UN Refugee Agency: More than 25,000 Ethiopians Flee Violence for Sudan

The UN refugee agency says more than 25,000 Ethiopians, mostly women and children, have fled the violence in the country’s Tigray region for Sudan. The UN agency said Monday, the largest group making the exodus since the conflict began, close to 5,000, arrived in Sudan’s border provinces on Sunday.  Jens Hasemann, Emergency Response Coordinator for UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) described the situation as very bad. Hasemann said the UNHCR, the World Food Program, Sudan Red Cross, Muslim Aid and other agencies are providing aid but more needs to be done. Fighting erupted last week after Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched a military offensive against the Tigray regional government after an alleged attack by the Tigray region’s forces. Tedey Benjamin, a refugee from Tigray, said when a man, or even a child is slaughtered, this is revenge. This is a tribal war. Abiy’s government on Monday again shunned international pleas to open talks to end the conflict while neighboring Uganda and Kenya made similar pleas for both sides to seek a peaceful resolution to the crisis. Tensions have been building in the region since September  9 when Tigray, the northernmost of Ethiopia’s nine regional states, defiantly held a regional election after Ahmed postponed the polls, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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