from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – A LARGE number of child refugees separated from their parents are arriving in Sudan from the neighbourung Ethiopia where conflict is escalating.
They risk abuse and exploitation.
So far, 139 children who were separated from their parents or caregivers have been registered at just one of several entry points along the border.
Save the Children said, so the total number could be far higher.
In total at least 43 000 refugees have already crossed the border from Ethiopia to Sudan so far.
Arshad Malik, Save the Children’s country director in Sudan, said the youngsters who had fled from their homes were at high risk of trafficking, exploitation and abuse, particularly girls.
“They need specialist care and protection,” he said.
Malik said many of these separated children were travelling with their older siblings or extended families but they needed their parents or caregivers.
“It is vital to reunite them as soon as possible.”
Save the Children has set up two child-friendly spaces at the Um Rabaka camp.
It also deployed a child protection specialist to support family reunifications and it is setting up temporary learning facilities.
The arrival of Ethiopian refugees at Um Rabaka camp has worsened congestion.
It is set up for 5 000 people, but is already hosting twice that number.
The United Nations is projecting that 200 000 people in total could cross the border in the coming months.
They are fleeing the Tigray region where a war between regional forces and the Ethiopian national army ensured early November.
– CAJ News