Police in Khartoum began a crackdown on Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in the past few days. The Amharic service's Tizita Belachew interviewed leaders of the refugee community in Khartoum on Thursday and Friday who said the raids began on July 5 and each day since then truckloads of police and other Sudanese government security have raided the homes and business of Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees, confiscating the contents of their restaurants and homes and beating and raping women and children.
All refugees who spoke on the air did not want to be identified for fear of reprisals.
UNHCR protection officer in Khartoum Teresa Ongaro confirmed that there was a series of raids of "refugees and illegal workers over the weekend." She said she has not heard any reports of police raping women and children.
"There are about 30 thousand refugees in Khartoum and about 100 thousand in Eastern Sudan bordering Eritrea. Many go to Khartoum to find a better life, but are exposed to ill treatment from time to time. She said UNHCR personnel and lawyers have interviewed 314 victims of the recent raid, and determined that 91 fit the UNHCR qualifications for refugees. She said these refugees were freed the next day.The refugees say more than 50 have already been deported.