Ethiopia: Refugees

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 17th November 2020.

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Photo of The Earl of Sandwich The Earl of Sandwich Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of refugees in the Ethiopia-Sudan border region, (2) the nationality of these refugees, and (3) the impact of the Tigray conflict on refugee numbers in that area.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there are almost 162,200 refugees in regions of Ethiopia adjoining Sudan from Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan. Owing to telecommunications outages across Tigray region and limited access for humanitarian agencies due to insecurity we are not able to accurately determine the impact of the conflict on refugee numbers.

We await confirmation from UNHCR about the movement of Ethiopians into Sudan but Sudanese media have reported that an estimated 6,000 asylum seekers from Ethiopia have crossed into Sudan in recent days. Prior to the fighting in Tigray, Sudan hosted approximately 13,000 Ethiopian refugees who reside in official camps as well as in towns and cities across the country.

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