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World About fifteen Ethiopian soldiers of the Minuss seek asylum in South Sudan

15:05  23 february  2021
15:05  23 february  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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Des casques bleus de la Minuss à Juba, le 31 août 2016. © REUTERS / Jok Solomun Peacekeepers of the Minuss in Juba, August 31, 2016.

At least fifteen Ethiopian soldiers of the UN peacekeeping operation in South Sudan requested asylum in Juba on Monday, as they were to be repatriated to Ethiopia. All are from the Ethiopian province of Tigray, where the federal authorities have been carrying out a military operation behind closed doors since November.

This is a scene that an eyewitness at Juba International Airport described as very violent and "very shocking". It was 4 p.m. Monday when a fight broke out as Ethiopian soldiers in blue berets lined up to catch their plane.

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According to this witness, it started when some people tried to escape. One woman in particular shouted that she "did not want to come back" and was caught and beaten. Passengers then intervened and separated them, isolating 17 soldiers, including the woman who had rebelled, continues the witness.

In all, it would be at least fifteen soldiers of Tigrayan origin, out of the 169 Ethiopian soldiers of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Minuss) repatriated on Monday, who therefore "chose not to embark" , in the words of Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary General who confirmed the incident. According to him, these soldiers "asked to stay" in Juba, fearing for their safety if they returned home.

The theft is well and truly gone, but without them. According to UN , all have applied for asylum in South Sudan, as is their right. The eyewitness, on the other hand, affirms that some others were "forcibly put on the plane" under threat from their officers.

A bid 'to exterminate us': Tigrayans recount massacre by Eritrean troops .
It was well before noon, yet Beyenesh Tekleyohannes's house had already been buzzing for hours: more than 30 guests were singing, praying and sharing plates of shiro stew and lentils in honour of a major Orthodox Christian holiday. Kahsu Gebrehiwot, a priest at the Orthodox church in Dengolat, bemoaned the fact that not even Ethiopia's Orthodox leaders were denouncing the killings, to say nothing of the federal government. "When people are dying and they are saying nothing, that's a sign that they fear for their lives," Kahsu said, referring to the church leadership.

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This is interesting!