UNHCR welcomes transfer of Eritreans to Ali Addeh Refugee Camp in Djibouti
UNHCR confirmed the release of 266 Eritreans previously detained at the Nagad police academy in Djibouti. The Nagad Detention Facility primarily held undocumented immigrants and was not part of the prison system in the East African country, according to the US State Department.
The UNHCR press office said on Tuesday that 266 Eritreans have been handed over to the UNHCR and transferred to the Ali Addeh Camp. “They have indeed been handed to UNHCR and transferred to the Ali Addeh Camp.”, Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba from the UNHCR press office said.
The Ali Addeh Refugee Camp is located 170km from the capital of Djibouti and is currently hosting an estimate of 18,000 refugees mainly from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia. The refugee camp is divided into 8 sections, each with an average of 2,000 refugees, with refugees from Somalia being the majority.
Eritrean human rights activist Elsa Chyrum went on hunger strike to protest the detention of Eritrean refugees in Djibouti last month.
It was thanks to her resilience, dedication and campaigning that the issue drew the attention of the wider public and media which lead to the release of the prisoners.
Ms Elsa Chyrum spent several days on hunger strike in front of the UNHCR headquarters in Geneva in March.
The Eritrean prisoners were seized during a three-day border conflict between Eritrea and Djibouti in 2008, Djibouti’s presidential adviser Najib Ali Tahi told Anadolu Agency on Monday.
“This is indeed a development the UNHCR welcomes.”, Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba said.