Kenyan Red Cross Society has confirmed that at least 5,000 Ethiopians have crossed into Kenya seeking refuge since March 10th following a military operation killed several civilians.
Tensions have risen seeing as the Ethiopian military said was a botched security operation targeting militants. Ethiopian state media reported Sunday that soldiers had been deployed to an area near the town of Moyale in Oromia, a region that borders Kenya, in pursuit of Oromo Liberation Front fighters who had crossed into the country from Kenya.
Red Cross officials have said that Ethiopian refugees have increased with the greatest number being women, children, and chronically ill people.
Some of those fleeing had moved with their livestock, compounding pressure on struggling relief agencies, the Red Cross said.
Outbreaks of violence have continued in Oromia province even after Ethiopia declared a six-month, nationwide state of emergency last month following the resignation of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
The Oromo Liberation Front is a secessionist group which the Ethiopian government describes as terrorist.