Last Update 21:44
Sunday, 18 February 2018

Week of clashes in eastern Ethiopia kill 50, displace 50,000: Officials

Reuters , Monday 18 Sep 2017
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1554
Share/Bookmark
Views: 1554

Clashes along the border of Ethiopia's Oromiya and Somali regions have displaced around 50,000 people, a senior regional official said on Sunday, in violence that has prompted the government to send the military in.

Spokesmen from the two regions told regional news outlets earlier this week that at least 50 people were killed. Each side blames the other.

Lema Megersa, president of Oromiya province, told local journalists on Sunday: "It is not just deaths that occurred. More than 50,000 people were displaced from their homes."

"Those responsible should also be held to account," he added. He did not give a death toll.

The area has been plagued by sporadic clashes for decades. A referendum held in 2004 to determine the status of disputed settlements failed to ease tensions.

Unrest in 2015 and 2016 in Oromiya - and to a lesser extent other regions - killed 669 people, according to a parliament-mandated investigation.

The clashes are likely to fuel further fears about security in Ethiopia, the region's biggest economy and a staunch Western ally.

Each side gave contradictory explanations about the cause of the clashes. Some officials in Oromiya said it was sparked by the killing of a local district head and raids by a paramilitary force from the Somali region.

Officials from the Somali region denied those claims. Fifty ethnic Somalis were killed in the town of Aweday in Oromiya on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Somali region told local media on Friday. International media were not permitted at the briefing.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said soldiers deployed to the region to quell the violence would disarm residents and safeguard highways straddling the regions. 

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.