Thousands of Ethiopians flee into Sudan, news agency says

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KHARTOUM (Reuters) - More than 6,000 Ethiopians are known to have entered Sudan as they flee fighting in their home country and many more are expected to cross the border, Sudan’s state news agency SUNA reported on Tuesday.

More than 200,000 people were forecast to arrive from Ethiopia in the Sudanese state of al-Qadarif in the coming days, SUNA said, citing sources at Sudan’s refugee commission.

The report said camps at a safe distance from the border would need to be set up for the fleeing Ethiopians, due to a lack of basic services in the area.

“The number is increasing around the clock,” Alsir Khaled, an official from the refugee commission in the eastern state of Kassala, told Reuters earlier. “These people need shelter and medical treatment and food, and there is a great shortage.”

“If the conflict continues, we expect an increase in the flow of refugees,” Khaled said.

Hundreds have died in fighting and air strikes in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed wages a military offensive against local leaders defiant of his authority.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz and Nayera Abdallah; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Alex Richardson and Paul Simao