The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said that more than 58,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled into neighbouring Sudan amid military confrontation in east African country’s northernmost Tigray region.
A total of 58,612 Ethiopian refugees have been registered in Sudan since military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in the Tigray region broke out in November 2020, Xinhua news agency quoted the UN agency as saying in a statement on Sunday.
According to the UNHCR, in a bid to mitigate “potential health and security risks”, the UN body has been working with partners to relocate refugees to camps away from the border, and 26,864 refugees have been moved to the designated refugee camps.
The Ethiopian government is presently providing protection to nearly 1 million refugees mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan, who are being hosted across 26 camps and non-camp locations.
Ethiopia’s federal government has been undertaking military operations in the conflict-ridden regional since November 2020 against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
The TPLF, which used to rule the region, reportedly attacked a command base of the Ethiopian Defenve Forces.
The clash followed rising tensions between Ethiopia’s ruling Prosperity Party and the TPLF, as each side accused the other of trying to destabilise the country.
Mounting differences between the two sides exacerbated in September 2020, when the Tigray regional government decided to go alone with its planned regional elections, which the country’s Parliament had previously postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.