Friday, June 2, 2023
NewsFighting in Sudan forces 130,000 refugees to seek safety in Ethiopia

Fighting in Sudan forces 130,000 refugees to seek safety in Ethiopia

Thousands of Sudanese refugees fleeing the conflict in Sudan are expected to arrive in Ethiopia, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) announced.

It anticipates the arrival of up to 130,000 refugees, including 100,000 Ethiopians and the remainder being foreign nationals.

Ethiopian returnees, nationals of third countries, and Sudanese continue to enter the country via its border crossing points in the regions of Amhara (Metema), Benishangul Gumuz (Kurmuk), and Gambella (Pagak/Bubieyr), according to the UNOCHA report dated May 11, 2023.

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Every day, approximately 500 refugees arrive in Metema.

Sources claim that transportation costs between Khartoum and the Ethiopian border have skyrocketed to five figures.

As of May 11, 2023, Metema alone had received 18,531 refugees. A month after the outbreak of war in Khartoum in mid-April, the number of refugees fleeing to Ethiopia, Chad, South Sudan, and other neighboring nations is growing.

Last week, Meles Alem, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), stated at a weekly briefing that nearly one million Ethiopians reside in Sudan.

UNOCHA estimates that up to 860,000 Sudanese refugees and returnees will arrive in neighboring countries. Humanitarian agencies require a total of USD 445 million to manage the influx. Ethiopia’s appeal accounted for USD 76.9 million of the requested funding.

Only 22 percent of Ethiopia’s requested Humanitarian Response Plan for 2023 has been funded thus far.

As of May 12, 2023, the UN refugee agency reported that 200,000 people had already fled Sudan. 60,000 of them fled to Chad.

Sudan’s army and rival paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) signed a declaration on May 12, 2023, following a week of negotiations in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah. The combatants agreed to allow humanitarian aid, protect civilians, and work toward a temporary ceasefire.

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