Ethiopia: Somalis and Eritreans flee to Ethiopia en masse

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Somalis and Eritreans migrating to Ethiopia en masse due to the unending political crisis in their countries could trigger a humanitarian burden. According to a report released by the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), about 100 Somalis per day arrive at the border towns of Ethiopia.

The unstable situation in Somalia has led to an increased refugee inflow into the already existing camps close to Jijiga in the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia, the report reads.

New arrivals from Somalia, about 100 refugees per day, after undergoing screening by the Ethiopian immigration authorities are registered by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and sheltered in a camp located in Dollo Ado of Somalia Region.

But due to the high rate of the Somali refugee inflow, which has created congestion at the existing camps, the UNHCR has been forced to construct a new camp to host new arrivals after the Ethiopian government and donors called for the establishment of a new refugee camp.

The Somali crisis was reignited after the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from Somalia between late last year and January this year, giving the Islamist rebel group al-Shabab the leeway to seize control of key strategic areas.

The rebels have threatened the President of somalia Sharif Sheik Ahmed and his government as well as the African Union peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu.

Abdulkarim Farah, former Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia was recently murdered in a suicide attack perpetrated by the rebel group in the town of Beledweyne, near the Ethiopian border.

According to official sources, Somalis are not the only refugees flooding into the country. The arrival of Eritrean refugees has also increased at a similar rate.

In the past two years, the number of Eritrean refugees has increased from roughly 250 per month to almost 800, prompting the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affais to establish a donor mission with the aim to obtain additional funding to support the refugees, the UNDAF report indicated.

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