• Conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region spurs mass displacement: More than 56,000 Ethiopians have fled to neighbouring Sudan due to conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
• Movement along the Eastern Route slowly restarts this quarter: Refugee and migrant arrivals from East Africa to Yemen increased this quarter with 4,413 new reported arrivals. This is an overall increase of 193% from 1,505 refugees and migrants who arrived between July and September 2020. In particular, arrivals during this quarter increased by 51% between October (1,038) and December 2020 (2,035).1
• Increased movement along return route from Yemen to East Africa: Between May and December 2020, 5,950 refugees and migrants were recorded entering Djibouti from Yemen on maritime journeys.
Over 2,500 of these returnees were recorded from October to December 2020.
• Fewer Ethiopian deportations from Saudi Arabia in 2020: In 2020, 36,632 Ethiopians were deported from Saudi Arabia, a 70% decrease from the 120,825 Ethiopians returned in the whole of 2019.
• East African refugees and migrants in Libya: In Libya, 9,482 East Africans were registered as people of concern by UNHCR by the end of 2020 and over 18,000 East Africans migrants were recorded by IOM in Libya at the end of October 2020.
• East Africans arrivals to Europe remain limited: By the end of December 2020, 3,089 refugees and migrants from East Africa were reported arriving in Europe along the Central Mediterranean and Eastern Mediterranean Routes.
• Reports of abuse of East African asylum seekers by US officials: The Guardian newspaper reported mistreatment and abuse of asylum seekers this quarter by US officials on deportation flights from the United States to African countries (including Kenya).