Addis Ababa — The Agency for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) has expressed its concern over the mistreatment of Eritrean refugees in Tigray Regional State amid recent law enforcement operation by the Ethiopian National Defense Force.
Public Relation and Modernization Director at the Agency, Beakal Nigussie said despite the communication gap that exists between the federal government and the Tigray Regional State, Eritrean refugees who have been living in Tigray cities along with the communities are now being forcefully taken to camps by the TPLF leadership.
Using refugees for instigating havoc and as a cover up for political means is against the relevant international laws and totally unacceptable in any forms, he said.
The director further stated that the staffs of the agency are also being abused and detained while some of them were escaped from the respective areas.
The agency has been informing the federal government, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international organizations, about its concern, he pointed out.
It urged all stakeholders to take the necessary measure so as to ensure the physical wellbeing of refugees at any cost, he noted.
According to UNHCR, Ethiopia is currently sheltering 748,448 registered refugees and asylum seekers (as of 29 February 2020).
Currently, there are 87,657 registered Eritrean refugees in Tigray Regional State, out of which 50, 000 refugees are living in refugee camps in the region.
Ethiopia has a law that provides refugees with the right to work and reside out of camps, access social and financial services, and register life events, including births and marriages.