The UN’s migration agency in Ethiopia says it has started relocating South Sudan refugees by boat and bus from Akobo-Tergol to Pugnido camp in Gambella region, 430 km away.
The Operations Coordinator at the International Organization for Migration in Addis Abba, Gabriel Okutoi, told Eye Radio’s Sundown Show that they have relocated about 15,000 individuals to Western Ethiopia where two camps are set up for South Sudanese asylum seekers.
Mister Okutoi said IOM, the Ethiopia government and the UNCHR are doing their utmost to reduce the risk of conflict between communities by creating separate camps for the IDPs.
“Most recently we have started using boats for transportation from Akobo to Tergol which is the entry point that asylum seekers have been coming through to Ethiopia so currently we have moved 15,000 individuals to different locations but mainly to the new camps set up in the western side of Ethiopia called Liecho, the latest camps set up to accommodate the asylum seekers coming in to Ethiopia from south Sudan. Considering the situation of the asylum seekers coming in, the UNCHR and the Government of Ethiopia saw it best to separate the Nuer from the Anuak population because those are the majority that are coming. So they have decided to put the Anuak in Pugnido camp and the newer camps will be mainly used for the Nuer population,” he said.
Refugees fleeing to Ethiopia from South Sudan are mainly leaving Nasir and Malakal and using the Akobo Tergol and Pagak entry points into Ethiopia’s Gambella region.
Since the outbreak of violence in South Sudan in mid-December 2013, IOM has been providing life-saving transport from the borders for thousands of South Sudanese refugees fleeing into neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
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