Fighting Between Ethiopia and Eritrea
May 30, 2000
Despite a peace agreement, fighting between Ethiopia and Eritrea continues. Since May 12, a large portion of the Eritrean population has been displaced. According to the Eritrean government agency, ERREC (Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission), the advance of the Ethiopian army into Eritrea has resulted in the displacement of 550,000 Eritreans.
MSF sent an exploratory mission to Eritrea on May 21, 2000, and is currently working to identify the needs of displaced populations. In western Eritrea, after the city of Barentu fell and the city of Agordat was abandoned, hundreds of thousands of Eritreans reportedly fled northeast to the city of Keren and west toward the Sudanese border. According to unconfirmed reports, there are up to 100,000 refugees located near the Sudanese border around Teseney and Guluj. They are without shelter and access to health care. An MSF team is traveling to the area and will supply them with jerry cans, plastic sheeting and medicine. There are 17,000 refugees in and around the Sudanese border town of Kassala. MSF teams are monitoring the situation from Sudan and offering technical assistance.
Many wounded people have arrived in the public hospital of Asmara.. MSF has sent a surgical team and a cargo plane carrying 37 metric tons of surgical and other medical and relief materials. The organization will also provide post-operative care and nutritional assistance to patients, while preparing for a possible greater influx of patients.