News: Escalating military conflict in Sudan threatens displaced Ethiopians

Ethiopian refugees, who are housed in the Tunaydbah and Um Rakuba camps in Eastern Sudan, face imminent danger following the surge of militarized violence in Sudan and the evacuation of aid workers (Photo: Washington Post)

Addis Abeba – In the aftermath of the conflict that began in the Tigray region in November 2020, Ethiopian refugees who have sought refuge in Sudan, especially those from the western parts of Tigray, are now confronted with increased dangers as a result of a recent upsurge in military activities.

A refugee from Gedaref city in southeastern Sudan, who wished to remain unnamed, conveyed to Addis Standard that the refugee population in the city is facing imminent risks due to the escalating confrontations between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudanese military.

The refugee reported that humanitarian organizations have commenced evacuations since the previous Sunday, which has resulted in refugees feeling exceedingly vulnerable and without protection. “It is a frightening situation; we have no assurance of safety, and anything could happen,” the refugee stated.

The Guardian reported on Monday that the RSF has assumed control over Wad Madani, a city in southeast-central Sudan that previously served as a refuge for a substantial number of refugees.

In reaction to the RSF’s occupation of strategic positions in Madani, humanitarian groups have begun evacuating personnel from the Kesela Gedaref area.

A recent report by Addis Standard indicated that Ethiopian refugees, who are housed in the Tunaydbah and Um Rakuba camps in Eastern Sudan, have revealed the imminent danger they face following the surge of militarized violence in Sudan in April 2023 and the evacuation of aid workers.

The International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has documented the displacement of approximately 14,000 to 15,000 individuals from the Madani Al Kubra area. These displaced people have found refuge in the western districts of Wad Madani and in various locations within the states of Aj Jazirah, Sennar, and Gedaref.

In light of the escalating threat, the Tigray Association in Sudan issued a statement yesterday, underscoring the precarious circumstances faced by these refugees.

The statement by the Association in Sudan brought to the forefront the economic crisis confronted by Tigrayans who escaped the war and resettled in Madani and other Sudanese cities, underscoring their limited access to humanitarian assistance.

The association called upon the Tigray Interim Administration to assume responsibility for the protection of Tigrayans in Sudan. It was reported that close to 15 Tigrayans have succumbed to the conflict in Sudan due to the scarcity of medical resources and services, a situation exacerbated by the conflict.

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The association cautioned that the ongoing conflict in Khartoum could potentially extend to the refugee camps, where tens of thousands of Tigrayans are currently seeking asylum. It also appealed for charities to resume their services to the refugees immediately. AS

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