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Horn of Africa: Tesseney deserted

Briefing notes

Horn of Africa: Tesseney deserted

23 June 2000

Two UNHCR-chartered IL-76 cargo jets this morning airlifted six tipper trucks into Asmara, Eritrea, from UNHCR stocks in Albania. The vehicles will be used for delivery of food and other aid to internally displaced people (IDPs) around Eritrea. UNHCR now has 50 trucks and trailers in Eritrea, including four water tankers. Also today, a chartered Airbus 300 is airlifting 40 cubic metres of timber and plastic sheeting from Copenhagen for the construction of up to 500 provisional shelters. The supplies will be immediately dispatched to the Debat IDP camp north of Keren where more than 50,000 people are living without adequate shelter. The aircraft are also bringing in blankets, tents, jerry cans and water purification equipment. UNHCR mobile field teams have travelled to several areas in Eritrea over the past few days. In the western town of Tesseney, they found between 10 and 25 percent of the housing destroyed by fire and partially looted or vandalized. Tesseney was still largely empty with just a handful of returnees sifting through the rubble. Dead livestock littered many of the town's residential areas. UNHCR staff also report damage to residential buildings in the May-Dima region of central Eritrea.