ARRA opens third camp in Tigray state for Eritrean refugees

Addis Ababa, April 15 (WIC) – As part of the effort to protect and assist  the seemingly never ending inflow of  refugees from Eritrea, the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) in close collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), on Wednesday opened the third refugee camp in the Tigray state.

According to a press release ARRA sent to WIC, on Wednesday morning, the first convoy moved a total of 356 refugees from the screening center at Endabaguna, near Shire, all the way to Adi-Harush, located 82 kms from shire.

Some 80 per cent of the first group is composed of mainly young people between the ages of 21 and 34 .They are part of predominantly young Eritreans arriving at a monthly average rate of nearly 2,000 and who invariably tell to registration officers on the ground that they crossed the border to avoid excessive repression, gross human rights violations and forced conscription into the army.

At the moment, the country hosts more than 49,000 Eritrean refugees in four refugee camps in Tigray and Afar states. There are two refugee camps in Tigray state, accommodating a total of 30,000 refugees. Shimelba camp was opened way back in 2004 and Mai-aini was established in 2008. In addition to those staying in Tigray state, some 19,000 Ethnic Afar Eritrean refugees are enjoying international protection in the Afar state.

As long as persecution and systematic rights abuse continue to be the way of life in Eritrea, we will continue to receive more and more refugees and to open more and more camps in Tigray and Afar states to accommodate them”, said Ayalew Aweke, Deputy Director of the ARRA. He called for more international support in spirit of international burden sharing.

Before departing from the screening center, the refugees were provided with an assortment of non-food items, including jerry cans, sleeping mats, plastic sheeting and sanitary materials. Once in the camp, they will all be sheltered in a reception center for a maximum of three days until they are provided with tents. Some of the vulnerable, such as the girls, the elderly and the children will be provided with shelters made of stones and mud bricks. The refugees will be provided with cooked food while in the reception center.

The new camp was established on a plot at Adi-Harush, which was generously made available by the local authorities in Tselemti Wereda of north western Zone.

The ARRA deputy director reiterated the government’s commitment to continue honoring its international commitments.

Currently, Ethiopia plays host to a total of close to 148,000 refugees mainly from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.

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Posted by on Apr 17 2010 Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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