Thousands Arrive in Ethiopia Fleeing Clashes in Somalia

The UN refugee agency says thousands of people are fleeing to Ethiopia to escape fighting and insecurity in the northern Somalia town of Laascaanood.

An estimated 60,000, mainly women and children, have crossed the border into Ethiopia’s Somali region in the past few weeks.

An average of 1,000 people are crossing into Ethiopia each day, the agency said on Friday, and most of them are exhausted and traumatized, carrying few possessions.

“With limited options, many newly-arrived refugee families have resorted to sheltering in schools and other public buildings while others have no choice but to sleep outside,” the agency said.

In all, the UN estimates that more than 185,0000 have been displaced from Laascaanood town and its surrounding areas.

Fighting between local forces and those of Somaliland broke out earlier this month, according to the BBC. The UN refugees agency urged all parties to respect the safety of civilians.

Featured Image: Refugees who fled recent clashes in Lasscanood, Somaliland area, shelter in the open at the Qoriley site in the Somali region of Ethiopia. (Photo © UNHCR/Aden Harun)