Red Cross: Number of Ethiopians entering Kenya hits 8500, more expected

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The red cross said it has established a makeshift camp at in Sololo to provide shelter for populations that were previously residing at Maeyi, Kukub, Gada Korma and Dambala Fachana in Sololo ward as efforts to set up transitional shelters and finalize on the camp are underway.

The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said on Friday that it has received about 9,667 Ethiopian asylum seekers in northern border town of Moyale following their displacement in a botched security operation on March 10.

The Kenya Red Cross Society of Kenya confirmed on Thursday that the refugees who mainly constitute women and children crossed the Moyale border point in Marsabit County exhausted and in dire need of food aid. The number which stood at only 8,500 has now nearly hit the 10-thousand mark as members of the Oromo community from the neighboring country flee what they claim is a crackdown by the Ethiopian military. Ethiopian authorities’ faulty intelligence led soldiers to attack and kill nine civilians and wound a dozen others.

“We hope things cool down before the situation worsens”. “We have deployed more police officers to ensure law and order is maintained and also ensure their safety”, he said. They were provided with food and other services at local centres.

A Moyale resident said Ethiopian soldiers were trying to seek out Oromo activists. The exodus began Saturday after the government said its forces mistook the civilians in Moyale for members of the banned Oromo Liberation Front. Outbreaks of violence have continued in the Oromia Region even after Ethiopia declared a six-month, nationwide state of emergency last month following the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. Desalegn said his unprecedented February 15 resignation was meant to smooth the way for reforms, following years of violent unrest that threatened the ruling EPRDF coalition’s hold on Africa’s second-most populous nation.

Moses Ombati, Kenya’s eastern regional police commander, told China’s state-run Xinhua news agency that law enforcement has heightened security in the area. Unknown numbers of individuals are detained.

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