaref State the urgent needs to meet the increasing number of refugees.

In statements to the official news agency, Hansmann said that the top priority at present is to provide shelter, food and water to the refugees and to transfer them to safe areas far from the border.

He added that the UNHCR is now working to establish new camps.

For his part, Suleiman called on the international community to urgently provide support to refugees fleeing the war in the Tigray region.

On Friday the UNHCR Spokesman Barbar Baloch said the number of refugees reached more than 14,500.

Following the eruption of the fighting on 4 November, the Sudanese officials projected that over 200,000 Ethiopians might cross into Sudan.

Baloch further expressed concern about the situation of 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Tigray Region saying that their services have been seriously disrupted.

To give an idea about the situation, he said over 4,000 crossed the border in one day. The majority of refugees arrived at Hamdayet border point in Kassala State and others at Lugdi in Gedaref State.

On Friday, the Sudanese Minister of Interior al-Tarifi Idris Dafa Allah visited the border areas in the states of Gedaref and Kassala to inspect the security situation.

The Ethiopian government refused calls to end the fighting as the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed vowed on Thursday to deliver a decisive win soon and to bring to justice the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Further, on Friday, Ahmed further appointed Deputy Minister for Science and Higher Education Mulu Nega, 52, as chief executive of Tigray Region.

The Tigray region leaders said they launched rocket attacks on two airports of Bahir Dar and Gondar in the Amhara region on Friday night.

Also, they bombed the airport of Eritrean capital Asmara on Saturday evening, however, reports from Asmara confirm the attack but say they missed the airport.

Getachew Reda, a TPLF leading member, Saturday accused Eritrea of fighting them alongside the Ethiopian army and threatened to conduct missile attacks "to foil military movements in Massawa and Asmara".

(ST)

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