Ethiopia: Humanitarian Situation

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 14 January 2021.

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Photo of Lord Alton of Liverpool Lord Alton of Liverpool Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports from UN refugee camps in Tigray region that Eritrean refugees are being forcibly returned to Eritrea; whether they have raised concerns with the government of Eritrea about such reports; and what steps they are taking to uphold the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' mandate to protect any refugees in its care.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are extremely concerned that humanitarian agencies, including the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), do not have access to refugee camps in Tigray. The UNHCR has, as a result, been unable to corroborate reports of the abduction and forced return of Eritrean refugees. The UK continues to call for sustained, free and unfettered humanitarian access across Tigray, so that the UNHCR can uphold its mandate towards refugees.

The British Ambassador in Eritrea and our international partners continue to raise these questions with the Government of Eritrea who have denied that Eritrean forces have forcibly returned Eritrean refugees to Eritrea.

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