Why Ethiopian Peacekeepers Are Rushing To Sudan For Asylum?
Ethiopia– Former Ethiopian peacekeepers have sought help from Sudan for asylum after having done their bit in maintaining peacekeeping efforts. Most had been deployed to the Abyei region and have recently disembarked, off a UN Embraer E190 aircraft arriving in Sudan’s Kassala airport after seeking asylum.
Additionally, the more than 40 who have been granted asylum were stationed in the disturbed Tigray region. “Arrivals of the asylum seekers will continue daily until they are all moved,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. After arrival into Sudan, the ex-peacekeepers were immediately taken to the Um Gargour refugee camp in eastern Sudan.
The more than 1000 have refused to return to Ethiopia because of feeling victimized due to a rebel propaganda. Those who did return back were either killed or arrested. Last year, about 120 Tigrayan ex-peacekeepers who were posted in the Darfur region sought asylum in Sudan, UN figures show. Sudan has received tens of thousands of Ethiopian refugees since the outbreak of the Tigray conflict.
In February this year, ethnic Tigrayan peacekeepers with a United Nations peacekeeping mission had admitted that the United Nation was failing to fully support hundreds of Tigrayan colleagues as they fear returning home to Ethiopia and facing potential detention amid the country’s Tigray conflict.
The war situation in Ethiopia remains very bad and hopes for peace continue to be thawed. Authorities in Ethiopia’s war-shattered Tigray region are said to be forcing young people to join their army’s fight against the central government by threatening and jailing relatives, according to captured fighters and residents. The war in northern Ethiopia since late 2020 has killed thousands of civilians and uprooted millions, triggering famine and devastating infrastructure, though it has garnered less attention globally than other conflicts, such as the war in Ukraine.