Analysis: Rising Death Toll, Displacement and Protests in Eastern Ethiopia

The alarming conflict, killings and displacement in Eastern Ethiopia
The alarming conflict, killings and displacement in Eastern Ethiopia continues as violence intensifies in the border areas of Somalia and Oromia Regional states.

BY LIYAT FEKADE | ADDIS STANDARD

Increasing numbers of civilian casualties due to military actions in parts of east, south and south east Ethiopia over the last weeks has now led to fresh protests, more deaths and displacements in several places in eastern Ethiopia.

On the other hand, federal and regional authorities have gone from denial to pointing fingers at one another to explain the root cause of what is visibly becoming an alarming breach of peace and stability in many areas bordering the Oromia and Somali regional states.



In the past few months, Addis Standard has been reporting on several incidents of raids by armed men who casually cross from the Somali regional state to villages and towns under the administrative jurisdiction of the Oromia regional state.

Addis Standard interviewed local residents in several towns and villages, including Chinakson, Mieso, Deder and Gursum in east and west Hararghe; Moyale, Liben and Gumii Edelo in Guji Zone in southern Ethiopia; as well as in Sewena, Meda Wolabu and Dawe Serer woredas (district zones) in Bale, south east Ethiopia, on several occasions since March 2017.

Almost all the people interviewed say armed men who are members of the “Liyu police” force were often the culprits of cross border raids that ends in the death of civilians.

Contentious Border Issues

The boundary between the two neighboring regional states has been a hotly contested affair since Ethiopia became a federal state in 1995. In Oct. 2004 the two regions have conducted a border referendum, which was held to determine the residents’ choice for administrative status of villages and towns located adjacent the two regional states.

The referendum was conducted in 420 Kebeles located in 12 different Woredas across five zones of the Somali Regional state. According to the official results of the referendum, residents in close to 80% of the disputed areas have voted to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. But claims alleging voting irregularities persist. And subsequent ethnic conflicts have led to the displacement in late 2004 and early 2005 of more than 80,000 people on both sides.



Although clashes of various degrees, particularly between the Borana Oromo and the Garii communities (often triggered by meager resources, such as shortage of water and pasture where available,) have remained the hallmark between the two communities in Moyale and its environs, locals in various places claim cross border raids by armed men became much more frequent and have contributed in fueling these conflicts, especially after the establishment of the “Liyu Police” in April 2007.

In March 2017, as attacks against civilians intensified and were solely blamed on border disputes, Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia government communication affairs office, said the result of the referendum were “final” and will not be altered. Addisu also blamed the “raids by armed men” as economic in nature. “After attacking the areas, these armed militiamen engage in looting of properties.”

And in April 2017 Abdi Mohamud Omar, a.k.a, Abdi Illey, and Lemma Megerssa, presidents of Somali and Oromia regional states respectively, have signed an agreement to end “border hostilities”. Three months later on August 19, the Oromia regional state said that as part of that agreement, of the 68 contested towns and villages between the two regions, 48 were returned to be under the administration of the Oromia regional state. And that “border issues were resolved and peace was restored.”

Recent Escalation

As of late however, the somewhat sporadic military raids due to border and economic issues and have not only intensified but took a different shape.

Usman Omar, one of the eight local elders who traveled to Addis Abeba from East Hararghe Zone, Gursum Woreda to file complaints at the federal house of federation warned in an exclusive interview with Addis Standard that “the situation in the region [was] very bad…we have been under the Oromia Regional state since the 2004 border referendum [because] we [chose] to but we are forced to pay a heavy sacrifice for that.”

By the time the elders were in Addis Abeba looking for answers, an attack by armed men has left seven civilians dead in Chinakson in east Hararghe and its environs. Chinakson has always been under the Oromia regional state and local residents do not believe the attack was motivated by a “non-existing border conflict.”

 

Blames, more Deaths, Displacement and Protests

Residents in all these areas who either contacted or were interviewed by Addis Standard speak in unison and anger regarding the role of the “Liyu police” in fueling the conflict. However, despite growing pressures both from the residents and online Oromo activists, officials from the Oromia regional state have refrained from pointing fingers at this paramilitary elite force, until Tuesday September 12 that is.



On Monday September 11, Selama Mohammed, Gursum woreda administrator, and Mohammed Abdurahman, former security affairs deputy head of Deder town in east Hararghe, as well as a Tajudin Jamal, a member of the Oromia police in Harar, were taken from their car while en route to Harar from Jijiga, the capital of the Somali regional state. According to the locals, they were taken to a police station by members of the Somali police force together with “Liyu police”. Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal were found dead in Bombas, half way between Harar and Jijiga, while Mohammed Abdurahman got hurt while escaping. He is now admitted to Dil Chora referral hospital in Dire Dawa.

The incident triggered mass protests in several cities on Tuesday, the sternest being in Deder and Gursum, the later where Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal were known by the locals as “men of the people”, according to Abdi Dulee Mohammad, a resident of the town who spoke to Addis Standard by phone. Protesters were chanting “down, down Woyane,” the Tigriyna term used to refer to TPLF, the all too powerful member of Ethiopia’s ruling party EPRDF. “The young people who went out to the streets to protest know that “Liyu Police” is the creation of TPLF as a gift to Abdi Illey. We all know that,” Abdi Dulee said.

According to Abdi Dulee, the locals have increasingly become resentful of the extrajudicial stretch by members of the “Liyu Police.” “Sometimes girls as young as 12 are taken by these men even in peace times,” he said, “there is a lot of anger and no peace will come unless they are removed.”

The “Liyu police” was created in 2008 to operate in the Somali Regional State (SRS) which had its own regular police force of its own. Its creation preceded an attack in 2007 by the Ogaden National Liberation Army (ONLA), the armed wing of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in a Chinese oil field that killed 74 members of the federal army and nine Chinese engineers.

(ED’s Note: For more on the dynamics involving the role of “Liyu Police”, please read this analysis published on Addis Standard as part of our continuous coverage).

But, the role of the “Liyu police” came to another twist when online activists posted an ID card of a captured armed man called Shune Kherow Abdi, who is described on the ID as a member of the National Army of the neighboring Republic of Somalia. The information was later on confirmed by Addisu Arega Kitessa, head of the Oromia government communication affairs office, who posted the ID with short note saying that the person is indeed a member of the Somalia National Army.

“This incident not only complicates matters but also calls for a careful reading of the dynamics of the conflict in the area that involves more than 1000 km shared border between the two regional states in Ethiopia,” said a political science professor at the Addis Abeba University (AAU), who wants to remain anonymous. According to him, the creation of “Liyu Police” has “outlived its purpose, if there were any. It is time the federal government revisits the presence of such police force in the region not only because members of the “Liyu Police” are repeatedly accused of rights violations previously in Ogaden and now in Oromia, but also because of the regional dynamics and Ethiopia’s relationship with the neighboring Somalia.”

Blames and Counter Blames

Officials from the Somali regional state do not only loath allowing access to mainstream media but also maintain a habit of selectively granting access to pro-government journalists, bloggers and commentators to disseminate choreographed information. Our repeated attempt to get interviews in the past two weeks bore no result so far.

But on Tuesday Sep. 12, the VOA Amharic held a rare interview with Edris Ismael Abdi, head of the Somali regional state Communication Bureau. What he said during the interview gave many a chill.

Edris Ismael Abdi was not only willing to provide adequate response to the questions, but threw alarming accusations of mass killings and torching of villages orchestrated by what he claimed were members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) in coordination with officials of the Oromia regional state and Oromo online activists, particularly Jawar Mohammed. Edris also personally criticized Addisu Arega Kitessa of partnering with OLF and Jawar to “destabilize Ethiopia”. He also accused Addisu of “forging evidence” in reference to the ID card; and went on to accuse the Oromia regional state of being staffed by “officials who sympathize with OLF’s ideology.”



However, Edris’s tirade fell flat when asked if he was willing to provide solid evidence. “I don’t have it compiled at the moment,” he said, but insisted “their deeds bear witness.” He also said he can provide evidence of captured rebels who were held under police custody.

Addisu on his part countered the statement from Edris and spoke about the “negative role” being played by members of the “Liyu Police.” This was the first time Addisu spoke of the involvement by the “Liyu police”. “What is happening is not what Edris said was happening. Members of the “Liyu police” are crossing over to villages under the administration of the Oromia regional state and are attacking civilians. The people are witnesses for this.” He also denied that there were areas where the OLF was active. “We are conducting investigations and are compiling a detailed report which will be released in the near future.”

Addisu further explained about the progress of redrawing contested areas, which were the sources of previous conflicts. Later on, he wrote on his Facebook page with a link to the VOA interview and said: “It’s surprising to hear my friend Edris Ismael Abdi…is trying to defend Shune Kherow Abdi, a soldier from Somalia Republic captured in Moyale while killing innocent people. I hope this irresponsible statement is not an official statement from Somali National Regional State Government. It rather seems Edris Ismael’s personal opinion.”

But on Wednesday September 13, the Somali Regional state communication affairs bureau proved Addisu wrong when they posted on their official Facebook page a contemptuous statement accusing the Oromia regional state of having direct links with the OLF, an organization labeled by the federal government as a terrorist organization.

“This is a troubling turn of event”, said our interviewee from the AAU, who has written several academic papers on the fault lines of Ethiopia’s federalism. “Whoever did that knows that this is an accusation the federal government will not take lightly given past experiences. They know that every Oromo dissenting voice within the country has been dealt a severe blow in the pretext of membership to OLF. So, if you are not concerned by this turn of event so far, you should now.”

Today afternoon, Addisu issued his response in his personal Facebook page in which he expressed his frustrations about, among others, the use of poor and inflammatory language in the statement from the Somali regional state, which “helps nothing but further fuel the situation.”

More Death and Displacement

Protests have taken place in several cities in eastern Hararghe yesterday and to a lesser extent today. Although reports indicate of heavy causalities, the exact numbers are hard to come by. According to Addisu, 18 people – 12 from Somali and 6 from the Oromo ethnic groups – were killed in just one day yesterday during a protest by angry local residents in Awoday, a commercial city in eastern Hararghe. The protesters took to the street after news of the killing of Selama Mohammed and Tajudin Jamal came out, according to Addisu. Some 200 suspects were placed under police custody.

On Friday September 01 residents of Mieso town, west Hararghe zone, took matters into their own hands and engaged in a daylong fighting with members of the “Liyu Police”. The clash left “more than 30 people”, including “more than a dozen army members”, dead and several others injured. “We couldn’t take the killings our men, the raping of our girls and the lootings of our cattle by bandits openly supported by the Liyu Police,” wrote Abdulatif Kererro, a resident of the town in a message sent to Addis Standard.

As chain of similar events followed, a fighting between local residents and what they continued insisting were members of the “Liyu police” quickly spread to the south and south eastern Ethiopia and has claimed unknown numbers of lives.

The youth in Moyale town of Guji zone, 795 km south of Addis Abeba, have come out en mass to fight against the taking of “our holy sites,” according to one resident. “For example, Gofa and Ia’ee are among our nine Tulas (deep wells) taken by the Garee community – a Somali pastoralist clan.” According to him, the taking over of these areas were not entirely driven by the Garee, “who lived alongside us for generations and, who, despite occasional competition for resource, never touched our sacred places,” rather, he says, it was “orchestrated and supported by the “Liyu police” and members of militia belonging to the Somali regional state for sheer reason of capitalizing on chaos.” Relative calm has returned since the last “three days,” he said.

But one cannot say the same about eastern Ethiopia. Yesterday, around 600 ethnic Oromo residents of Tog Wajale (Wachale) in eastern Ethiopia towards the border with the Republic of Somalia, as well as hundreds from Jijiga town, the capital of the Somali regional state, were forced to flee their homes. Some have made it to Harar while others are arriving in several places such as Gursum in east Hararghe to take refugee.

The displacement has continued throughout today with some of the displaced telling disturbing stories of mutilation and killing of a woman and detention of men, according to DW Amharic.

The federal government has deployed members of the federal army in parts of eastern and western Hararghe as well as Jijiga. But the displacement has continued with thousands more said to have already been on the road.

The sad plight of civilians displacement in Eastern Ethiopia
The sad plight of civilians displacement in Eastern Ethiopia

Our interviewee from the AAU concurs with the decision by the federal government to send federal army members, but he is critical of the “root cause of the problem, which is the presence of a special force in a fragile region and the hope that it will serve as checks and balances – it is delusional. You cannot maintain peace and stability by a proxy force which operates in impunity.”

Other Ethiopians have taken to Facebook to denounce the special elite force. “The Ethiopian government can no longer justify the continued existence of the paramilitary force called ‘Liyu Police,’” wrote Awol Kassim Allo, a lecturer of law at Keele University. “There can be no legitimate reason for a country that plays an active part in regional and global peacekeeping operations to keep its own peace with a notorious paramilitary force known for its lethal ferocity.”

Although many, including Abdi Dulee and the professor from AAU, agree that removing the “Liyu Polcie’ may be the solution, other critiques are skeptical of the federal government’s willingness to do just that. “The federal government instigated the conflict to compromise Lemma [Megerssa], divert attention and consolidate the minority coalition,” wrote one such critique in a message. “The escalation would legitimize the federal government’s intervention in the person of Samora Yenus, [the federal army chief]. This would discredit OPDO, emboldens the military and equates Oromia, the biggest and largest national state with an aspiration to be a mainstream political force with Ethiopian Somali state, Ethiopia’s Chechnya.” He said he believed the federal government was “behind the escalation and the calculated neglect of the crisis.”

On Friday September 08, during a New Year press conference, Dr. Negeri Lencho, head of the federal communication affairs bureau, admitted that “there were other forces” operating in some parts within the two regional states. “We have information that recently lives were lost in some areas due to fresh conflicts. These fresh conflicts have nothing to do with border issues between the two regional states. Our information is that officials from both regional states are working on implementing to resolve the border issues. However, there are some instigation by some forces assigned by unknown actors,” Dr. Negeri said. He also said the federal government has placed the situation “under control.” But events in eastern Ethiopia until the publishing of this article prove him wrong.

82 thoughts on “Analysis: Rising Death Toll, Displacement and Protests in Eastern Ethiopia

  1. It is sad. As long as Weyane clique exist ethnic strife will continue in Ethiopia for a long time to come. This was Weyane’s dream (divide and rule) in order to stay in power all along.

    1. As an Oromo I am ashamed of my people for the massacres of innocent Somalis in Awaday town.

      These Somalis lived and traded in Awaday and had nothing to do with Liyuu Polis and politics in general.

      I thank the good Somalis of Djibouti, Somaliland, and Somalia, for not doing revenge killing on us Oromo’s.

  2. My question is why are the Somalians side with Weyane? I mean even last year when the country about to overthrow the weyane; the somalians were standing behind Weyane. It is no secrete that TPLF agenda is for ethnics to wedge war against each other but I never understood why the Somalis are with Weyane. Why?

    1. Sir, this is one of those human behaviour that science can’t explain. Nonetheless, when I look at what’s going on here, this is a success of TPLFite’s strategy of ethnic division – sort of a fait acompli.

      1. haha…. As a Somali I Couldn’t agree more… “A Behaviour even Science Cant Explain”… Must be New Drugs or … I Dnt Know…

    2. Its simple because Amhara uprising and their notion of returning to old Ethiopia makes Somalis excluded. Somalis aim is reunion with Somalia or till then the status core. Its was for organizers of uprising against Woyane to develop pan Ethiopia protest and common aims but they were basically ethnic uprising of Oromo and Amharas. Even these two have secret conflicting aims. Why accuse Somalis look at other small groups.

      Give due credit to devilish Woyane for orchestrating divide and rule stragtegy even though it now reached its end.

      1. It’s that simple for you huh? Kemalam denkoro, our liyu police destroyed your dream of that reunion but still not listening at all. It’s that banana and pasta you eat every, change your diet please. I was waiting for you to make your new president pay for what he did, what happened to those MP’s? Just say thank you for your new leader, we have a working relationship, peace upon our people and learn the Somali Ethiopians are just that, freaking Ethiopians.
        https://youtu.be/SfXrKZCMOfQ

        1. Keep dreaming your fascist dictatorship is falling apart. Its not only me saying it. Read US national security estimate of 2008 which they predicted Ethiopia and Kenya will be failed states by 2017. Boy were they on the mark and have i waited for so long.

          Liyu police at end of day are Somalis so dnt count on them when SHTF. We will reconcile with them minus the few criminals. Oromia and Great Somali will be reality and go lick your wounds in your desert mountains. Game over thug.

          Traitor Faramajo gov was sent to a special committee to assertain its actions constitutionality. Unlike your robot parliament we have free one. Wait and see both regimes in addis and Mogadishu will fall at about same time like in 1991.

  3. Two points we should established here about my beloved country. One, TN is using sources directly from Ethiopia FREE media, as you might have seen it here, Addis Standard has been nothing but critical of the Gov in more than one occasion, we just don’t want to hear about free press going forward.
    Two: Liyu police is one of the finest elite officers who made ONLF bend, literally killed it and they happened to be unapologetic Ethiopians. Also, highly paid who doesn’t engage in low level raids of any kind. Any talk of “no need” for them is out of the question, notice how only the Jawar people, OLF shabo backed opposition are the once complaining about it. One thing that should clear up, how loyal are few within OPDO? How is it possible plenty small items comes up as a rallying cry for extreme diaspora within the Facebook activists, real time information as we have seen it from them? It’s time to clean them out without any fiasco. Agazi has taken over, stay tuned.

    1. Aye Sentek! Yet again the (il) logic you exhibited today demonstrates conclusively that you treat this ethnic crisis by the TPLFite book of hatred you got indoctrinated with. In another word: You got no brain.

      1. Brother
        Did you see a zombie with a brain besides he is a disciple of the late chiwawa now six feet under what do you expect from such clowns. He is an epitome of what dedebit learned MLLTies are.

      2. Without offering any idea but calling names is typical trademark of shabo idiots. What’s even amazing, why should you be obsessed with TPLF or anything Ethiopia? Where is the hatred? You made your case about not believing in federalism in your country, we do, simple. We also have “gemgema” amongst our members, when was the last time you even allowed evaluations of any kind? Especially the leader who turned gardener? Never, so please let only us fix what’s broken in our own homes and save us the crocodile tears.

        1. We update people on TPLF, because we are on the road to regime change in Ethiopia. Time is coming to throw away the rotten TPLF garbage.

        1. You’re too generous, my dear brother B.Adal. Let me guess, this 63% you speak of is from last year, right? Please test him today. I really like to know what he scores.

    2. I feel sorry for the victims. However, I am amazed that you never get tired of drooling to lie. Can you stop, and think humanly for a moment to face and understand the reality on the ground in your Weyane land/Ethiopia? You are simply part of the delusional Weyane clique criminal. Stop committing crime on the defenseless people.

      1. Kid, Meles calls people like you werada. How about feeling sorry for the innocent Eritreans being deported from Sudan? The once you slaving in the name of Ethiopia is coming? You will write about Ethiopia daily thinking it will make you forget your own misery but at at least we are trying. Not on the same level. Fact.

        1. Of course Woyane is running out of lies, coaxing and hoaxing. It is depending on traitors like Abdi Iley of Somali Kilil to prolong the life of its power. But don’t forget that Oromos and Somalis are more closely together than to Woyane. How on the earth one can trust Woyane the one who has biten the hand of its cousin Eritrea which once fed and raised it up ? So, Woyane can temporarly use some khat-addicted Somalis hirring them to make mistakes, but the majority Somalis stand with their brotherly Oromos.

          Woyane, which born out of human blood, grow up by refreshing itself with human blood, is today swimming in the ocean of human blood till the whirl of this blood will drawn it down. The rope on the throat is being tightened, the space is getting narrower and narrower. Frustration and anger is boiling from every corner of the country. Even the world communities are fed up of the childish mentaliy of Woyane which is infected by paranoic-meglomania.

          1. You know what losers like you will never understand? You call anyone in any group who happens to defend the constitution as woyane, we will take it. If you are having a problem believing Meles is the father of the new Ethiopia where all regardless of what region are equal and no one can take power by force, go to Asmera and fight. Until then, true patriots like Abdi can’t be disrespected by OLF shabo trained monkeys, simple. The sad truth, you also believe your own conspiracy theories. We are gunning it for OLF, just stay up.

    3. I have never seen you showing remorse for the wrongful killings of Amhara and Oromo Ethiopians in any of your conversation for the past several months, except that you only justify it blindfold. Here again, you are lionizing Janjaweed style criminals, aka Liyu Police, who are known for terrorizing and killing with impunity hundreds of Oromo and Ogadenia civilians.

      What worries me and most others is that you’re not alone on this. It looks like the entire Tigray people supports the subjugation and killings of these specific Ethiopian ethnic groups.

      not to say anything chose not to challenge the TPLF ook the other way or defend the crime. Trust me, these crimes and abuses will play against the poor Tigrayan and it won’t be that far before these affected and abused Ethiopians took their revenge.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d437c8adec7511590ed4a61bbdcd67aa9dba7dcf304a237f7a9a78c7e93b653f.png

      1. Tegaru is nothing but remorseful, kind and welcoming, ask your people who keeps running towards us please. The bigger issue here, at what point do you accept a party called EPRDF? Liyu police doesn’t have anything to do with Tigray but it’s also their job as equal partners in Ethiopia to defend the constitution, that they did. The group you trained is as good as dead, have you noticed? God bless Abdi Omar. Made it impossible for Isu to use Somalia as a playground for his rock throwing projects. Hooligans doesn’t have ethnic groups, the parasites you have in Asmera doesn’t represent any of the groups at all. By now it should be clear, we will pay any price to make Ethiopia great again. Next stop, OLF, stay tuned.

    4. I think Abay Tigray’s independence is getting closer. Most of the land that were planed to be incorporated to Tigray from Ethiopia has already been accomplished. The Eritrean/Red Sea side of annexing failed miserably. So, they have no choice but to declare independence without the sea. However, to do that, they would have to eliminate any challenges that would follow afterwards from the rest of Ethiopia. Hence, creating chaos and ethnic cleansing would work to their advantage.. We can see this sort of campaign intensifying at the moment.
      Behind closed doors, I would not be surprised, if they are asking Eritrea to normalise relations.

      1. Lol. Since 2001, same dream, same bs propaganda and same idiots but has it worked? Find us a tegaru who would advocate for such nonsense, fake posts on twitter doesn’t count. Green yellow and red is embedded in our hearts, ask your grandfather please. We left the kehadi, banda part of you. Check all the records from our visionary leader, Meles. Even the new once if in doubt, defeated shabo.

  4. keeping the criminal TPLF in state of perpetual crisis …….

    What is behind clashes in Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions?

    (BBC) – Thousands of people have fled Ethiopia’s Somali region following deadly clashes in recent days between ethnic Somalis and Oromos. The BBC’s Kalkidan Yibeltal looks at the cause of the conflict and whether it can be stopped.

    Dozens of people are reported to have died in clashes across Ethiopia’s Oromia and Somali regions in recent days.
    According to Adisu Arega, Oromia government’s spokesperson, 18 people have been killed.

    Twelve of those victims are ethnic Somalis, Mr Adisu told the BBC. The figures are however disputed by the Somali regional government, which says that more than 30 ethnic Somalis have been killed in the Oromia town of Awaday.
    The clashes have displaced at least 30,000 people, some of whom have taken refuge in makeshift camps at a stadium in the eastern city of Harar, whilst others are camping at police stations.

    Local administrators have now asked aid agencies operating in the area to provide humanitarian assistance.
    How serious is the trouble?

    Following intense anti-government protests that plagued the Horn of Africa country during most of 2016, the government imposed a 10-month state of emergency, which was lifted in July.

    While this heightened state of alert calmed most of the restive areas in the Oromia region, it did not stop cross-border clashes in the Oromia and Somali areas.

    In February and March, hundreds were reported to have been killed in the southern Oromia district of Negele Borena after an incursion by a paramilitary force called the Liyu Police, which is backed by the Somali region.

    Ethnic Oromos allege that the Liyu Police, which has previously been accused by rights groups of human rights violations, of being behind the current attacks.

    The Somali regional government has however rejected the allegations and charged that senior officials in the Oromia government were sympathisers of the Oromo Liberation Front, which is categorised as a terrorist organisation by the Ethiopian government.

    While conflicts have been common between the two bordering communities, the public finger-pointing by top regional officials is unprecedented and could exacerbate the current conflict.

    “We don’t believe this is expected from a responsible senior government official,” Communication Minister Negeri Lencho told the BBC.

    Ethiopia’s political arrangement – federalism structured along ethno-linguistic lines – dictates that ethnic borders are also usually political ones.

    Critics argue that this structure is a tinder box that allows minor conflicts to escalate.

    What is behind the conflict?

    Oromia and Somali are, respectively, the two largest regions in the country by area size, sharing a border of more than 1,400 km (870 miles).

    While Somalis are mostly pastoralists, living from their animals, Oromos tend to be farmers, as well as pastoralists.
    Both communities inhabit the areas around the regional border.

    Historically, their relationship has been characterised by territorial competition which often leads to disputes and conflicts over resources, including wells and grazing land.

    These conflicts can cause the displacement of tens of thousands of people.

    In 2004, a referendum to decide on the fate of more than 420 kebeles – the country’s smallest administrative unit – gave 80% of them to Oromia.

    Following the outcome, tens of thousands of ethnic Somalis reportedly fled the areas for fear of repercussions.
    The decision has still not been implemented and this is one factor behind the current conflict.

    Will the clashes spread further?

    Since the two communities are largely pastoralist and cross borders in search for pasture for their animals, it is difficult to clearly demarcate their boundaries.

    Additionally, clashes that occur between the two communities can easily spread to neighbouring regions and countries because of shared ethnic ties.

    The recent conflict has reportedly inspired the killing of two Ethiopians of Oromo origin in Hargeisa, capital of the self-declared republic of Somaliland.

    People are reportedly trying to escape the violence by fleeing to the Kenyan town of Moyale, which also has a history of Oromo-Somali conflict.

    Ethiopia’s communication minister told the BBC that the military and federal police forces had intervened to control the clashes.

    But it is not clear whether this will be enough to prevent the conflict from spreading.

  5. This current conflict between Somalis and Oromos have clearly being instigated by the dying Woyane regime. These people shared alot and their localized conflict never reached this levels.

    Whats new is Woyane using its last tactic to prolong its power of creating ethnic conflict so to refocus opposition from its minority dictatorship. All the dictatorships in history dustbin have used it and failed.

    Ethiopia is on ICU and it will soon die quick death like USSR for its fake creation.

      1. Eritrea to be exact..!They can’t blame Eritrea now, because they are trying to break away from Ethiopia.
        They will need Shaawiya more than any time now. Bye Bye Ethio…. you will be three failing states or more…
        HAHAHAHAHA… now who is having the last lough..???? Don’t mess with Hizbi Eritrea!!!

    1. Wait aren’t you a Somalian? Another pretender of course. “Their conflicts never reached this level”. Well, in 2004 I was in Ethiopia, same stuff happened, over 70,000 people were also displaced. Meles has to fire few within OPDO who were happy to create a fence around the two beautiful people, it’s nothing new but it should have been handled long time ago or few parasites like you got in between. The only difference now, we are well equipped to fix it once and for all but give credit to “activists” in diaspora as they have multiplied by 20 since early 2000’s. May God help you from this woyane disease of yours.

      1. Your sense of comparison is dismal. Has previous conflict reached into Somalia where Oromos were killed for revenge? Before fall comes denial. Bye bye on the way to history’s dustbin of failed fascist regimes.

        1. Yes, already Woyane has taken a journey on the direction of its deathbed. But, before dying and disappearing, the mercless devil will throw the lives of thousands if not millions of innocents into the hell. The whole Ethiopians and the Somalians must know that.

          Some criminal idiots like Ballance are idolising Meles the horned-devil, while sometimes they are considering him as a demigod. Of course, the Agames have right to idolise Meles the notorious killer, because he has brought them potatoes, tef, wheat and Ambo Wuha by killing and robbing other Ethiopian peoples. And not only that, he has made rich the the empovershid and rocky region of Tigray.

          This ethnics conflict instigation is Woyane’s last playing card to survive. But, again and again, the Ethiopians and Somalians know what is running there and here in the mind of mindless Woyane.
          The paranoiac Woyane is already on the way of going down into the history of fascism by repeating what it has done on Somalis again on Oromos and others Ethiopians.

          Ethiopians are in the state of alertness to confront the devilish Woyane and its marionnettes !

          1. Yes I know how our traditions and cultures are effective to solve the most intricated and entangled problems, if Woyane is not conspiring to incite conflicts among the Ethiopian ethnics.
            Our mediator elders who are known in Oromia as “Jarsolii”, and in Somalia as “Odayaasha” are very wise and expert in dealing with any kind of controversial conflicts. Therefore, Woyane with its uncontrollable mischief and malicious towards the Ethiopian peoples and neighboring countries will fail fatally.

          2. Why can’t you tell the truth without some political correctness? The elders are indeed wise but it was left upto them since 2004, what happened? You don’t have to like to the gov, I get it but at least speak the truth without stretching it for your own woyane bashing. Geez

          3. “Bashing Woyane” ? Really you are a naive Woyane sympathizer who blidly talking. What do you expect from people doing for Woyane ? Coaxing or appeasing ? Bashing and thrashing Woyane is the result of its deeds.
            Look, at this moment when these two marionnettes (Lemma and Abdi) are sitting to outsmart Ethiopian people, Liyu police paramilitary and its creator Agazi have invaded Moyale town and inflicted heavy casualities on the residents. But, they were biten back by gallantly residents of Moyale town and suroundings. Mr., no more cheating the public.

      1. Hallelujah………. this is indeed unbelievable development. I think there is something good going on out there; TPLFites are very nervous. This music is only going to get louder.

  6. መን’ዩ፧
    ====
    ብነብሰ ምትሓት ዝተጠቕዐ
    ብንጉሁኡ ኣንፈት ዝሰሓተ
    ማንታ ርእሱ ቅንኢ ዝተበልዐ
    መን ‘ዩ ትብሉ ሕንጻይ ዝተጸልአ፧

    ዘይሓይሽ ካብ’ቶም ኣቦታቱ
    ዝኸፈአ ካብ ሃይላት መንግስቱ
    ብዓሌት ጎደቦ ዝመቓቕል ህዝቡ
    መን’ዩ ትብሉ እስከ ተዓወቱ፧

    ጸጋዕተኛ ኣብ ንብሱ ዘይኣምን
    ፈላላዪ ካብ ባዕዲ ዝሓስም
    ዘየሕፍሮ ክልምን ክኽድም
    መን’ዩ ትብሉ ብጻዩ ዝጠልም፧

    ሕጊ ዉዕል ፍጹም ዘይቅይዶ
    ተላኣኺ ክኽድም ዝሰልጦ
    ጭፍራ ጊላ ዘይብሉ ትሕዝቶ
    መን’ዩ ትብሉ ክዘምት ዘይዓጦ፧

    ኣብ በረኻ ነቑጣታት መስሪቱ
    መለመኒ ከኻዕብት እቶቱ
    ዘታለለ ኣሽሓት ክፈልሱ
    ዝጸዓረ ክጠፍኡ ክመቱ
    መን’ዩ ትብሉ ከይሲ ጎረቤቱ፧

    ክነግረኩም፧

      1. Here is the result of language based ክልል. It was Weyan’s strategy from
        the set go. Consider Abaay Tigray is a separate state now like what we
        see in Somalia or Iraq Kurdistan . Ethiopia is in a big problemmmm for some time to com!

        1. I heard some say “oromo will be free”… and so on. Anyhow, you’re right, Ethiopians have big scary problem in their hand. I hope our gov is preparing for anything – I mean, anything and everything.

    1. ask the low IQ “Ballance” from Tigray and he will tell with straight face ‘all this killings and displacement are in fact necessary to ‘defend the Constitution’ (translated as: ‘to defend TPLF rule over Ethiopia’…)….

  7. I have nothing against my Oromo brother/sisters but what I have noticed is they continue to claim Somali, Afar, Aderi territory.

    For example Dire Dawa has historically belongs to the Somali tribe of Dir clan even the president of Djibouti Ismail Omer who is from the Dir clan was born in Dire Dawa and also the Oromos also claim the city of Harar who infact belongs to the Aderi ethnic groups and most of the entire Afar homelands.

    The Eastern Oromos are well integrated with their closest Eastern neighbors like the Somalis, Afars, Aderi who are all intermarried so I’m sure they can sort out their problems peaceful without any violence.

    Peace for all the Ethiopian people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.

    1. Hahaha ! This is sugar-coated statement of pro “Liyu Police Paramilitary” who is supported by Woyane and waging savage destruction on human and properties in Oromo region of Ethiopia.

      Your statement of “Oromos claim Somali, Afar and Adare territories” is contradicting with your statement of “the Eastern Oromos are well integrated with their closest Eastern neighbors like Somalis, Afars, Adares who are all intermarried”. So, Wariya my brother, when did Oromos claimed the Somalis territory ? Weren’t the Somalis who claimed the Ethiopian territory to the Awash river ? Weren’t the Adares who came out of their Jogol Wall and claimed the surounding Oromo territories ? In the case of Afar, historically there was no any conflict between Oromos and Afars. But it is Woyane who have instigated the conflict between these two ethnics to distract the Afars from their Dalol territory which Woyane has annexed to Tigray.

      Mr., please be smart and stand on the right side ot the both peoples, than following the Abdi Iley’s historical wrong way atrocity.

      1. My Oromo brother why do you want disband the Liyu police? Isn’t it’s better if the Oromia federal state creat their own oromo Liyu police?

        I dnt understand Why is Everyone keep mentioning woyana this woyana that? Who are these woyana? Are they gods?

        The Tigrai are not only minority but they’ve the poorest people in Ethiopia, So how can they control everything and be everywhere at the same time? I have been to Addis Ababa god knows how many all the federal police are from the Oromo ethnic groups, there’s no woyana, this whole woyana thing is cooked in Asmara, the Shabia, G7 and the Arabs are are allies to bring mayham and destruction in the horn.

        1. To the derg leftovers, shabo, OLF/ONLF and g7, the clear answer is YES. They can’t find a leg to stand on, woyane is a boogeyman they created in their head but even their idiots are questioning that very same narrative. Liyu police making it impossible to operate for these low life people, the only way to create choas is to accuse one of the best leader in Somali region, Abdi. Or find a way to accuse the best trained force of abuse. Their master in Asmera is really really good at this kind of game, give him that. When you incorporate slavery and convince people it’s self reliance, down right genius.

      1. Hassan Ali Khayre is a educated man from Norway, the Somali president Farmajo is an American citizen of Somali ethnic he was a teaching a top university in New York, the entire Somali government are all led by Somali diaspora.

        Hassan Ali Khayre government is the best thing that ever happened to Somalia and we shall not allow any spoilers to cause any problems.

        The man Somalia deported was an Ethiopian citizen who was accused of being of a top ONLF fighter, he’s currently being held in the Ethiopian Somali regional state, Somalia did the right thing those days are long gone when the Land of Somalia was being used by OLF, ONLF, Al Qaeda, And G7, we shall hunt each and every one.

        Somalia is the most democracy country in the Horn of African, in 2020 we’re going to the polls again lol.

        1. Were you Qalbi Dhagax midwife when you continously repeat he was born in Ethiopia when his family and officers who served with him say otherwise. Stop your classic Woyane lies here.

          1. This snake is a scared venomless snake which is hidding by coiling itself and sometimes try its chance to spit out its venomless venom, but we have already prepared ourselves by immunizing ourselve.

  8. revenge everywhere ….

    (ESAT) – በደቡብ ክልል አማሮ ወረዳ በጉጂ ማህበረሰብ እና በኮሬ ብሄረሰብ እንዲሁም በጉጂ ማህበረሰብ እና በቡርጂ ብሄረሰብ መካከል በተነሳው ግጭት እስካሁን በኮሬ በኩል 11 ሰዎች ተገድለዋል። ትናንት ብቻ 6 ሰዎች ተገድለዋል። ከ40 በላይ ሰዎች ቆስለዋል። ከ100 ሺ ያላነሱ ሰዎች ተፈናቅለው ተራራ ቦታዎች ላይ ሰፍረዋል።

    በደርባቤ፣ ደሎ፣ ሸሮ፣ ዳኒ ቡልቱ፣ ቆሬ፣ ካርማ፣ ሱልኮና ሻፍሌ ቀበሌዎች ከፍተኛ የሆነ ግጭት እየተካሄደ ነው። በርካታ ቤቶች ተቃጥለዋል። እነዚህ ብሄረሰቦች ለዘመናት አብረው የነበሩ መሆናቸውን ነዋሪዎች ይናገራሉ። የታጠቁ ወታደሮች በህዝቡ ላይ ጠቃት እየፈጸሙ ነው።

      1. This is what I, like many, have been fearful of. I am pretty sure TPLFites are going to rush hundreds of thousands of their Agazi forces to attempt to shut this one too. But, we know and they know their genie is out of the bottle…. and sooner or later, this deadly genie will fish them too.

  9. Brish, don’t take my word for it, most in or outside can tell you it does work but just like any other system, it will not perfect. For a country like Ethiopia, its the best so long as leaders make sure no fences or walls are being built around our people. Not to mention, there are our own nationalists who doesn’t want to to work at all. All and all, open your own eyes, it does work.

  10. Ethiopia: 55,000 People Displaced Amid Ethnic Clashes

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — The provincial government of Ethiopia’s restive Oromia region says 55,000 ethnic Oromos have been displaced by ethnic Somalis in the neighboring Somali region after a week of unrest in which dozens were killed.

    The statement from Oromia Sunday follows claims by Somali regional officials earlier this week that more than 50 people were killed in an attack against ethnic Somalis in Aweday town.

    Oromia officials say only 18 people were killed and that Oromos have been moving out of Somali towns and villages in fear of reprisals.

    Border disputes between the two ethnic groups are common. Though they agreed to reconcile in April, conflict persists in many locations.

    On Sunday presidents of the two regions met in the capital Addis Ababa and said efforts are underway to resettle the displaced.

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