IOM Starts Relocation of Sudanese Refugees to New Camp in Ethiopia
GENEVA, Switzerland, June 15, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM has begun relocation of Sudanese refugees from the Al Damazin Transit Center located on Ethiopia’s western border with Sudan to a new camp in Ethiopia’s north-western region of Benishangul Gumuz.
The decision was made after the transit centre reached its accommodation capacity of 14,000 people. The first group of 438 refugees arrived at the Bambasi refugee camp – the third of its kind in the region – at the beginning of June.
The outbreak of fighting at the beginning of September 2011 between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) in Sudan’s Blue Nile state led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people who crossed into Ethiopia, seeking safety and security.
Since then IOM has provided buses and trucks to move over 27,000 refugees to safety, in close coordination with the UNHCR and the Ethiopian government’s Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA). IOM also provides pre-departure medical checks for the refugees.
More Sudanese are arriving in Ethiopia as the violence continues. Last month, more than 2, 500 refugees arrived in Benishangul Gumuz region, bringing the total arrivals since the beginning of 2012 to over 9,500, according to UNHCR report.
In addition to providing transport to move the refugees, IOM is seeking funds to build 1,500 shelters at the Bambasi refugee camp. UNHCR will provide part of the funding.
International Office of Migration (IOM)