The United Nations Special Envoy for Horn of Africa appreciated Ethiopia for opening up its routes to evacuate international staff and foreign citizens from Sudan and called for international support.

Briefing the diplomatic community and representatives of international organizations recently, State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mesganu Arga said that Ethiopia has been processing the massive evacuations of nationals of 50 countries from Sudan based on their request.

According to him, the ongoing evacuation efforts require supports from the international community and relevant UN agencies.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, The UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Hanna Serwaa Tetteh noted that a lot of international organizations, embassies, and citizens from other countries are trying to leave Sudan because of the conflict.

“Ethiopia being a neighboring country is one of the countries which is being used by some international actors to try to evacuate their staff from Sudan. And I am very appreciative of the fact that the honorable minister said that Ethiopia is ready to make available Bahir Dar Airport and Gondar Airport for the evacuation of civilians from the conflict in Sudan,” Tetteh noted.

The special envoy also took note of the call the state minister has made for logistics support, for in the future the influx of refugees would increase.

“Even though your country (Ethiopia) has been very generous in opening itself up to be a route for evacuation, if this conflict continues…you will not just see people who are internationals, you will see Sudanese who will be running away from the fighting and who will try to cross the border here in order to be able to seek refuge from being attacked.”

Acknowledging that the evacuation activity puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the finance and logistics of the receiving state, the special envoy appreciated Ethiopia which has always been a welcoming state to refugees.

The situation in Sudan and the massive evacuation process is going to put a lot of pressure on Ethiopia, whose resources are already strained and stretched.

She noted that Ethiopia has resource limitations relating the rebuilding and reconstruction efforts in the northern part of the country.

“Of course, we don’t underestimate what that costs of your country in terms of resources. So we would very much like to encourage the international community to be as much supportive possible to Ethiopia’s efforts to facilitate the evacuation of persons and to also facilitate the reception of refugees,” she stated.

Despite all challenges, the special envoy commended the Ethiopian government for acting as a facilitator by making the airports available for use for evacuation and also the security and logistics arrangements put in place.

She also pledged that the UN will redeploy some of its resources to support Ethiopia’s effort and it will be working with the Ethiopian government as requested to support this effort.

The special envoy also called on the Sudanese forces to back the political process because fighting is not going to resolve anything but it is only going to compound the misery and suffering of the people.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

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