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Ethiopian Refugee Crisis Featured in New Voice of America Documentary

Today Voice of America released its documentary, “Terror in Tigray: The Ethiopian Refugee Crisis,” the newest in a series of films examining forced displacement due to war or conflict around the globe. In addition to English, the film is released in three other languages spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea: Afan Oromo, Amharic and Tigrigna. VOA broadcasts in these languages through its Horn of Africa service.

For the new film, VOA refugee correspondent Heather Murdock visited the Um Rakuba refugee camp in Sudan this year where tens of thousands of people who fled Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region sought refuge, amid multiple reports of human rights abuses, atrocities and serious food shortages. Murdock also visited the Tigray province itself where roads are often closed and communication with the rest of the country is extremely limited. Camp residents reported collecting dead bodies from the streets and seeing homes and businesses looted or destroyed.

The 25-minute documentary features animations by VOA’s Brian Williamson that illustrate the plight of separated families, young children escaping bombardments and pregnant women walking through forests dodging wild animals to reach safety in a refugee camp. Executives with Amnesty International, an international non-governmental organization focused on human rights, describe the events in Tigray as possible crimes against humanity, while multiple human rights organizations warn of a deepening humanitarian crisis in northern Ethiopia.

“The Voice of America has been reporting for years on the plight of refugees, featuring multiple personal and powerful accounts of atrocities and violence,” said Acting VOA Director Yolanda Lόpez. “This documentary is another compelling VOA film that sheds light on the experiences of refugee camp populations in the midst of conflict zones.”

VOA’s Horn of Africa service broadcasts to Ethiopia and Eritrea in three languages: Amharic, Afan Oromo and Tigrigna. Amharic programming is available to more than 100 million people living in Ethiopia and Eritrea, as well as within diaspora communities throughout the world. Afan Oromo programs are directed at an estimated 37 percent of Ethiopians living in the Oromia region of Ethiopia, while Tigrigna is available to more than 9 million people throughout the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia and in Eritrea, as well as in Libya.