AFRICA/ETHIOPIA - Conflict in the Tigray region: the first Ethiopian displaced persons seek refuge in Sudan

Tuesday, 10 November 2020 wars   refugees   pope francis   bishops  

Addis Ababa (Agenzia Fides) - The first Ethiopian refugees and soldiers crossed the Sudanese border on November 9th and fled from the ongoing fighting in the Tigray region.
As reported in the Sudanese press, the Ethiopians crossed the border in the village of Fashaqa in the northeast of the state of Gadaref while fleeing. Among them are four families along with 30 members of the Ethiopian Federal Army of the Amhara tribes with their weapons.
Hundreds of people have already been killed in the armed conflict that broke out on November 4th in northern Ethiopia near the Sudanese and Eritrean borders.
Sudan and Eritrea have deployed troops in the border area to prevent hostilities from spreading in their countries.
As the fighting continues - Addis Ababa armed forces claim to have captured the Humera air base on the Eritrea-Sudan border, there are numerous appeals for peace. According to Pope Francis (see Fides, 9/11/2020) and the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, Sudanese Defense Minister Yassin Ibrah also asked the parties involved "to act wisely and to seek a peaceful and moderate solution" on behalf of his government, and IGAD (Intergovernmental Development Authority), in which the states in the Horn of Africa come together, have launched calls for an end to the fighting and the start of negotiations.
The Catholic Bishops of Ethiopia meanwhile published a joint statement (see Fides 6/11/2020) warning of the danger of civil war: "If brothers kill each other, Ethiopia will not gain anything. Instead, it will lead the country into bankruptcy and of no use to anyone" and invite them to "take the conflict in Ethiopia seriously". Everyone should "contribute to the cause of reconciliation, promote national unity and guarantee peace and security". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 10/11/2020)