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The United Nations Refuge Agency (UNHCR) on Thursday said more than 61,200 Ethiopian refugees have crossed into East Sudan amid recent military confrontation in Ethiopia’s northernmost Tigray regional state

The 61,200 Ethiopian refugees crossed into Sudan since the start of the military confrontations between the federal and regional forces in the Tigray region broke out in November 2020, the agency said in its latest situation update.

According to the latest figures from the UNHCR, some 20,572 refugees have been relocated to Um Rakuba camp, and 14,551 refugees to Tunaydbah settlement.

It also disclosed that the relocations of Ethiopian refugees from Hamdayet reception center resumed as of February 14, with more than 1,000 relocated to Tunaydbah settlement. The UN refugee agency, together with its partners, has also continued to establish refugee community structures at all sites.

In addition to Ethiopians fleeing to Eastern Sudan, the UNHCR and its partners have established a regular presence in the two Eritrean refugee camps, Mai-Aini and Adi Harush, in Ethiopia’s conflict-affected Tigray region, it added.

The UNHCR also noted ongoing relocation efforts after the Ethiopian government has recently announced the closure of Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps, and the relocation of Eritrean refugees dispersed across Tigray to Mai-Aini and Adi-Harush camps.

So far, some 5,000 have relocated to the two southern camps, it was noted. The Ethiopian government is presently providing protection for nearly 1 million refugees mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan, who are being hosted across 26 camps and non-camp locations.

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