Troops ‘stopping’ civilians fleeing fighting in Ethiopia
Ethiopian troops have been deployed along the border with Sudan and are impacting the flow of refugees fleeing the northern state of Tigray.
This comes in the middle of a military confrontation between the federal government and the regional ruling party the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF).
With an information blackout in the conflict, there are fears about the safety and welfare of civilians.
The Ethiopian government said it will make a final push into the regional capital of Mekelle as a new deadline for the region’s leaders to surrender lapsed on Wednesday.
The BBC’s Anne Soy, who is on the Sudan side of the border, says River Sittet in Hamdayit has been an important border crossing point for people fleeing fighting in Tigray.
The Sudanese Commission for Refugees said it had been receiving an average of 1,200 people there daily.
On Wednesday our reporter saw at least a dozen soldiers stationed on the hills across the river. The refugees identified them as Ethiopian federal forces and said they had been stopping people crossing into Sudan.
The federal government has not responded to the BBC’s request for comment.
Many refugees who have been waiting for their relatives to join them in Sudan are worried about this new development.