32,000 have fled to Sudan, U.N. says
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.