News / Africa

Ethiopia Awaits Influx of Refugees from Sudan and South Sudan

Ethiopia Awaits Influx of Refugees from Sudan and South Sudan
Ethiopia Awaits Influx of Refugees from Sudan and South Sudan
Joe DeCapua

Humanitarian agencies are preparing for an influx of refugees into Ethiopia from both Sudan and South Sudan. Civilians, mostly women and children, are fleeing fighting and violence in border areas.

Fighting continues in Sudan’s Blue Nile State between government forces and the rebel SPLA North Sector. While in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, ethnic violence stemming from cattle raids has left hundreds dead.

The U.N. refugee agency or UNHCR is coordinating relief efforts with the International Organization for Migration and the Ethiopian Relief and Rehabilitation Commission.

“There are expectations that a number of people fleeing the fighting will likely arrive in Ethiopia just as we have had cases, particularly between August and September last year when we had quite a number of people coming from Blue Nile State,” said Josiah Oginah, IOM’s chief of mission in Ethiopia.

Getting ready

It is unclear how many refugees will actually arrive in Ethiopia, but humanitarian agencies are planning for as many as 50,000.

“The number cannot be determined. It depends on who actually crosses the border. Sometimes those who cross the border may not necessarily be wanting to come into the refugee camps because some of them are people who also have some relations within the border area. So they may identify some relations that they would like to stay with host communities. So, determining the number is not easy,” he said.

The International Organization for Migration currently has an office in Assosa, in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia. It handled many of the refugees who arrived late last year. However, the new influx is expected further south in the Gambela region.

Local groups have been contracted to shuttle the refugees to three camps: Tongo, Sherkole and Adamazine. All are located far from the border. It’s estimated there are 35,000 refugees from Blue Nile State currently in Ethiopia, most of them in the camps.

The IOM’s Oginah said the new arrivals appear to be fairly healthy overall.

“(The) majority of the people who arrive (a) significant number are women and children. I would say that some of them look tired because of the distances they have covered, but they’re not in any bad health, nutrition conditions at all. They are just basically people who have been semi traumatized by having run away from hostilities. But health wise I think the majority of them are in reasonable shape,” he said.

The IOM saids more funding is needed to help the refugees. It’s appealed for one million dollars. It’s received $300,000 from the UNHCR in response to that appeal.

Meanwhile, in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, a four truck IOM convoy is carrying emergency non-food items to the town of Pibor. The aid includes plastic sheeting, jerry cans, kitchen utensils, blankets and soap. It’s being delivered to about 7,500 people displaced by recent ethnic fighting between the Lou Nuer (LO NUR) and the Murle.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs