Eritrean Refugees Express Grievance over UNHCR for Not Providing Necessary Support


September 20/2021 (ENA) Eritreans residing in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa have expressed grievance over the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for not providing the necessary support to the Eritrean Refugees sheltered in Tigray regional state.

The Eritreans held demonstration today in front of UNHCR office in Addis Ababa demanding the provision of humanitarian and other vital supports to the refugees sheltered in Tigray.

Particularly, refugees located in Hentsats and My-Ainy refugee camps in Tigray region of Ethiopia have not been receiving the necessary humanitarian support, according to the demonstrators.

The demonstrators stated that UNHCR has stopped providing support to the refugees since the last two months.

The refugees are now suffering from shortages of food, medicine, water among other vital provisions.

The refugees have been suffering from lack of medicines and medical services, they said.  

Despite its promise to relocate the refugees to North Gondar Zone of Amhara regional state, UNHCR has not yet executed its promise, the demonstrators noted.

Due to the indifferent observed by the UN Refugee Agency, currently the lives of the Eritrean refugees in Tigray have been endangered by the provocative acts of the terrorist TPLF gunmen, they added.

The Eritreans have urged UNHCR to swiftly relocate the refugees as per the promise.

Representative of UNHCR office in Addis Ababa, Mamadou Dian Balda  said that the agency is working in collaboration with the government of Ethiopia to address the stated problems.

“UNHCR understands the challenges the refugees are facing now. We are working in collaboration with the government of Ethiopia to relocate them.” 

The Ethiopian Agency for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) said for its part that it is working with partners to relocate the refugees to a safer location.

ARRA  with its main counterpart, UNHCR and partners working on the relocation of Eritrean refugees to Alam-Wach (a new camp in North Gondar, Dabat) with an effort to transfer them to a safer location.

“Thus, we made 91 hectares of land available and begun the construction of the camp. Side by side, temporary sheltering and basic service delivery are underway for refugees locating themselves in the area,” ARRA said in a statement.

So far ARRA is  serving 227 Eritrean refugees who relocated themselves to Dabat before TPLF forces attacked Mail-Aini and Adi-Harush camps and denied freedom of movement back in July 2021.

As has been agreed with the Woreda Administration and Dabat City Mayor’s Office, 4 schools and 3 training camps refurbished to temporarily hosting refugees, ARRA stated.

ARRA further urged the international communities to push for the relocation of refugees at Mai-Aini and Adi-Harush camps and get the relieved from abuses, killings and abductions among many violations at the hands of TPLF rebels.