JUBA – Ethiopian soldiers from the East African country’s Tigray region who were being forced to return to their country where they fear government persecution now have been put under the protection of South Sudan’s National Security Service, according to a high-profile South Sudan security source in the country’s capital Juba.
Earlier today, fist fight involving machetes and sticks erupted among Ethiopian peacekeepers as commanders tried to force the soldiers – mostly those from the Tigray region – to board plan for Addis Ababa where they fears government brutality, mainly because of the conflict in the northern Ethiopian region.
No death was reported, but dozens of soldiers have sustained serious injuries and have been relocated to a local Juba hospital operated by an international NGO, according to a number of Juba International Airports staff members.
Speaking to Sudans Post this evening, a senior NSS officer said the security body has taken charge of the security of the Ethiopian soldiers who fears returning to their country until the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provide solution to their security concerns.
“The situation has been calmed down and no one who is not willing is going to be taken to Ethiopian by force. The National Security Service is now in charge of the security and we will be responsible for that until they are provided the needed security guarantee by the UN,” the security source of high rank who declined a Face-to-face interview told Sudans Post on phone.
Earlier in the day, a UNHCR staffer told Sudans Post that some of the Ethiopian soldiers have “their teeth broken as they struggled to freed themselves. They’re now in the custody of SS security forces and some have already been transported to the reception center for registration as asylum seekers.”
Violence fist fight involving the use of sticks has broke out among Ethiopian peacekeepers at Juba International Airport after an attempt to force those unwilling to return to Ethiopia board plan for Addis Ababa where they fears persecution. pic.twitter.com/oct0UxHGZD
— Sudans Post (@SudansPost) February 22, 2021