UN peacekeepers from Tigray ‘refuse to return home’

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Some 15 Ethiopian peacekeepers in South Sudan, originally from the Tigray region, refused to return to Ethiopia on Monday, the AFP news agency reports quoting UN spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.

A contingent of 169 Ethiopian soldiers was due to rotate out of South Sudan.

“We’re trying to get the details, but I do understand about 15 members of the contingent chose not to board the flight at the Juba airport… They’ve asked to stay,” Mr Dujarric is quoted as saying at a media briefing.

Conflict broke out in Tigray in early November 2020 after the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) seized federal military bases in the region following a breakdown in relations with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government

Thousands of people are reported to have been killed, and about two million have been internally displaced.