Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, August 2021
More Refugees From Ethiopia Stream Into Sudan
Authorities in Sudan say at least 3,000 Ethiopian refugees fled into Sudan this week, after the war in Ethiopia's Tigray region spread to the neighboring Amhara region. VOA speaks to a refugee camp director and a political analyst about the significance of the influx in this report from Khartoum.
Sudanese authorities reported thousands of Ethiopian refugees crossing the border this week. In a phone interview with VOA, the head of the Al-Qadarif Emergency Committee handling refugee camps, Alfatih Mogadam, said the registered number of the new asylum seekers is 1,058.
Mogadam says the camps will struggle to absorb so many refugees, and he asked the Sudanese government and aid groups to quickly intervene.
The majority of the new refugees fled from Ethiopia’s Amharic region, bordering war-torn Tigray, and the conflicted Alfashga region between Sudan and Ethiopia.
WHO: Millions of Tigrayans Without Basic Health Care Approximately 3.8 million people in Tigray need health assistance, but the World Health Organization says it has managed to reach only 87,000 since May
The war erupted in Ethiopia last November between the federal government in Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed accused Tigrayan troops of attacking federal military camps.
The war in Ethiopia has caused a devastating humanitarian crisis mostly in the Tigray region.
Humanitarian aid agencies like the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) say more than 5 million people in the Tigray region are in urgent need of food aid. About 60,000 Ethiopians have fled to Sudan and are camping in the eastern cities bordering Ethiopia.
Sudanese analysts like Ahmed Abdelghani warn the influx from the Amhara region might lead to tension between Amharans and Tigrayans in the camps.
Abdelghani says it is challenging because of the previous disputes between the two ethnic groups, with the Amharic group supporting the federal government of Ethiopia in its war against the Tigrayan people. He adds that receiving the new refugees in the same camps may cost Sudan a lot if the government did not conduct security procedures to avoid any breakdown between the battling groups.
The conflict in the Tigray region has worsened the already-troubled relationship between Sudan and Ethiopia.
The countries have engaged in a years-long dispute about Ethiopia’s massive hydroelectric GERD dam, which Sudan and Egypt fear will cut off their access to adequate water from the Nile River.
The Ethiopia government announced updated plans Tuesday for electricity generation from the dam, after the second-phase filling of the dam ended this month.
Dozens of bodies found in river between Ethiopia’s Tigray, Sudan
BY DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL, AUG 03, 2021
Around 50 bodies have been found floating in the river between Ethiopia’s Tigray and Sudan, according to a Sudanese official in Kassala province.
The Setit River separates Sudan from Ethiopia and acts as a de facto borderline between the conflicting Tigrayan forces and Ethiopia-backed Amhara forces.
“They were shot in their chest, abdomen, legs... and also had their hands tied,” said Tewodros Tefera, a surgeon who fled the nearby Tigray city of Humera to Sudan. The doctor told The Associated Press (AP) that more than 10 bodies were buried in the past six days and 28 more had been recovered to be buried.
“We are actually taking care of the bodies spotted by fishermen, but I suspect there are more bodies on the river,” Tewodros said.
“We found nine...They tied them up with a rope and they were swollen, but there’s no marks of them being hit or shot,” said an Ethiopian refugee from Humera.
“I saw a lot of barbaric things... Some had been struck by an axe,” said another doctor from Hamdayet who saw the bodies and spoke on condition of anonymity. Some of the corpses had facial markings indicating they were ethnic Tigrayans, added the doctor.
Tigrayans have previously accused Amhara forces allied to the central government of dumping bodies there, accusations they deny. An Ethiopian government-run Twitter account said on Monday, that the accounts of floating bodies circulating on social media were due to a fake campaign by Tigrayan “propagandists.”
The armed conflict first erupted in November 2020 between Ethiopia’s federal forces and the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Six million people in the region are living in harsh circumstances created by the conflict and, around 900,000 people are facing famine conditions.
In recent weeks fighting has spread from Tigray into Amhara and Afar, two regions neighboring Tigray, deteriorating the conditions in the war-torn country and Africa’s second-most populous nation.
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