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Displaced families suffering subhuman conditions in Ethiopia: Egeland

By Dawit Endeshaw

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Displaced families are enduring subhuman conditions in Ethiopia without enough food and shelter, Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said on Thursday.

Egeland told Reuters he had seen 3,500 people without food in an abandoned factory, sharing 16 overflowing latrines flooded by torrential rains, during a visit to the southern town of Dilla a day earlier.

“These people feel abandoned and I don’t blame them,” the former Norwegian politician and U.N. official said.

There was no immediate comment from the government, which says 2.3 million citizens are displaced inside the country, 1.7 million of them after fleeing conflict.

The Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre last month gave a higher figure saying an estimated 3.2 million Ethiopians had fled conflict and drought by April this year.

Those – on top of 900,000 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea – meant the Horn of Africa nation hosted the most displaced people in the world, the center added. Ethiopia’s government has not commented on the difference in the figures.
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