Ethiopia: Soldiers accused of blocking refugees at Sudan border

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Ethiopian forces have manned the border between the country’s northern Tigray region and neighbouring Sudan, allegedly blocking refugees from re-entering the country.

BBC reporters saw Ethiopian soldiers at the Hamdayet border crossing point and published testimonies from refugees claiming to have fled violence in the Tigray region, only to be prevented from returning to their home country by the soldiers – reports the Ethiopian government is yet to confirm or deny.

Refugees blocked at Ethiopia-Sudan border

The BBC has published accounts from refugees in Sudan, claiming to have fled from the Tigray region where federal soldiers are clashing with local Tigray forces after weeks of conflict. Some who fled say they have attempted to cross the border back into their home country to find relatives but claim soldiers told them not to return.

This follows reports from Human Right Watch of soldiers blocking civilians in Humera, resulting in “a massive drop in the number of refugees reaching Sudan”.

Figures published by the UN refugee agency UNHCR show that arrivals from Ethiopia in Sudan peaked around November 10 with more than 6,800 refugees crossing the border every day –  a number that has since dropped down to around 700 per day.

The UN has called upon authorities in Ethiopia to restore the rule of law and ensure unfettered access for aid groups to distribute humanitarian assistance to those who need it most.

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About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.