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Fighting in border areas prevent Ethiopian from crossing into Sudan


Ethiopian who fled the fighting in Tigray region, carry their belongings from a boat after crossing the Setit river on the Sudan-Etthiopia border on 23 November 2020 (Reuters Photo)
November 25, 2020 (HAMDAYET) - The intensification of the fighting in the neighbouring Tigray region considerably reduced the number of refugees crossing into Sudanese territory.

During the past few days, the Ethiopian army retook control of Humera near the border with Sudan and Eritrea, as the government forces seek to encircle the Tigrayans fighters from several fronts.

There no reports about the humanitarian situation in the area. However, an AFP reporter who reached the area said Amhara officials and militiamen are now controlling the area which was part of their region until 1991, as they said.

The Hamdayet witnessed a sudden and visible decline in the number of refugees after the federal army deployed a large group of its forces in the Dima border area to stop the fleeing Tigray and prevent them from crossing the Sitet river into the Sudanese territory.

Humanitarian sources in Hamdayet confirmed to Sudan Tribune that only 349 refugees arrived in the transit centre on Monday.

Ethiopian activists say the Ethiopian government seeks to prevent refugees from leaving the country, pointing to the growing international pressure on Addis Ababa to accept negotiations with the Tigray region officials.

So far, the UNHCR has managed to transport 8,882 Ethiopians to Um Rakoba camp in Gadaref State. The UN agency said they would continue the operation on Thursday morning.

As of Wednesday, the number of Ethiopian refugees who reached the Hamdayet reached 26,869 thousand in addition to 15,446 who arrived at Hashaba camp in Fashaqa in the state of Gadaref.

Sudan Tribune reporter who visited the Hamdayet refugee reception centre noticed the deterioration of health conditions, accumulation of waste and the spread of diseases among refugee children, following a severe cold wave.

More than 391 children are sick, say health workers.

They also warned against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic saying its symptoms appeared among refugees.


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