At Least nine Killed in Ethiopia’s Oromia, Somali Regions

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(VOA) WASHINGTON — At least 32 people have been killed in clashes across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions following clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo forces, a former Ethiopian lawmaker said.

Speaking to VOA Somali Service, Boqor Ali Omar Allale said at least 32 ethnic Somalis, including his younger brother, were killed on Monday night in Awaday, a small town between Ethiopia’s most holy Muslim town of Harar and its big eastern city of Dire Dawa.

“They were innocent business people sleeping with their children and spouses. They were attacked in their homes and most of them beheaded. Based on the number of burial spaces arranged, we have at least 32 deaths, including my younger” brother, Allale told VOA Somali from Jigjiga, the capital city of the Somali region of Ethiopia.

Fearing reprisals

Other sources and relatives of those killed have confirmed the incident, although they have sough anonymity, fearing reprisals.

One source said four of his cousins, who were transporting Khat — a plant used as a stimulant in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Yemen — were among those killed.

So far, Ethiopian authorities have not commented on the incident. VOA could not immediately confirm the reported killings with Ethiopian regional and federal authorities.

The alleged incident follows clashes between rival ethnic Somali and Oromo armed groups, which have been raging in areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regional states for months, but escalated this week into violent confrontations. Each side is accusing the other of being behind the deadly violence.

Speaking to VOA Afaan Oromoo, Addisu Arega, the Oromia regional communication director, accused the Liyu (“special” in Amharic) police in the Somali region of crossing into the Oromia region and killing a number of people.

Arega said people were captured during the fighting, and “based on that information, we have now realized, three entities are taking part on attacking our people: Somali region Liyu police, Somali region militias and a man holding a Somali republic regular Army Identification Card, whom we are investigating.”

On the other side, Idiris Isma’il, Somali regional communication director, denied the accusation, saying it was “a total lie.”

“I was surprised to hear such information that our special police force known as Liyu police, are waging attacks on residents. It is absurd,” Isma’il told VOA Amharic Service. “The allegation was not analyzed and confirmed by the federal government’s security apparatus nor by the Somali regional state; therefore, it is a total lie.”

Isma’il has also accused Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) of starting the violence between the two communities, an accusation denied by ONLF spokesman Abdulkadir Hassan Hirmoge.

“We have nothing to do with these clashes. The regimes in Nazareth and Jigjiga always play the two brotherly people against each other to divide or suppress them in times of public revolution,” Hirmoge said.

Recent violence

Journalists in Ethiopia reported on Tuesday that at least two people were killed and more than 600 others displaced during protests across Ethiopia’s east.

On Sept. 7, at least four people were killed near Moyale, a city in Southern Ethiopia, when Oromo militia armed with machetes attacked patients in a hospital, local media reported.

A resident of Moyale, and a relative of one of those killed, told VOA Somali over the phone on the condition of anonymity: “I can confirm the death of four people killed with knives and machetes. They were patients who sought a medical care to a hospital in Oromia region. They were attacked by mobs armed with knives and machetes for revenge.”

Moyale, deep in Ethiopia’s dusty southeastern drylands and straddling the border with Kenya, is divided along the long-contested frontier between Oromia and Somali regional states.

The city, in which three different flags fly side-by-side — the flag of Ethiopian federal government, the Oromo flag, and that of the Somali state of Ethiopia — has been a testament to the success of Ethiopia’s distinct model of ethnically based federalism, established in 1994.

But analysts say the continuation of deadly ethnic clashes will endanger Ethiopia’s federal system.

The latest violence comes a month after the Ethiopian government lifted a 10-month state of emergency imposed after more than two years of anti-government protests, mainly in the Oromia region.

Ethiopian security forces killed more than 400 people in those waves of anti-government demonstrations, according to U.S.-based Human Rights Watch.

5 Responses to At Least nine Killed in Ethiopia’s Oromia, Somali Regions

  1. OLF terrorist knows nothing except targetting and beheading. Arega is an bloody terrorist who is always lying . We hear always Oromo beheading people, they are the people who cry for power, for everything. They must be put under control these rapid dogs or subhumans. The military must deal with them mercillessly. Arega must be arrested because he is always lying a typical Gala.

    March 10, 2018 at 4:38 pm

  2. Zehabesha;
    This is a one year old news. What is the aim of your recycling of such a inciting news???

    abba caala
    March 10, 2018 at 4:41 pm

  3. The Oromo and Amhara opposition groups must mediate and solve this problem before any moving forward progress can be made against the weyane regime who created this ethnic conflict. There is no other way around this!

    March 11, 2018 at 11:57 am

  4. I am an ethiopian citizen broken my heart while i always see this kinds tragedy,ethinic glancing. The woyane’s are alwyas trying to do conflict among this two nationalities. Somali and oromo people were living together long time. There were some conflict among nomads like afar and esa tribes. The conflict just normal conflict. The neighbours are fighting today the next day the old people are siting together and can solve it. The woyane are running conflict among the people. People still don’t understand the hidden behivour. They have to be aware and must protect them selves. They have to stop this mission. The two people must rember their life before and now. Why now this kinds of conflict? They have to solve this questions by themselves.woyane killed somali inocent people in ogaden and different places . And also they are killing oromo people now and then.
    I beg u guys one and one ur enamy is woyane u have to turn ur klashincof to woyane than ur neighbour.

    March 11, 2018 at 8:11 pm

  5. KKKKKKKKKKK, we know what the Oromo were before. Before 1991 they did not even have the right to use their names . Thanks to the Woyanes now, Oromos can protest, behead people, slaughter people, stone people to death and play victim game. Thanks to the Woyanes who gave them a land that does not belong to them . As we all know the Oromia is Amhara, Guragie, Tigreans land. Since you do not accept what TPLF has done. I hope you also realise Oromia is null and void and it does not exist ant it will not exists after TPLF. Oromia exists because of TPLF. I hope you accept that fact and Oromia is fake and fabricated. Everything is null and void.

    March 12, 2018 at 3:41 pm

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