The UN Refugee Agency has estimated that 4-thousand people are arriving daily in Sudan from Ethiopia. UNHCR warned a full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding due to conflict in the Tigray region.
As CGTN’s Wanja Mungai reports, a mass exodus is underway. Ethiopians in the warring Tigray region are seeking refuge in neighboring Sudan. They are fleeing the ongoing war between the armed forces and the local government.
The two weeks long conflict has endangered their lives. Granite is one of the refugees. Together with her family, they managed to cross a river near the border to access Hamdayat camp in Sudan.
“I don’t know, but there was heavy fighting and many people died. After that they told us to leave so we fled, everyone did.”
Back home, people are running out of basic amenities like food, fuel, and medical supplies. Now, the United Nations warns of a looming major humanitarian crisis.
Babar Baloch, Spokesperson, UNHCR says “People are coming out of Ethiopia really scared, afraid, with stories saying they have been fleeing heavy fighting and there’s no sign of the fighting stopping,”
The UNHCR describes the crisis as the region’s worst in two decades. So far an estimated 27,000 people are already in Sudan.
The UN reports that 4,000 people arrive there daily and fear that the numbers could increase. Sudan has been safe haven for refugees fleeing conflict from Chad, Eritrea, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.
The support system on the ground is also getting overwhelmed.
Stephane Dujarric Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General submits that “Our humanitarian colleagues are telling us that they and their partners continue to call for the protection of civilians in Tigray, respect for international humanitarian law, and ways to assess needs and ensure that aid continues to reach areas affected by the conflict. Roads to the Tigray region remain blocked and our partners warn that supplies will soon be exhausted putting millions at risk of food insecurity and disease.”
With the globe grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, the authorities are fearing that this could make the already bad situation worse.
(Report by CGTN’s Wanja Mungai)