Aid Workers Deploy in Ethiopia to Help Fleeing Sudanese

Posted September 6th, 2011 at 11:26 am (UTC-5)
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The International Organization for Migration says it is moving to help thousands of Sudanese who have crossed into Ethiopia to escape fighting in southeastern Sudan.

The IOM said Tuesday most of the estimated 20,000 Sudanese refugees are stranded on the Ethiopian side of the border with little food, water or shelter.

The humanitarian group says it has sent medical and operational staff to the western Ethiopian border towns of Kirmuk and Gizane to help the Sudanese relocate to an established refugee camp. The camp is located in Sherkole, 50 kilometers inland from the border.

The refugees began fleeing Sudan's Blue Nile state after fighting erupted last week between the Sudanese military and rebels allied to South Sudan's main political group, the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, or SPLM.

Residents of Blue Nile state are Sudanese citizens but many of them have a greater allegiance to South Sudan, which seceded from the Muslim-dominated north in July.