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‘Refugees fleeing Tigray conflict crosses 58,000’ UN says

The United Nations has said that refugees fleeing the Tigray conflict in Ethiopia have crossed 58,000.

In a presser on Sunday, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that the Ethiopian refugees had fled to Sudan. They put the exact figures of those who had registered in Sudan at 58,612.

They said that they would be working with partners to relocate the refugees to camps further from the border. Already, they had moved 26,864 refugees to designated refugee camps.

4.5 m risk starving

Furthermore, more than 4.5 million left in Tigray now need emergency food aid as the conflict has cut off the food supply.

“There is an extreme urgent need to scale up the humanitarian response because the population is dying as we speak,” Mari Carmen, head of the emergency unit for Doctors Without Borders, said to AP.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian government has been protecting close to one million refugees from its neighbours, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan, hosting them in 26 camps and other non-camp locations.

Ongoing Tigray conflict

Conflict broke out in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, in November 2020. Ethiopian Military chose to engage with the regional forces of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF).

The confrontation came about after the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) said that TPLF aligned security forces had attacked its bases. The attack took place on November 4, 2020, at ENDF Northern Command headquarters in Mekelle.

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, also declared a state of emergency in the region shortly after.

Assault on civilians

After ENDF began the assault, there were mass killings of civilians in late November and December. The escalation of the conflict led to several people then taking off and fleeing for their lives. Many of these refugees fled to Sudan.

Sudan has been welcoming the Ethiopian refugees, though. According to the UN, Sudan doubled its camp house for the refugees in late November after filling up with over 5,000 refugees.

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