26.7 C
February 21, 2024
  • Home
  • Global
  • Africa
  • Tigray crisis: Ethiopian soldiers accused of blocking border with Sudan
Africa News

Tigray crisis: Ethiopian soldiers accused of blocking border with Sudan

By BBC Africa

The number of refugees fleeing the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia – where federal and regional forces are engaged in fighting – has reduced drastically after soldiers were deployed to the border with Sudan.

The BBC first spotted the soldiers on Wednesday, at the Hamdayet border crossing point, and has been hearing testimonies from refugees who say their relatives are being blocked from leaving Ethiopia.

“I arrived yesterday morning and I wanted to go back home to bring my family here,” said one man who did not want to be identified. Speaking on the banks of River Sittet in Hamdayet, he told the BBC he had been unable to return to Tigray to get his relatives because “there are soldiers on the border and those who had gone before me were asked not to return”.

The Ethiopian government has not responded to repeated BBC requests for comment on the accusation.

Across the river that straddles the border, about a dozen soldiers stand at intervals on hilltops looking in the direction of Tigray. Boats parked on both sides of what is usually a busy crossing point are largely unused.

Dozens of refugees have gathered to look at the newly deployed federal soldiers on the Ethiopian side of the border. Others – both refugees and Sudanese – have been down to the river to fetch water or wash. A group of children have been swimming and playing in the water.

But mystery lies in the land beyond this river. An information blackout in Tigray has meant that separated families have been unable to communicate.

Human Rights Watch, quoting refugees who have recently arrived in Sudan, has reported that Ethiopian soldiers have been blocking civilians in Humera, about 20km (12.5 miles) from the border, which it says has resulted in “a massive drop in the number of refugees reaching Sudan”.

Data from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) shows that new refugee numbers peaked around 10 November, with more than 6,800 people crossing into Sudan in a single day. The average number arriving daily has been 3,000, officials told the BBC. However, since Ethiopian troops were deployed along the border, the number has dropped to about 700 a day.

Related posts

Tayebwa rallies men to allow wives take on leadership position


Alpha Spice Releases A Historical Seasonal Christmas Song Titled “Merry Christmas” – #WalkWithJesusALBUM”


Breaking news: New Vision Group boss Robert Kabushenga resigns


Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy