GENEVA, 20 January 2021 – Thousands of Eritrean refugees in camps in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray are in dire need of basic supplies like water, the UN refugee has warned.
While schools and shelters are intact in two refugee camps that the UN agency has regained access to, the agency said the camps lack water, has no doctors and teachers who used to work there have fled the sanctuaries.
The camps the UN has regained control of are Mai Aini and Adi Harsush, where an estimated 25,000 Eritrean refugees used to live.
Most of the refugees who fled political persecution and compulsory conscription into the army in Eritrea have had to flee the UN-run camps as well.
The UN is still unable to access two other camps – Shimelba and Hitsat – situated in the northen part of Tigray.
An estimated 100,000 Eritrean refugees used to live in the four camps.
The United States and the European Union have accused Eritrea of gtting involved in the armed conflict in Tigray, and taking advantage of that to forcefully repatriate Eritrean refugees.
Ethiopian authorities initially denied the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray but, later, senior Ethiopian military officers told state-owned TV that Eritrean forces entered Tigray uninvited and unwelcomed.