Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in war-torn Sudan at risk, HRW says

New York, Jul. 10, (dpa/GNA) – The New York-based Human Rights Watch warned on Wednesday that tens of thousands of refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea face acute danger due to the spread of fighting in Sudan.

The situation was triggered by the advance in recent weeks of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – formerly operated by the Sudanese government – into the Sudanese state of Sennar.

A further push by the RSF could threaten the more than 40,000 Ethiopian refugees living in the neighbouring Sudanese state of Gedaref, which borders Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch said in a report.

According to the group, the influx of refugees from Eritrea seeking protection in Sudan from oppression in their home country is also continuing further east.

These refugees could be cut off from humanitarian aid if the fighting intensifies, it said.

Many of the refugees were already living in Sudan when war erupted in the country.

The de facto head of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and his former deputy and leader of the RSF, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, have been fighting for control of the north-east African country since April 2023.

According to the UN, the conflict has caused almost 10 million people to flee their homes.

The situation is particularly threatening in North Darfur, where the embattled city of Al-Fashir, the last major city under government control, could fall into the hands of Daglo’s RSF.

Human rights groups are already warning of ethnic cleansing and possible genocide in Darfur should the RSF take control of the area.

The RSF in particular is accused of serious human rights violations, sexual violence and arbitrary killings of civilians.  GNA