Khartoum, Jan 4 (efe-epa).- The flow of Ethiopian refugees fleeing an armed conflict in Tigray into Sudan has increased over the past few days as the violence has flared up, Sudanese authorities said on Monday.
Ethiopian government forces have been fighting the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in the region bordering Eritrea since 4 November.
“The number of those fleeing due to the armed conflict, which was renewed between the two parties in recent days, has increased, according to testimonies from refugees who have arrived since the end of last week,” director of emergencies of the Commission for Refugees in the eastern states al-Fateh Mokadem told Efe.
A total of 61,458 Ethiopians have entered Sudan since the conflict broke out in early November, including 42,902 through the Hamdayet crossing and 18,556 via Qadarif, both in eastern Sudan, Mokadem said.
The Ethiopian government proclaimed victory over the Tigray rebels on 28 November, after more than three weeks of fighting, although sporadic clashes have continued on several fronts.
By mid-December, the Sudanese authorities registered a little over 51,000 Ethiopian refugees.
The commission, under the interior ministry, had to open a new camp in Qadarif to cope with the spike in the number of refugees who overflowed capacity at the two existing camps.
“This morning we began to transfer the first group of refugees from the Hashaba border post to the new al-Tanideba camp, after the overcrowding of the Umm Rakuba camp, which exceeded its capacity,” he added.
In November, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees demanded $147 million to aid the Ethiopian refugees, estimating that their number in Sudan could reach 100,000 over six months. EFE-EPA