32,000 have fled to Su­dan, U.N. says

The Washington Post - - THE WORLD -

The U.N. refugee agency says that about 32,000 peo­ple have fled Ethiopia’s em­bat­tled Tigray re­gion into neigh­bor­ing Su­dan and that it is pre­par­ing for up to 200,000 in the next six months if nec­es­sary.

Axel Biss­chop, the agency’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Su­dan, told re­porters Fri­day that “no­body at this stage can say ex­actly how many will come,” as deadly fight­ing con­tin­ues be­tween forces of the Ethiopian gov­ern­ment and the Tigray re­gional gov­ern­ment.

An­other cri­sis is grow­ing in the sealed-off Tigray re­gion as food and other sup­plies run des­per­ately low. U.N. Sec­re­tary Gen­eral An­tónio Guter­res called for the open­ing of hu­man­i­tar­ian cor­ri­dors “and the truces that might be nec­es­sary for hu­man­i­tar­ian aid to be de­liv­ered.”

He added: “This is a mat­ter of enor­mous con­cern to us.”

The Ethiopian refugees are ar­riv­ing in a very re­mote area of Su­dan, and aid work­ers must cre­ate a cri­sis re­sponse vir­tu­ally from zero even as up to 5,000 refugees ar­rive each day.

Ethiopian troops have taken the Tigrayan towns of Axum and Adawa and are ad­vanc­ing on Adi­grat, 72 miles from the re­gional cap­i­tal, Mekelle, the gov­ern­ment said late Fri­day. Tigray forces were not avail­able for com­ment.

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