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The Ethiopian government has vowed to rehabilitate the recently displaced nationals into neighboring Sudan amid the ongoing fighting in the restive northern Tigray regional state.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency, the number of Ethiopian refugees fleeing to neighboring Sudan surpassed 38,600 amid the ongoing fighting between the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and forces loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules over the Tigray regional state.

“Over 3,000 more men, women and children from Ethiopia were registered in East Sudan today. This brings the total up to over 38,600 refugees,” the UNHCR said over the weekend.

The UN Refugee Agency also stressed that Ethiopian refugees fleeing to neighboring Sudan are “in dire need of support, including food, water, sanitation and shelter.”

The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, on late Sunday stressed his government’s keen interest and readiness to return and rehabilitate its citizens.

“We would like the entire Ethiopian people to understand that the federal government is prepared in all aspects to proceed to the third phase of law enforcement action, along with the task of returning those who have fled their homes; to rehabilitate the displaced, to repair the damaged infrastructure and to help citizens in the liberated areas return to their normal lives,” the Ethiopian premier said in a statement issued on late Sunday.

Ahmed also called on Ethiopians to help reintegrate the displaced, saying “we call upon all Ethiopians to be their brothers’ and sisters’ keeper along the road of recovery and healing.”

“Since we Ethiopians have a long history of mutual support, we must assist our people without waiting for external support. To this end, I urge everyone to join the efforts of the government and various community activities that have been started,” he added.

Ahmed also stressed that people in areas captured by the Ethiopian defense forces have resumed their activities with the protection of federal forces.

“In liberated areas, elders have begun to reorganize the people; our defense force have started to provide support to victims and to assist the people understand the situation and make themselves part of the process.”

Ethiopia has already established a committee to address humanitarian concern in the country’s restive northern Tigray regional state, said Redwan Hussein, spokesman of a newly-established State of Emergency Task Force for the Tigray conflict, on Monday.

Since the early hours of Nov. 4, the Ethiopian government has been undertaking military operations against the TPLF, which rules over Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray regional state.

The federal government’s operation followed the TPLF’s attack on the Northern command base of the Ethiopian Defense Force, a division stationed in the region for over two decades and based in Mekelle city, capital of Tigray region.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian government said its military operations in the northern Tigray regional state is now in its “final and crucial phase,” as it announced a 72-hour ultimatum for the TPLF leaders to surrender to the Ethiopian defense force.

The Ethiopian premier, who disclosed that the defense forces are now embarking on the “final and crucial phase” of the military operation, stressed that “members of the Tigray Special Forces and militia, who are carrying out the mission of the destructive clique are called upon to surrender peacefully.”

“Realizing that we are now in the final stages of the law enforcement action, we call upon them (members of the Tigray Special Forces and militia) to take advantage of this last opportunity and surrender peacefully to the government within 72 hours,” Ahmed said on late Sunday.

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