Sudanese refugees flee conflict into Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - An influx of Sudanese and Somali refugees has been recorded in five camps in Ethiopia, with fresh arrivals expected due to the crisis in Sudan's Blue Nile state, aid agencies warned Wednesday.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warned it was preparing additional camps in the Western Ethiopian region of Benishangul Gumuz to cope with the expected new arrivals of refugees from Sudan.

"UNHCR and the Ethiopian Government refugee agency (ARRA) continue to relocate new arrivals to existing camps on the day of arrival," the UN relief agencies said in their latest monthly bulletin.

Between 22 and 31 December, 1,240 Somali refugees who arrived in Ethiopia's Dollo Addo camp were settled in Bur Amino, Hilaweyne and Kobe camps, bringing the total number to 180,986 refugees in the five camps.

Despite relative stability in most of Somalia following the ouster of the Al Shabaab, more Somali refugees continue to flock centres in Ethiopia.

In December, the highest ever number of new refugee arrivals in a month during the whole of year 2012, a total of 6,164, was recorded.

"The trend in new arrivals highlights the need to start site planning and development of a sixth camp in Beneshangul Gumuz region, where 34 new arrivals were registered during the week of 28 December," it said

UNHCR warns an influx of refugees from Sudan is to be expected due to the worsening security situation in the region's Blue Nile state.

Tension has been rising in the border areas of Sudan and South Sudan since the latter's independence last year, following a six-year peace plan agreed by both sides after talks in neighboring Kenya.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 9Jan2012


09 january 2013 19:05:02

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