The UN refugee agency, UNHCR is registering refugees from Eritrea who left the refugee camps because of the conflict in Tigray region. Eyoel Teame, a 31-year-old refugee from Eritrea who has been sheltered in Enda Aba Guna Camp for four months told Addis Zeybe that the UNHCR Addis Ababa office, is registering them to return them to the camps and he got registered on December 03, 2020.
Eyoel recounts the situation of when the war broke out and how refugees sheltered in Enda Aba Guna Camp had to leave "a lot of us left the camps as soon as the war broke out and we were on the verge of starvation" he says.
UNHCR appealed to Ethiopia on Tuesday, December 08, 2020, for urgent access to 96,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, saying the month-long conflict in Tigray had left them without vital supplies. Eyoel recounts the uncomfortable environment and the reality that left the refugees helpless. "We first left the camp and then resided in an area around it. Some of the locals around that area were abusing us and stealing our belongings, they stole my clothes and every other belonging I had" he adds.
Eyoel says they were forced to leave the area that was around the camps because of this situation "we had to leave the area so we walked to Gonder and then paid about 7000 birr to travel from Gonder to Addis Ababa" he adds.
The Ethiopian government made a statement that caution should be exercised as informal activities of Eritrean refugees could pose a threat to their safety. The statement included that the recent “law enforcement” action in Tigray is not a direct threat to Eritrean refugees living in shelters.