UN says more than 14,500 have fled Ethiopia to Sudan

Ethiopians, who fled their homes due to ongoing fighting, are pictured at a refugee camp in the Hamdait border area of Sudan's eastern Kassala state on November 12, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 13 November 2020

UN says more than 14,500 have fled Ethiopia to Sudan

  • Sudan has approved the establishment of a refugee camp at Um Rakuba for 20,000 people

GENEVA: The UN refugee agency said on Friday that clashes in Ethiopia had prompted more than 14,500 people to flee into neighbouring Sudan since early November, with the speed of new arrivals “overwhelming the current capacity to provide aid”.
Among them are thousands of children, said Geneva-based spokesman Babar Baloch, describing them as “exhausted and scared”. Many had very few possessions, indicating that they had arrived in a hurry, he added.
“UNHCR and its partners are ramping up assistance, but the numbers of new arrivals are far outpacing the capacity on the ground,” he told Geneva journalists, saying that many had come from the towns of Humera and nearby towns of Rawyan and Dima.
“General living and operating conditions inside Tigray are becoming more difficult with power outages and food and fuel supplies becoming extremely scarce. Communications have been cut off creating an information black out,” he added.
To cope with the influx, Sudan has approved the establishment of a refugee camp at Um Rakuba for 20,000 people.
There are also concerns about a mass displacement of thousands of Eritrean refugees at a camp in Ethiopia as fighting closes in on the facility, Baloch said.


Scotland leader ‘never been more certain’ of independence

Updated 28 November 2020

Scotland leader ‘never been more certain’ of independence

  • The head of Scotland’s devolved government and the leader of the pro-independence SNP told supporters at the party’s virtual conference

GLASGOW: Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday said she had “never been more certain” of achieving independence, with Britain’s final departure from EU trading arrangements set to precede key Scottish elections in the months ahead.

The head of Scotland’s devolved government and the leader of the pro-independence SNP told supporters at the party’s virtual conference that the prospect of a break between Scotland and the rest of the UK has never been closer.

“Independence is in clear sight — and with unity of purpose, humility and hard work I have never been so certain that we will deliver it,” she said.

Sturgeon and the SNP have argued for a second referendum on Scottish independence since the party’s overwhelming victory among Scottish seats in Britain’s 2019 general election.

Now she hopes that a further resounding win in May elections to the Edinburgh parliament will hand her party a mandate for a second bid to quit the UK.

Opinion polls in recent months have shown that a majority of public opinion in Scotland now supports independence.

The country chose to remain part of the four-nation United Kingdom in a 2014 referendum on the issue.

But Scots later voted by a thumping majority in 2016 to remain in the European Union, a referendum the Leave side won by a narrow margin when taking the rest of Britain into account.

Since then, “we have won a landslide victory in a UK general election and support for independence has risen, it has become the sustained and majority view in public opinion this year,” said Sturgeon.

“Who should be taking the decisions that shape our futures? We know that it is the people who live here, wherever they come from, who can best harness Scotland’s immense human and natural resources.

“Let us reach out to all Scotland like never before,” she added.

Sturgeon urged her party to “demonstrate ... that Scotland is ready to take our place in the global family of independent nations,” saying it was “now a nation on the brink of making history.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly rebuffed calls from for a another referendum, saying that the 2014 vote settled the question for a generation.

Earlier this month, Scottish independence campaigners seized on comments by the prime minister in which he said the creation of a devolved parliament in Edinburgh had been “a disaster.”

In response Sturgeon said the only way to protect the parliament was “with independence.”

On Thursday, she said a referendum could be held “in the earlier part” of the next parliamentary session.

“The people of Scotland have the right to choose their future. Let’s now focus all our efforts on making sure we bring about that better country they and future generations deserve,” Sturgeon said on Saturday.