“More than 10,000 Eritrean refugees forcibly returned to Eritrea” – report

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.

Shimelba and Hitsats camps may now have been emptied.
Reports about the refugees from these camps abound. Some say they are being received at Mendefera and make no reference to the other Eritrean locations cited above.
Eritrea is pressuring other Eritrean refugees to move to the border — where cars and buses are waiting to take them into Eritrea.
It is believed that Eritrea is attempting to make it appear as if the refugees are returning to Eritrea voluntarily.
The UN Refugee Agency, asked to comment on this report said this:”UNHCR currently does not have access to the border areas between Ethiopia and Eritrea, nor to the refugee camps inside Tigray, so cannot confirm these reports, which are deeply troubling if they are confirmed.

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.”


  1. The fate of these refuggees are sealed.
    They will be held in inhospitable conditions somewhere remote in the desert and will endure terrible treatment and slow death.
    The Khemer Roughe shot similarly in the same condition. In Eritrea
    people die slowly from maluntration to
    to maltreatment.

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