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The area along the border of Ethiopia’s Oromiya and Somali regions has been plagued by sporadic clashes for decades.


ADDIS ABABA – 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.

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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.

1 Comment

  1. where did you find this story and pack of accumilated and piled lies

    see below :
    Reports emerged this week of deadly clashes between ethnic Oromos and ethnic Somalis in the country’s dry and mainly pastoralist south-east. More than 30 people are estimated to have been killed in the town of Awaday on Sept.11. Protest followed, during which at least two people died. At least 600 were displaced following clashes (some say far more), and are now sheltering around the city of Harar. Local militia and police, including the controversial Somali special forces known as the Liyu and accused by Human Rights Watch of human rights abuses, are thought to have been involved in the violence. The government in Addis Ababa, the capital, confirmed the national army had been sent into restore order.

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