Fri 20 November 2020:
Violence in northern Ethiopia will probably drive 200,000 people into neighbouring Sudan over the coming months, UN agencies have warned, where food, shelter and medicine are urgently needed.
Axel Bisschop, the UNHCR representative in Sudan, briefed the media in Geneva about the conflict unfolding in Ethiopia.
“Together with all the agencies, we have built a response plan for about 200,000 people.”
He said the protection is based on the current rate of refugees arriving at a place that intersects Ethiopia with Sudan and Eritrea.
“But soon, we will be overwhelmed, in our view. We already have 31,000 in a period of less than two weeks,” he said, noting the current daily average is 4,000 or 5,000.
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“Currently, we are at about 31,000, which already is surpassed or has already surpassed [….] and now the new planning figure is around 200,000, “said Bisschop.
When asked to elaborate on the 200,000 figure, the UNHCR official said: “We have discussed this together with all the partners here. And the fact is that the period is six months. It’s a planning figure.
“So it’s not something which is anticipated,” said Bisschop.
“At the moment, we have about 32,000.”
Over the past two weeks, war is raging between Ethiopia’s federal army and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in the country’s Tigray region at a high humanitarian cost, including the massacre of civilians at Mai-Kadra in Western Tigray near the border with Sudan.
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