11:07 GMT25 January 2021
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    CAIRO (Sputnik) - More than 45,000 people have fled Ethiopia since the start of the armed conflict in the Tigray region, Alsir Khaled, head of Sudan's refugee agency in the eastern border town of Kassala, told Sputnik.

    In November, an armed conflict started between Ethiopia’s government and the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) after the government accused Tigray forces of conducting an attack on a military base in the region.

    "The number of Ethiopian refugees [in Sudan] who are fleeing the war in the Tigray area in the north of Ethiopia has surpassed 45,000. At the same time, local issues [relating to housing refugees] continue because of humanitarian organizations’ slow work," Khaled said.

    ​On Sunday, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that TPLF rebels had three days to "surrender peacefully" and called on civilians in the capital of the Tigray region, Mekelle (Mekele), to stand in solidarity with government forces.

    Ethiopia is a mosaic of different ethnic tribes - Amhara, Oromo, Tigrayan, Sidama, Gurage, Wolayta and Somali. Meles Zenawi and the Tigrayan elite ruled the country until they began to lose power after his death in 2012.

    Sudan, Refugees, Ethiopia
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