(Source: Sudan Tribune, Gadafef, 06 January 2020) –
The Ethiopian Federal Army deployed more troops on the border area to prevent people fleeing the war in the Tigray region to cross into Sudan.
The federal troops have retaken control of most of the territory of the Tigray region. However, the TPLF fighters continue to resist in several areas triggering new waves of refugees.
Sudanese authorities recently identified over 40 TPLF elements who arrived in Sudan among the civilians.
“The Ethiopian army began closing the borders with Sudan, deploying troops, patrolling the border and building a fence to prevent refugees from reaching Hamdayet camp,” an eyewitness told the Sudan Tribune on Monday.
The witness further said that the Ethiopian army and police patrols chased the refugees in May Glitte area leading to Hamdayet Reception Centre on the Sudanese side of the border.
There more than 5,000 people in Dima, close to the Sudanese border who seek to enter the Hamdayet centre, according to eyewitnesses.
Fateh Moghaddam the director of emergency housing for refugees told the Sudan Tribune that the number of Ethiopian refugees has exceeded 63,000.
Moghaddam pointed out that 44,000 refugees from Hamdayet camp in Kassala state are waiting to be transferred to Altanideba camp in the Gadaref state.
He added that the transfer of refugees from the Hashaba Reception Centre in Gadaref began on Monday, with 250 refugees.
The UNHCR and Sudanese authorities initially decided to transfer 1000 refugees per day to the newly opened second camp in Altanideba area, but they reviewed their plans after the outbreak of the coronavirus in the Um Rakuba camp.
Moghadam said that the High Commissioner for Refugees reduced the number of passengers in a single transport bus from 35 to 15 people.
Also, 250 refugees are transported to Altanideba from the Hamdayet camp which is near the triangle border area between Eritrea Sudan and Ethiopia. The HCR and Sudanese authorities say they consider ways to accelerate refugees’ evacuation from this sensitive area.