The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that 1,167 Ethiopian refugees have arrived in Sudan in recent days.
The UNHCR in its latest situation update report said the vast majority of the new arrivals were from Ethiopia with 1,130 crossing over to Sudan’s Blue Nile state from Benishangul-Gumuz region, reports Xinhua mews agency.
“The remaining 37 new Ethiopian refugees’ arrivals entered Sudan through border crossings in Sudan’s Geadref state,” the UNHCR report disclosed.
Tensions have been high for years in Ethiopia’s western Benishangul-Gumuz region, with periodic outbreaks of ethnic strife leaving scores dead and tens of thousands fleeing to other parts of Ethiopia as well as to neighbouring Sudan.
The violence is mainly over access to power and land resources.
Benishangul-Gumuz region, located along the Ethiopia-Sudan border, hosts Ethiopia’s largest development project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), which is under construction on the Blue Nile River with a construction cost of close to $5 billion.
Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have also crossed to Sudan since the start of the military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in the Tigray region broke out in November 2020.
Ethiopia currently has 4.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and over 1.5 million IDP returnees, largely resulting from the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia and localized conflicts and tensions in different parts of the country.