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120 Ethiopian peacekeepers are in eastern Sudan refugee camps: COR

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People collect water in the Um Rakuba refugee camp in Sudan (Abdulmonam Eassa Getty Images)September 10, 2021 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese Commission of Refugees (COR) confirmed Friday that 120 Ethiopian peacekeepers have applied for asylum in Sudan.

In a statement released in Khartoum, the COR said Sudan is hosting over 80,000 Ethiopians who sought refuge in eastern Sudan after the eruption of war in the Tigray region in November 2020.

Among these refugees, "there are 120 Ethiopian officers who were part of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Sudan," further said the refugee’s body.

All of the military refugees including 14 women and 106 men are in the Umm Gargour camp in eastern Sudan.

In May 2021, the COD had already issued a statement indicating the defection of the 120 Ethiopian troops from the Tigray ethnic group who were part of the UN force in Darfur, UNAMID.

This second statement comes one week after allegations that Ethiopian refugees in Sudan are fighting along the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) against the Ethiopian government forces.

On 3 September, the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) stated that 50 TPLF militants had been killed while attempting to cross into Ethiopia from Sudan to attack the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

Following this statement, the UNHCR issued a statement on 7 September saying they monitor and verify on regular basis the continued presence of the registered refugees in the camps.

"Refugee status is incompatible with active participation in armed conflict," said the refugee agency before adding" Any registered refugees who may have returned to Ethiopia and joined the conflict are no longer considered refugees".

The UNHCR added they continue to work with the Sudanese authorities "to separating identified combatants from the civilian population seeking asylum".

(ST)

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