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Sep-10-2010 12:54printcomments

4000 Ethiopian Refugees Repatriate Home; 700 More Flee

IOM is working closely with the Ministry of Interior and the local authorities of Obok to help manage the situation.

Ethiopian Refugees
Ethiopian Refugees UN Photo

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Stranded in the Middle East, Libya, Somaliland, Puntland, Tanzania and Europe; Immigration Office of Migration (IOM) has helped 3,781 Ethiopian refugees voluntarily return home over the last 12 months.

August alone, saw the repatriation of more than 600 refugees with an additional 1,000 returning home in the coming three months. IOM’s consistent priority and mission is safety and dignity while promoting informed decisions.

The voluntary return services offered by IOM are partnered with ongoing in-country campaigns that target these vulnerable groups. Many are migrating from place to place without services, this programs will provide arrival orientation, counseling, medical support and startup capital for an efficient return.

While working diligently to offer voluntary repatriation of Ethiopian refugees, many are still fleeing. IOM is working on both sides to help this exposed community.

Seven hundred Ethiopian refugees are stranded in Obok, Djibouti en route to Yemen, in need of immediate medical assistance. One death has been confirmed and over 170 individuals have severe diarrhea; 60 are currently receiving emergency care while 119 have been moved to the City of Djibouti by boat for additional care.

IOM is working closely with the Ministry of Interior and the local authorities of Obok to help manage the situation. They have already donated cartons of antiseptic, cartons of latex gloves and bleach, ventilators, boots, basins, picks, shovels, tents and beds to accommodate the refugees.

IOM told “We are consistently monitoring the situation and will adapt appropriate responses as the situation develops”. Their mission and sustained work is to continue improving the protection of those most vulnerable.

*Sources: Immigration Office of Migration

Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at:

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