The priest says thousands of refugees in Tigray deported to Eritrea

Amidst the contention in Ethiopia’s Tigray locale, a huge number of Eritrean exiles who fled abuse and dictatorship have been ousted back to their nation of origin, said an Eritrean Catholic minister. 

Father Mussie Zerai, a minister of the Archdiocese of Asmara, Eritrea, who works with transients, said the exiles were in Shimelba and Hitsats camps, which facilitated around 20,000 displaced people. 

“Around 5,000 figured out how to get away and arrive at the Mai-Aini exile camp, which currently houses more than 20,000; 5,000 individuals are missing,” Father Zerai disclosed to Catholic News Service. 

“What occurred in the evacuee camps in Tigray is a savage infringement of the Geneva Convention of 1951,” which identifies with the status of an exile, the minister said. 

Father Zerai, director of Habeshia, a philanthropic association that advocates for transients and exiles’ privileges, said it was not satisfactory what befallen the individuals who were extradited. 

Battling in Tigray, a semi-independent locale in northern Ethiopia, began Nov. 4 after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali sent the government armed force to battle the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, which managed the semi-independent district. 

Jesuit Refugee Service, which had a presence in Tigray camps before the military activity, couldn’t affirm the removal, referring to restricted admittance to the settlement.