- The United Nations has said Ethiopia's withdrawal in the war torn Somalia has sparked a high influx of refugees crossing to neighbouring countries, the UN refugee agency announced today, saying an estimated 10,000 Somalis have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in an e-mailed statement that about 150 Somalis are now crossing the border into eastern Ethiopia, following the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in January.
According to statement, information gathered during informal discussions with many of the refugees who are reported to be mainly women and children revealed that they fled general insecurity and fear of mistreatment by Al Shabab, the country's radical rebel group.
The Al-Shabab is the militant wing of an Islamist movement ousted by the Ethiopian troops in early 2007 after they were deployed to back an embattled Somali government.
They carried out deadly attacks against the Ethiopians after being toppled and continue to ambush government targets and African Union forces in the capital Mogadishu. They have also began to advance their attacks on government since the withdrawal of the Ethiopian.
Ethiopia hosted as many as 620,000 Somali refugees in eight camps in the early 1990s.
All but 16,000 had returned home by 2005. The new influx has brought the total to about 33,000, UNHCR said.
Somalia has not had an effective central government for nearly 20 years and violence over the past two years has killed thousands of civilians.
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afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.