Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok has asked the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR for technical and programmatic assistance to deal with the influx of Ethiopian refugees in Sudan. He and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi agreed to organise an international conference on refugee issues to be hosted by Khartoum at the beginning of next year.
PM Hamdok met Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and his delegation in his office yesterday. The UNHCR delegation visited Kassala and El Gedaref to assess the support Sudan needs to deal with the influx of Ethiopian refugees since civil war broke out in neighbouring Tigray. So far, more than 43,000 Ethiopians fled to Sudan.
Grandi praised Sudan for receiving refugees from neighbouring countries for decades. He told Hamdok about the plans of the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) and the willingness of donor countries to cooperate with the government of Sudan.
The prime minister called for technical and programmatic assistance. On Friday, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Development Mohamed El Shabek described the humanitarian situation in Um Rakouba camp in El Gedaref as extremely bad and unacceptable. He said that Sudan needs urgent intervention from international organisations.
Hamdok and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees further agreed to establish a joint committee to organise the international conference on refugee issues in Khartoum at the beginning of next year.
nitiative for Peace
More than 60 Sudanese organisations launched the Sudanese Initiative for Peace in the Horn of Africa yesterday.
At a press conference at the premises of the Sudan News Agency yesterday, representatives of the group, including the Sudan Democracy First Group, the Change Now Movement, and the Sudan Social Development Organisation (SUDO), appealed to the warring Ethiopian parties to listen to the voice of reason, stop the violence against civilians, and put an end to the displacements. The Initiative praised the efforts of the Sudanese government.
It also called on Ethiopians to start a serious dialogue to achieve lasting national reconciliation, justice, stability, and development.