More than 3,500 people, including hundreds of Turkish nationals, have arrived in Ethiopia after fleeing heavy fighting in Sudan, an official from the UN's International Organization for Migration told AFP.
The United Nations has warned that the violence could force as many as 270,000 people to seek refuge in neighbouring South Sudan and Chad, while others have fled to Egypt and Ethiopia.
"Between April 21 and April 25, more than 3,500 arrivals have been recorded from over 35 nationalities," Eric Mazango, communications officer for the IOM in Ethiopia, told AFP in an email received Thursday.
"Of the total arrivals recorded, the largest group are Turkish nationals at more than 40 percent, followed by Ethiopians at 14 percent," he said, with the number of refugees shooting up from 200 late last week to 1,300 on Tuesday.
The fighting between Sudanese troops and paramilitaries erupted on April 15, with hundreds of people killed, while civilians are suffering from severe shortages of water, food, medicine and fuel.
"IOM Ethiopia has received several requests from embassies for reception and transportation assistance for about 700 third-country nationals arriving on the Ethiopian side of the Sudan border," Mazango said.
He added that IOM officials were arranging transport from the border town of Metema to the cities of Gondar and Addis Ababa to manage the increase in arrivals.