Thousands flee to Ethiopia amid Somaliland violence – Capital Radio Malawi
18 June, 2024

Thousands flee to Ethiopia amid Somaliland violence

The UN says tens of thousands of civilians have fled the self-declared republic of Somaliland and crossed the border into neighbouring Ethiopia following fighting between regional government forces and local militias.

The number of people who have left Somaliland’s Las Anod district and arrived in Ethiopia’s Doole area in the past month could be as high as 80,000, the UN’s refugee agency, the UNHRC, has said.

Most of those arriving are women, pregnant and lactating mothers as well as children – including some who are separated from their families – according to the agency.

Last week the UN said that an average of 1,000 people were crossing into Ethiopia each day fleeing the violence.

This has increased humanitarian needs in the hosting areas which themselves are among the worst hit by a severe drought affecting East Africa following five consecutive failed rainy seasons.

Additionally, more than 180,000 people are believed to have been internally displaced and settled in 66 camps within Somaliland.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in the early 1990s but has not been internationally recognised.

It had been a relatively stable region in the volatile Horn of Africa.

Tensions have however been fermenting in recent months after elections were delayed. Scores were killed earlier this month when fighting broke out in Las Anod.

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