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Attempts made to recruit refugees for Ethiopia civil war - UN


Kalkidan Yibeltal
Wednesday September 7, 2022



The UN has said it doesn’t know the whereabouts of hundreds of Ethiopian former peacekeepers.

They had sought asylum in neighbouring Sudan after refusing to return home at the end of their mission.

Tens of thousands of ethnic Tigrayans have crossed the border to seek refuge in neighbouring Sudan since the civil war broke out in November 2020.

Now the UN's refugee agency, the UNHCR, says that earlier this year they received "credible reports" that there were efforts to recruit soldiers - sometimes forcefully - among those refugees.

The UNHCR says it relayed it’s "strong concerns" to the Sudanese authorities and there were improvements.

Among those seeking refuge were 650 Ethiopian former peacekeepers - mostly of Tigrayan ethnicity. They refused to return home for fear of persecution.

Nearly 250 of them were granted refugee status - but the UNHCR told the BBC that it does not have information on the rest.

Last week the Bloomberg news agency cited a top Tigrayan official claiming that hundreds of former peacekeepers had entered western Tigray - it was presumed to join the fighting.



 





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