The UN Refugee Agency says it now can travel to any part of Tigray

The UN Refugee Agency – the UNHCR – says that it has been given permission to travel to any part of Tigray, and has begun to assist refugees throughout the region.

Chris Melzer, spokesperson for UNHCR in Ethiopia, said that since last Wednesday the agency is free to visit any part of Tigray as long as it gives three days notice to the authorities.

Some 96,000 Eritrean refugees had been registered by the agency prior to the outbreak of the war on 4th November last year.

The two southern camps, of Mai Aini and Adi Harush, were largely unaffected by the fighting, although the UNHCR was unable to reach them for several weeks.

The two northern camps, closest to the border with Eritrea, were overrun in the conflict.

There are serious fears for the fate of the 25,248 refugees who were living in Hitsats and the 8,702 in Shimelba, with unconfirmed reports that some had been killed and others forcibly returned to Eritrea.

Chris Melzer says the UNHCR currently has several missions in Tigray region, including in the northern town of Shire and the regional capital, Mekelle.

He says the agency does not plan to visit Hitsats and Shimelba this week, since the UNHCR is “almost sure that there are no refugees [there] – and right now our highest priority is to go to the refugees.”

The agency’s plans to move the refugees further south. More than 6,000 have already travelled to the southern camps of Mai Aini and Adi Harush.

The UNHCR says that over 1000 Eritrean refugees are still in the Shire area. They have been registered and are waiting to be transferred to the two southern camps.

The Ethiopian government’s refugee agency (the ARRA) is undertaking this transfer, using two trucks and a bus.

But the UNHCR is running out of shelters and is having to resort to some 600 emergency shelters provided by the Red Cross.



  1. Heavy bombing that last five days so far by Ethiopian and Eritrean troops supported with airstrike, artillery re-escalated again in in southern part specially in the districts of Bora-Silewa and Emba Alaje. #Tigray_Genocide

  2. We will see if this will hold. Abiy is known for filibustering and confusing all. He says yes when in reality he means no. He has this street boy mentality that we never see in a country leaders. My guess is he will create hurdles to make the works of UNHRC difficult soon.

    1. No, Abiy has always been transparent and honest. It is you who is shifting in your position everyday because of the hidden agenda you have.

      1. Who said , no one was killed in Tigray till Mekelle was invaded by the mercenery army of Abiy Ali? In Mai-Kadra 800 people died, while the army was naping. The death toll is many & graphic to right. The man lives on lies! Axsum Massacre is one. The tragedy continues till today and getting worst by the hour.

  3. I am wondering the world community doesn’t knew the dictators and fascists mentality to lie to the world UN organisations on the ground they should check on the ground and say it is allowed action must come first to announce the reality to the world, Ethiopia the new failed emperial state fall upon the cradle Tigray people who played great role to stand the country as a nation.

  4. seriously ! you talk about eritrean refugees when the host region ( Tigray ) became the main generator of refugees because of the senseless war launched to them by The cancer in Asmara and the infant in Addis Ababa.

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