Sudanese premier vows to protect Ethiopian refugees streaming into Sudan

Sudanese premier vows to protect Ethiopian refugees streaming into Sudan

Tigray refugees who fled the conflict in Tigray in Ethiopia rest on the banks of the Tekeze River on the border between Sudan and Ethiopia, in Hamdayet, eastern Sudan, on Saturday, November 21, 2020.

The head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) visited some refugee camps near the Sudanese borders with Ethiopia, where more than 43,000 Ethiopians fleeing the fighting in their homeland have arrived in Sudan, saying they are needs urgent assistance for refugees, most of whom are children

“I am in Sudan and I am visiting areas near the border with Ethiopia, where 43,000 refugees from the Tigray region of Ethiopia have so far arrived.” UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi said shortly after landing in Kasala, one of the areas hosting Ethiopian refugees.

“Sudan is once again showing its traditional hospitality to people in need, and urgently requires international aid to support its efforts,” UN High Commissioner Grandi tweeted on Friday.

Meanwhile, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told international media at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, is visiting Khartoum as the country is receiving increasing numbers. of refugees from Ethiopia.

The spokesman said that since the beginning of the fighting in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia in early November, more than 43,000 refugees have crossed into Sudan seeking protection and shelter.

The spokesperson stressed that “even before this influx, the country was hosting almost one million refugees, mainly from South Sudan.”

The spokesperson said that in eastern Sudan, UNHCR continues to step up its relief efforts together with the Sudan Refugee Commission and local authorities amid complex logistical challenges.

“Aid is being mobilized to help refugees, almost half of whom are children. Humanitarian agencies continue to provide shelter and other facilities to help refugees but more resources are required and Sudan urgently needs international support, ”the UN official stressed.

UNHCR has already helped relocate nearly 10,000 refugees to the Um Rakuba site, 70 km further from the border within Sudan, while work continues to install shelters and improve services.

The spokesperson announced that on Friday “a plane carrying 32 tons of UNHCR emergency aid from our global arsenal in Dubai landed in Khartoum,” adding that another airlift is scheduled to leave Dubai on Monday with 100 tons of items of additional relief. UNHCR’s global arsenal is housed in the International Humanitarian City in Dubai (IHC). “In total, we plan to send four airlifts.”

“Today’s cargo included 5,000 blankets, 4,500 solar lamps, 2,900 mosquito nets, 200 plastic sheeting and 200 plastic rolls. A second airlift will transport 1,275 family tents and 10 prefabricated warehouses. This aid will cover the immediate shelter needs of more than 16,000 people. The transportation costs for both flights were generously covered by the Government of the United Arab Emirates. UNHCR said that while workers on the ground began to complain that with almost two weeks since the arrival of the refugees, very little was done on the ground. “

Meanwhile, the UN body has complained that within the Tigray region there is growing concern for the safety of civilians in the conflict, particularly in its capital, Mekele, home to more than 500,000 people.

“UNHCR remains concerned that the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate in Tigray, including for the displaced and for some 96,000 Eritrean refugees who will be left without food as soon as Monday if supplies do not reach them. We join with other humanitarian agencies to reiterate our call for the protection of civilians and immediate humanitarian access to resume the delivery of vital assistance, ”UNHCR complained.

However, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abyei Ahmed’s office tweeted that the leaders of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front are trying to manipulate the international community into supporting a power-sharing agreement that grants them impunity for past crimes.

The Prime Minister himself stressed that the safety and general welfare of the people of Tigray is of the utmost importance to the federal government and “we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that stability prevails in the Tigray region and that our citizens are free from hurt and desire “.

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