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Eritrean Refugees in Sudan

In recent years world attention has focused on the plight of people in west Sudan’s Darfur region. And not much has been heard about one of the world’s longest standing refugee situations on the other side of the country.

One refugee camp known as kilo 26 has been the home of many refugees who have fled Eritrea during its 30-year war with Ethiopia.

Annette Rehrl is the public information officer and spokesperson for the UN high commission for refugees (UNHCR) in Sudan.

From the Sudanese capital, Khartoum she told Nightline’s Akwei Thompson that the “current situation in Kilo 26, one of the 12 refugee camps that the UNHCR has in eastern Sudan, is somewhat deplorable.”

She said the world usually forgets that Sudan has been hosting Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees for the past 40 years. She suggested that the world may have forgotten that, once upon a time, there was a war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. “And even though they had their peace agreement, the situation in Eritrea deteriorated.” The UNHCR official observed that “people have forgotten about the refugee situation in camp Kilo 26, because the whole world is focusing on Darfur”.