Nearly 100,000 have fled the fighting in Somaliland to Ethiopia

About 100,000 people fleeing fighting in Somaliland, Somalia’s self-declared independent region, have taken refuge in a month in a remote area of Ethiopia already suffering from severe drought, the UN and Ethiopian refugee agencies announced Tuesday.
Citing authorities in the Doolo administrative zone, part of Ethiopia’s Somali region and located at the southeastern tip of the country, more than 1,300 km off the bad road from Addis Ababa, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 98,000 people have arrived in three woredas (districts) bordering Somaliland since February 6.
“We are going to corroborate these figures” through the registration that has started, said Tesfahun Gobezay, director general of the Refugees and Returnees Service (RRS), an Ethiopian government agency, at a press conference in Addis Ababa with Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR representative in Ethiopia.
The latest figures available on Monday show that “29,000 refugees have already been registered and the numbers are increasing”, he said, adding that the refugees were “mainly women and children”.
If their number is confirmed, the arrival of these refugees will swell by 40% the population of the three woredas concerned, about 236,000 people who are already suffering severely from the drought affecting their region and more widely part of the Horn of Africa.