Elshadai Hosts World Refugee Day Celebration in Tigrai

Eritrean Refugees call UN agencies and NGOs to aid the Eritrean refugees exposed to various survival challenges amid the continued blockage in Tigrai. Mr. Abraham Teame, representative of Eritrean refugee at Elshadai Refugee Camp found in the capital of Tigrai Mekele, passes his gratitude for the people of Tigray for their material support and brotherhood, on the behalf of the Eritrean refugees living in Tigrai. 

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Abraham in his speech says “we are thankful that the people of Tigray insured our life through sharing whatever they had.” 
Among the hundreds of Eritrean refugees being hosted in Elshadai Relief and development Association, Abraham requests the United Nations to investigate the atrocious crimes committed by armed forces in various refugee camps in Tigrai.     
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He underlines “the war left the refugees empty handed” reiterating Tigraians served them in their homes for months until they reach Elshadai.  
In his remark in the refugee day, hosted by Elshadai Relief and Development Association in collaboration with United Nations Higher Commission for Refugee, Mr. Abraham calls the UN agencies provide basic services and focus on sustainable solutions that augment the safety and security of the refugees. 
Founder and Chief Executive Director of Elshadai Relief and Development Association Mr. Yemane Weldemariam states that his organization is hosting more than 320 Eritrean refugees amid the service provision challenges facing as a result of the blockage. 
In his speech, Mr. Yemane describes that Elshadai, local nongovernmental organization, wants to work with multilateral international organizations on how the demands of the refugees should be attained.
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Mr. Mulugeta Debalkew, Head of Tigray Bureau of Labor and Social Affairs, says “we, Tigrayans and Eritreans, are the same people living apart north and south of Mereb River.”
He adds “the people of Tigray believe that you are in your second home, not refugees.”  
Hundreds of thousands of Eritreans living in Tigray were, together with all Tigrayans, victims of the horrific war that emptied Tigray. 
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He calls the United Nations help to take the leading role on the efforts made by governmental and nongovernmental agencies to comfort the basic services as per the global minimum standards of service for the refugees.  
This year’s world refugee day is celebrated with the theme of “whoever, wherever, whenever, everyone has the right to seek safety.  
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Special guest of the celebration in Mekelle Principal Situation Coordinator of United Nations Higher Commission for Refugee of the Tigray Coordination Office Mr. Manteaw Martin says “refugees are human beings like us with dreams, aspirations and a life that we all cherish.” 
He states “it is upon us to ensure that when they take the right to seek safety we are there to give them a helping hands.” 
He reiterates that humanitarian agencies should “put our efforts together” to lessen the loads of risks that the refugees are facing in uncertain conditions of conflict zones like what is in Tigray. 
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Mr. Martin thanks Elshadai Relief and Development Association for hosting the Eritrean refugees amid the tough humanitarian crisis.
He states “Elshadai is not a partner of UNHCR, but what we call an operational partner.” 
Mr. Martin explains the way they work together to secure the safety of the refugees “we cooperate with Elshadai to give assistance and protection to refugees.”
He assures Elshadai “this cooperation would always strengthened, going forward because we a wonderful that they continued to do.” 
He also thanks governmental, nongovernmental and other UN agencies for their contribution towards the safety and security of the refugees in Tigray. 
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 “The good people of the host community, the good people of this land for your solidarity to them” Mr. Martin adds.
UNHCR assures that it is working to provide durable solutions “either through resettlement to a third country for those who are eligible, reintegration with the local community or repatriation back to the homeland if that is possible” Mr. Manteaw Martin responds to the concerns of the refugees.
The refugees presented a gift to Elshadai Relief and Development Association with a coinage “Elshadai: Exemplary of Love and Brotherhood” between the people of Tigray and Eritrea.             
Coordinated by Tadele Hagos (PhD), Advisor of Elshadai’s CEO, the refugee’s day celebration continued for a day with art works presented by the refugees and ALYA.
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