UN refugee body has confirmed the killings of five Eritrean refugees at Barahle refugee camp near the Tigray region of Ethiopia and several women kidnapped
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) continues to carry out terrorist activities in the Afar region of Ethiopia with no major military response from the Federal government or condemnation from the international community.
The group has been shelling five districts, close to the Tigray but within the Afar region. The development has displaced, as reported before, over three hundred thousand civilians from the region and triggered an extensive humanitarian crisis in the region.
Latest report from the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, seems to suggest that the TPLF has been targeting the Berhale refugee camp where Eritrean refugees are staying.
According to a UNHCR report, which cited eyewitness accounts, “at least five refugees were killed and several women were kidnapped. ”
They said gunmen just entered the refugee camp, occupied their shelter and looted their belongings.
The chaos from the TPLF raid of the refugee camp has caused another problem too. “Family members lost one another in the chaos of fleeing the camp,” as reported by the UNHCR.
The incident from Berhale Refugee Camp is said to have displaced well over 4000 Eritrean refugees who trekked to Semara, seat of Afar regional state.
The refugee agency said that it “is working with the Ethiopian authorities and partners to provide emergency aid to thousands of Eritrean refugees who fled Barahle refugee camp and its environs in the Afar region after fighting engulfed the area.”
The refugees are said to be in need of shelter and other emergency aid including food and clean water.
Earlier this month, UN Deputy Secretary Amina Mohammed visited residents who were displaced from the five districts of Afar near Tigray where the TPLF opened a mechanised military campaign. Local forces in Afar have been responding to it, as reported by the regional government and activists, but reversing artillery shelling proved to be a challenge as regional forces are armed only with individual and light group assault rifles.
Over 100,000 Eritreans refugees are believed to be living in different refugee camps in Ethiopia.
The TPLF forces have carried out similar attacks on Eritrean refugees and raped women in July 2021 Shimelba and Hitsats refugee camps.
On Wednesday this week, Amnesty International released a statement about atrocities by TPLF, including rape, in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. It is available HERE.
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