Following conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, over 60,000 refugees have fled over the border to eastern Sudan, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
In a statement late Wednesday, the global humanitarian group said it is working with Sudanese authorities to roll out emergency services to meet additional needs in both the Um Rakuba Camp and the newly established Tenetba camp.
“The needs are extremely high and the logistics of transferring refugees to the camps because of the distance from the border plus inadequate provisions has slowed delivery of aid to those in need,” said Carolyne Kanaiza, the IRC’s East Sudan emergency response director.
“We are working in Um Rakuba Camp as well as in Tenetba camp, where 20,000 refugees will be relocated due to overcrowding in Um Rakuba. Of most concern; we are seeing extremely high numbers of unaccompanied children as compared to most crises; almost half the number of refugees are children,” she added.
On Nov. 4 the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a former separatist movement, attacked the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force in the Tigray Region, sparking a conflict.
Two days after the attack, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the launch of airstrikes on several locations in the Tigray region.
On Nov. 28, Abiy declared the action over, and the forces are now engaged in tracking down the TPLF leadership, and providing basic services and supply relief to the citizens affected.
The IRC called on all parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to agree to an immediate cease-fire and ensure civilians, including refugees and aid workers, are protected and able to access and deliver life-saving services.