Fifteen Ethiopian peace-keeping of ethnic-Tigrai origin in South Sudan on Monday refused to return to Ethiopia. They did so on alleged ground that they fear for their safety if they return to Ethiopia.
According to a report by The Associated Press, the soldiers were part of 169 personnel who were scheduled to return. The cited U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric to report that the soldiers who refused to board a plane “… are receiving support from the South Sudanese Ministry of Refugee Affairs.” It is also said that UNHCR is in touch with Sudanese authorities regarding their situations.
On Sunday, Tigray Media House claimed in a “breaking news coverage” that passports of ethnic Tigreans were confiscated.
The Ethiopian Defense Force confirmed the news saying that 15 Tigrigna speaking members of Ethiopian Defense force caused altercation at Juba airport and refused to return home.
Head of Indoctrination of the Ethiopian Defense Force, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Tessema, is cited as saying some ethnic Tigrean working for different agencies of the United Nations facilitated the situation. He also said that the issue was coordinated in a way to be at the limelight in the international media tarnishing the image of Ethiopia.
He demanded an apology from the UNHCR for biased media coverage over the matter.
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