The United Nations has raised an alarm after the Ethiopian government announced it will return Eritrean refugees who fled Tigray.
Some Eritrean nationals sought safety in Ethiopia, more than one month since a conflict started between the Ethiopian government and Tigray, its most powerful region. The refugees moved out of the camps in Tigray, pressed on the fear of being killed in the conflict.
“A large number of misinformed refugees are moving out in an irregular manner,” the government said in a statement on Friday.
“The government is safely returning those refugees to their respective camps,” the statement said. It added that food is being taken to their camps.
The Eritreans, who border Northern Tigray have been reportedly denied access to food, with the UN refugee agency complaining that more than 96,000 refugees are blocked from receiving aids.
The Ethiopian government has denied it blocked access to the refugees and has stated that Eritreans in Addis Ababa can now safely return to Tigray.
Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) forces have been at loggerheads with the Ethiopian government with state resources being attacked.
More than 45,000 Ethiopians have fled to Sudan with about 100,000 persons internally displaced.
The government has said it has crushed the TPLF forces with the rebellious Tigrayan soldiers denying they’ve suffered defeat.
The United States and other powerful nations of the world have since made attempts at mediation with no concrete agreements reached between the warring parties.
Leader of the TPLF, Debretsion Gebremichael said that Eritrean forces, supporting Ethiopians in the war on Tigray are looting in Mekelle, the Tigrayan capital.
Tigray, a region of about 5 million people has brought the Ethiopian government to a standstill after it fired a salvo that has led to retaliatory attacks that has seen thousands dead.