Telephone Meeting With Mr. Julian Reilly, United Kingdom Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea. Take action to help the 18,000 Hitsats refugees threatened by removal and by exposure to Coronavirus.

Mar 25, 2020 | News


Julian Reilly1

During a Telephone Meeting this morning with Mr. Julian Reilly, United Kingdom Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea – also attended by telephone link by the Earl of Sandwich and Harriet Baldwin MP –  I raised the plight of 18,000 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia who are being removed from the refugee camp at Hitsats.

Their displacement is not only in breach of World Health Organisation guidelines about the danger of spreading Coronavirus it also compromises Ethiopia’s duties towards vulnerable refugees. 

You can help by sending and sharing the open letter, organised by Eritrea Focus,  to the Ethiopian Government (see the link below).

During the meeting, Mr.Reilly discussed the challenge posed by Coronavirus to the region, the importance of ending conflict and promoting sustainable development, the damage to crops from locusts, planned elections, the role of other countries within the Region, the challenges posed by dam construction, and the  reconciliation initiatives between Eritrea and Ethiopia and within South Sudan.  

Ethiopia: Open Letter On Closing Refugee Camps For 18,000 Eritreans


18,000 Eritrean refugees imminently at risk because the Ethiopian Government has ceased to apply, as of right, refugee status to Eritreans. The Hitsats refugee camp, holding 18,000 Eritrean refugees, is to be closed and refugees relocated to a camp that has no infrastructure and is already overcrowded.


Exposure to Coronavirus


We are sharing this open letter to the President of Ethiopia

urging the Ethiopian Government to reconsider its plans for this relocation of Hitsats refugees since we believe that such a move will be contrary to the WHO guidelines and efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus virus and will expose both refugees and host populations to unnecessary risk of contagion.


We encourage you to share this letter as widely as possible, distribute it via your networks and encourage institutions, MPs, and leaders to take this matter up and help us advocate to protect the refugees.



click on this link for the letter:


Open Letter to the Ethiopian Government


Please share and act!


For more information and news see here



Thank you. 




Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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