Sudanese PM visits Ethiopia amid growing refugee crisis
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok has arrived in Ethiopia, his office stated, amid a growing refugee crisis that has seen over 50,000 Ethiopians flee conflict in the Tigray region into neighboring Sudan.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Mr. Abiy Ahmed greeted his Sudanese counterpart at Addis Ababa’s airport, where Hamdok arrived together with the acting Sudanese Foreign Minister Omar Qamar al-Din and top intelligence and military officials on Sunday.
“I look forward to having productive discussions on political, humanitarian and security matters of common concern,” Hamdok tweeted.
The visit came two weeks after the Ethiopian leader announced victory in the fight against the regional government in Tigray.
Nevertheless, clashes between federal forces and the regional fighters continue over a month after the fighting began on November 4.
The dispute threatens to destabilize Ethiopia and other countries in the Horn of Africa region.
It has also seriously alarmed the international humanitarian community since the eruption in violence has largely cut the Tigray region of 6 million people off from the entire world.
On Saturday, the first international aid convoy carrying medicines and relief supplies got to the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) remarked, but more is still required.
Aid trucks also managed to enter the region amid international calls for greater transparency into the month-long fighting.
The UN refugee agency stated that more than 50,000 Ethiopians have fled into remote areas of Sudan, first straining the generosity of local communities and subsequently challenging the capacity of humanitarian groups that have hurried to set up a system to feed, shelter and care for the refugees.
The influx of refugees increases Sudan’s economic and security burdens. Its transitional government has already been struggling under the heavy weight of decades of sanctions imposed by the United States and mismanagement under former ruler Omar al-Bashir, who was relieved of his duties last year.