According to a UN refugee spokesman, fighting between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray armed forces is fleeing across the border to Sudan every day by about 4,000 people.
Ethiopia A refugee crisis has erupted in Tigray and its neighboring area on the Sudan side, the UN announced on Tuesday.
The news agency Reuters reports on the matter.
“A full-scale humanitarian crisis is about to begin,” a UNHCR spokesman said. Babar Baloch said at a news conference.
According to Baloch, about 4,000 people flee across the border every day. In all, more than 27,000 people have fled to Sudan since the conflict broke out in Tigray State two weeks ago.
“Refugees who have fled the fighting continue to arrive and are very exhausted from the long trek to safety. They arrive at a fast pace, ”Baloch said.
He stressed that “Sudan is facing such a widespread refugee crisis that no such thing has been experienced on the Ethiopian border for two decades”.
Hundreds people are estimated to have died in fighting between Ethiopian central government and troops in the northern Tigray region. Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed launched a military operation against local government in the semi-autonomous region in the second week.
It is difficult to obtain independent information about the fighting because communications links from the Tigray area have been severed.
In addition, it is difficult to estimate how many have become refugees within Ethiopia. Representative of the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Jens Laerke estimates that because the number of refugees crossing the border is so high, there may be a “large dispersion” in Tigray.
From Ethiopia Refugees fleeing Sudan are safe, but the horrors of war will not leave them alone. The fugitives told the news agency AFP about their experiences.
“I saw mutilated bodies in explosions. Other bodies rot, lay on the road, murdered with a knife, ”said a 75-year-old sitting in the newly reopened Um Raquba refugee camp in East Sudan. Ganet Gazerdier told AFP.
Ganet says she lived with her three daughters. As a grenade fire approached their house in Himora, West Tigray, everyone fled in the dark. The bombing destroyed Ganet’s house. He also got rid of his family.
“I met some friends who were also on the run, so I followed them. I tried to find my daughter without success, ”she says.
Um Raquba Refugee Camp is located about 80 kilometers from the Ethiopian border. From 1983 to 1985, it served as a refuge for Ethiopian refugees fleeing famine.
Ethiopia the political system and state borders are largely based on ethnic divisions. 24 years old Gerdo Burhan tells AFP that the conflict has made ethnic differences life-threatening.
“If you belong to a tigray people and government soldiers grab you, you’re in trouble,” Gerdo said.
“They ask you, threatening with a gun, if you belong to the Tigray military forces. If you hesitate a little, you’re dead. They will shoot you in that place and leave your body on the street. ”
According to Gerdo, relying on being civilian doesn’t make much of a difference. He managed to escape to Sudan but got rid of his father, mother and two sisters on the run.
AFP says that while refugees are safe in Sudan, many do not feel relief. Guilt bites many who look forward to seeing you again with their loved ones.
Messah Geidi had to flee to divorce his wife and four-year-old child – and could not forgive himself.
“I don’t know where they are or if they’re even alive,” he tells AFP.
Messah fled the town of Mai Kadra in southwestern Tigray because “the army slaughtered young people like sheep”.
Human rights organization Amnesty said last Thursdaythat a massacre took place in Mai Kadra. Dozens or possibly hundreds of people had been stabbed and beaten to death.
In Ethiopia was made last Friday missile strikes airports, news agencies said. According to Reuters, Tigray State troops fired missiles at neighboring Amhara airports in the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ruling party in the state of Tigray, announced that the Tigray Defense Forces had carried out attacks in response to earlier airstrikes by Prime Minister Abyi’s troops.
“Our attacks will intensify until the attacks on the people of Tigray end,” the TPLF reported on the Tigray State Facebook page.
Nobel Prime Minister Abiy, who won the Peace Prize last year, ordered the military to carry out air strikes in Tigray in the second week. Prior to that, he had accused TPLF troops of attacking a military base.
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which rules the state of Tigray, has declared a state of emergency and calls the events “intrusion of outsiders”. According to the local government in Tigray, the Aby administration oppresses and discriminates against them.
Abiy has accused Mai Kadra of massacre of troops loyal to TPLF, but TPLF has denied any involvement in the killings.
Tensions had already escalated for months before violence erupted in early November. In September, the state of Tigray held its own regional elections, in which it defied the central government. The Ethiopian government does not recognize the new regime in Tigray and has called the elections illegal.