Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sudanese Refugees Continue Sit-in at Ethiopian Camps

Fri 03 May 2024 | 10:50 AM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

Sudanese refugees in the “Kumur” and “Olala” camps in the Amhara region of Ethiopia have issued an urgent appeal to the United Nations and international organizations to intervene swiftly to ensure their protection. 

This plea comes as thousands of refugees have commenced a sit-in two kilometers from the Olala camp after local authorities halted their attempt to walk to the city of Gondar.

Hundreds of refugees are also staging a sit-in in front of the police station near the Kumur camp, demanding immediate evacuation to a safe location. 

A spokesperson for the refugees' committee, who remained anonymous for security reasons, told Radio Dabanga that Ethiopian forces surrounding their sit-in near the Olala camp are blocking access to water and food in an effort to force them back to the camp.

The spokesperson highlighted the life-threatening risks faced by refugees at the sit-in locations in Kumur and Olala. 

The Kumur camp currently hosts 8,000 registered refugees, over half of whom are from Sudan, while the Olala camp, established in recent months, houses a similar number of refugees, along with others at a reception center in the Ethiopian city of Metemma.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has confirmed that over 100,000 refugees have crossed the border from Sudan following the outbreak of war, including nearly 47,000 refugees and asylum seekers. The Sudanese community in Ethiopia estimates that approximately 60,000 Sudanese who entered Ethiopia since the conflict began are still there.

The refugees have left the camps due to deteriorating security conditions, ongoing gunfire inside the camps by local armed groups aiming at looting, and various crimes against the refugees including kidnapping for ransom, murder, and serious harm. They also face restricted movement, water and food shortages, and declining healthcare services.

The refugees are urgently calling on human rights organizations and other international bodies to intervene promptly to address their conditions. They are also appealing to the UNHCR and all relevant UN agencies to act quickly to save their lives.