A record-breaking 4,634 Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers have crossed into neighboring Eritrea for the month of June, opposition sources in Asmara have disclosed.
Eritrea, which is currently housing tens of thousands of Ethiopian refugees, has declined to comment about the alarming number of Ethiopian youth entering their borders.
Severe government oppression and lack of economic opportunities are the leading causes of youth fleeing Ethiopia, according to refugees inside the country.
On average, over 7,100 Ethiopian refugees have been fleeing towards Yemen each month, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Over the past few years, reports indicate a quarter of a million Ethiopian refugees have crossed into Yemen, making the country of 85 million as the biggest exporter of refugees on the continent.
Despite the growing figures of Ethiopian youth fleeing their homeland, little attention is given in the media due to Addis Ababa’s close relation with Washington.
Many of the Tigrayan (Ethiopian) refugees that enter Eritrea often take up arms and join the Tigray Peoples’ Democratic Movement (TPDM).
Perhaps, the biggest indication at how large Ethiopia’s refugee problem into Eritrea has gotten comes from a video released by the Tigray Peoples Democratic Movement. At least 6,000 TPDM rebels can be seen in just one of their bases in Eritrea. All these fighters were former military defectors or refugees who entered the country between 2001-2013.