This is the News in Brief from the United Nations.
UNHCR relocates first Ethiopian refugees to new site in Sudan
A second refugee camp has opened in Sudan for people fleeing violence in Ethiopia’s Tigray region carrying “little more than the clothes on their backs”, the UN said on Tuesday.
Nearly 600 new residents have been taken to Tunaydbah camp, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, after nearly two months of ongoing conflict across the border in Ethiopia, between federal Government troops and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told journalists in Geneva said that it was impossible to gauge the level of fighting inside Ethiopia amid continuing access restrictions:
“Right now we are unable to access the border from the Ethiopian side, as I said, refugees tell our staff when they arrive to Sudan that many have travelled for days, many of them have faced armed groups along the way, many speak of violence, many of them speak, a number of them obviously are women and girls, they’ve been mentioning sexual violence. As to the intensity of the fighting inside Tigray region, there’s nothing I can help you with at this stage.”
Around 800 people have crossed from Ethiopia’s Tigray region into eastern Sudan so far this year. Since early November, more than 56,000 Ethiopian refugees have fled the country.
UN appeals to spoilers in Central African Republic election to respect poll results
Following presidential elections in the Central African Republic, the UN and partner organisations have united in their call to potential spoilers to respect the result of the poll, which returned the incumbent president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra.
In addition to the UN, the African Union, a central African economic bloc and the European Union also warned against disinformation and incitement to violence and hatred which aimed to compromise the election.
They noted in a statement that it was the task of the Constitutional Court alone to confirm the result of the poll, which took place on Sunday 27 December, amid violence linked to armed groups and rumours of militia marching on the capital.
In a joint statement, they also condemned deadly recent attacks against UN peacekeepers and appealed to the national authorities to bring those responsible to justice.
The development follows years of conflict and insecurity in the republic, where large parts of the resource-rich country are controlled by armed groups and criminals.
Mounting concern for Bosnia’s migrants left in freezing conditions
An alert now from UN humanitarians over the dire situation facing migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Bosnia.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the situation for thousands of people seeking shelter in the Balkans country continues to worsen because of administrative delays and hate speech that’s been fuelling local protests.
Concern has been mounting in particular since 23 December, after a fire destroyed the Lipa Emergency Tent Camp, which was run with IOM’s support.
Twenty buses that were due to carry hundreds of camp residents away from Lipa to a new reception facility, never managed to leave the site, the agency explained.
Today, 1,400 men who lived in the camp have joined an estimated 1,500 others, including women and children, sleeping rough in abandoned buildings in Una Sana Canton, which borders European Union member Croatia.
Although the UN agency and its partners have provided support, it is clear that a long-term solution must be found, said IOM chief of mission for Bosnia Hertzegovina, Peter Van der Auweraert.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.