UN High Commissioner for Refugees calls for immediate cessation of hostilities in Blue Nile State
GENEVA, 3 September 2011 - UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, today appealed for an immediate halt to hostilities in Sudan's Blue Nile state, amid reports of escalating displacement in areas around the town of Damazin.
"We need, at all costs, to stop yet one more refugee crisis in a region of the world that has been witnessing in recent months so much suffering," said Guterres, who returned to Geneva on Friday from visiting nearby Somalia, where hundreds of thousands of people are currently displaced by conflict, drought and famine.
Hostilities in Blue Nile State erupted late on Thursday, since when UNHCR has received reports of some 16,000 people fleeing across the border into Ethiopia. On Saturday a UNHCR team was en route to the towns of Kirmuk and Gizane in western Ethiopia to assess the situation.
For further information on this topic, please contact:
- In Geneva: Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba on mobile: +41 79 249 3483
- In Ethiopia: Kisut Gebre Egziabher on mobile +251 911 208 901