United Nations planning for 200,000 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan

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Ethiopian refugees

The United Nation agencies are planning for the possible arrival of 200,000 refugees in Sudan fleeing violence in Ethiopia over a six-month period

Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people have died since Ethiopian government troops launched a war two weeks ago in northern Tigray state against regional authorities they accused of staging a surprise attack on federal forces.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, unleashed a military campaign in the Tigray region on November 4 with the declared aim of unseating its governing party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which he accuses of defying his government and seeking to destabilize it.

Thousands of refugees have fled Africa’s second-most populous country, some crowding into boats to cross a river to Sudan, overwhelming aid groups positioned on the other side.

UNICEF’s Sudan-based representative Abdullah Fadil said there were concerns about diseases spreading amongst the crowds, of whom nearly half are children.

The UN agencies are seeking $50m in immediate funding which will go towards providing food and setting up new camps.