An Eritrean, whose wife was in Shimelba refugee camp in Tigray, says that more than 10,000 refugees have been forcibly returned to Eritrea.
The refugees are reported to have been moved by the Eritrean ruling party – the PFDJ – from the UNHCR camps at Shimelba and Hitsats.
They are now said to be in these locations inside Eritrea: Shialo, Adi Tsetser, Tokombiya and Mendefera.
We call for the right to asylum to be respected for refugees in whichever location they are seeking safety. We reiterate that any repatriation of refugees to their place of origin must be strictly voluntary and based on a well-informed and individual decision.
The government of Ethiopia has long been a generous and commendable host to refugees from the region. We urge the government to continue to fulfil its responsibility in hosting and protecting Eritrean refugees, and allow humanitarians to access our persons of concern who are now desperately in need.”