More than 41,000 Ethiopians fled to Sudan from Tigray region amid military operation, says UN

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

Ethiopia has said it will repatriate its citizens who fled military confrontation in its northernmost region of Tigray to neighboring Sudan.

An estimated 41,000 Ethiopians fled to Sudan, according to the UN Refugee Agency in the weeks leading to an armed confrontation between the Ethiopian army and forces loyal to the now-outlawed Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ambassador Dina Mufti told reporters on Friday that the two countries have agreed for “immediate repatriation of the refugees.”

He said the countries are working on details of the repatriation which will start soon.

During a parliamentary question and answer session on Monday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed suggested that youths involved in the Maikadra violence could have fled to Sudan after seeing the advancing Ethiopian army.

The Maikadra massacre in Western Tigray this November left 600 civilians dead, according to the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The weeks-long operation launched by the Ethiopian government in the region, after the TPLF attacked troops, ended last Saturday.