Fleeing Tigray warfare, Ethiopians cross river into Sudan

HAMDAYAT: Ethiopians fleeing warfare within the northern Tigray area crossed a border river into neighbouring Sudan on Saturday, some in boats, some swimming or wading by means of the water.
Talking to Reuters within the Sudanese border city of Hamdayat, they gave accounts of the escalating battle in Tigray state, the place authorities forces are battling fighters loyal to rebellious native leaders.
The small city is dwelling to a camp internet hosting 8,000 refugees. A number of hundred arrived on Saturday morning with tons of extra crowded onto the rocky financial institution of the Tekeze river.
Refugees instructed tales of artillery assaults and taking pictures within the streets, with combating spilling over into neighbouring Amhara state.
With entry blocked to Tigray and communications largely down, it was unattainable to confirm the state of the battle or to corroborate the refugees’ accounts.
“We’re hungry and we’re afraid that they are going to kill us,” mentioned an outdated lady, referring to authorities troops battling the Tigray Individuals’s Liberation Entrance (TPLF).
She spoke moments after paying the proprietor of a small boat 30 Ethiopian Biir (about 80 U.S. cents) to convey her throughout the river, whereas girls and kids had been seen swimming. Refugees mentioned one individual drowned whereas making an attempt to cross the evening earlier than.
Niqisti, 42, mentioned her brother was shot useless by government-allied militiamen in entrance of their dwelling in Humera in Tigray state and her small restaurant was looted. It was not doable to confirm her account.
Sudanese officers had been registering refugees.
“Individuals are hungry and the move of refugees is continuous however we now have little to supply,” mentioned Salah Ramadan, head of the border city’s administration.
Mubarak Abdallah, a 28-year outdated Sudanese farmer, mentioned provides within the native meals market had been dwindling.
A whole lot of individuals have been killed since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed despatched the nationwide defence pressure on an offensive towards native troops in Tigray final week, accusing them of attacking federal troops.
Abiy has mentioned authorities jets had been bombing navy targets in Tigray, together with arms depots and tools managed by the Tigrayan forces.
However a number of refugees mentioned their areas had been shelled by artillery from neighbouring Eritrea to help the Ethiopian military. Reuters couldn’t independently confirm this.
Tigray’s chief, Debretsion Gebremichael, mentioned on Tuesday that Eritrea had despatched troops throughout the border in help of Ethiopian authorities forces however offered no proof.
Eritrea’s International Minister Osman Saleh Mohammed denied this on Friday.
“We had been shelled by artillery volleys from throughout the Eritrean border,” mentioned Naksiam Guru, a 22-year refugee who lives close to the border. “I noticed individuals dying within the streets.”
Burhani Abraham, 31, who arrived 4 days in the past together with his spouse and three-year-old baby additionally reported shelling from Eritrea.
“I am very hungry,” he mentioned, sitting within the crowded makeshift camp.
A 26-year outdated farmer from the Tigray area mentioned the TPLF had tried to recruit him however he ran away. He didn’t need to give his identify. “I am a easy farmer rising corn … I am afraid of warfare and dying,” he mentioned.

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