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Ethiopian delegation discusses refugee situation in eastern Sudan

A checkpoint in Metema in north-western Ethiopia, next to the border with Sudan. The town is a centre of a booming trade in migrants from Ethiopia and Eritrea. (AP Photo)
February 1, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - An Ethiopian delegation has arrived in Sudan’s eastern state of Gedaref to check on the situation of Ethiopian refugees in the state, reported the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC)

The commissioner of Basonda locality in Gedaref State Osman Mohamed Ahmed told the SMC that a meeting has been held to discuss the situation of the Ethiopian refugees in his locality.

He pointed out that several officials have attended the meeting including the Ethiopian consular, representative of Ethiopia’s north-west Amhara region, the security committee in Gedaref and a number of executive officials.

According to Ahmed, the meeting discussed the voluntary repatriation of Ethiopian refugees who wish to return to their country as well as relocating those who seek to be granted refugee status to Al-Shagarab refugee camp.

He stressed his government’s commitment to coordinate with the Ethiopian regions to protect the join border and provide the refugee needs in cooperation with national and international aid groups.

The commissioner also vowed to protect the refugees’ properties in the localities of Basonda and Al-Qalabat Al-Sharquiya, pointing to the governor’s directive to provide urgent relief to the Ethiopian refugees.

Last November, the Sudanese Commission of Refugees (SCR) said 400 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in the eastern state of Gedaref following ethnic clashes between Amhara and Tigray.

According to statistics of the SCR, Sudan is hosting around 2 million refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Chad, Somalia, Central Africa Republic, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria.

The United Nations says Sudan hosts 110,000 Eritrean refugees, 400,000 South Sudanese refugees and more than 100,000 Syrian refugees.

In addition, some 500,000 South Sudanese who stayed in Sudan following the separation are also in need of humanitarian assistance according to the UN.

(ST)