Number of death from Oromo and Somali side is 61.
When news of massacre of Somali-Ethiopians in Gadulo, West Harage, Oromo region of Ethiopia, broke on Sunday, estimated number of victims was reportedly 60.
Now, it is confirmed that the number of victims is 61. Children, women and elders are among the victims.
According to VOA Amharic news, 32 of the victims are Somali Ethiopians and 29 of them are Oromigna speaking Ethiopians. In terms of property damage, 800 homes are confirmed to be burned down.
14,000 residents from the locality are displaced.
In a ten minute televised statement on December 17, prime minister Hailemariam Desalegne claimed the Somali Ethiopians who were brutally killed were in a police station in Gadulo. Government also claimed that it is investigating what it called massacre.
However, VOA Amharic established, citing communication head for the administrative zone, that there is no police station in Gadulo. On the other hand, it is known that massacre of the Somali-Ethiopian in Gadulo came hours after deployed federal force withdrew from area.
What caused the conflict?
Oromo regional and Ethiopia-Somali regional states have been in a state of war like relation over boundary disputes. In September of this year Somali Special police attacked Oromos who have been living for generations in what is now designated as Somali-Ethiopia regional state according to the ethnic federalism.
The attack left more than 50, according to Federal and regional state media, Oromo speaking Ethiopians dead and more that a half a million were displaced, a humanitarian crisis that pushed the Oromo regional state to embark on resource and charity mobilization to help the displaced.
It is not yet definitively known as to what caused the massacre and displacement of Oromo speaking Ethiopians but it is widely believed that Tigray People’s Liberation Front instigated the conflict so as to wane increasing resistance from Oromo region.
Towards the end of November of this year, 20 Somalis were killed and the Federal government spokesperson announced that 98 people were arrested from Oromo region of Ethiopia and five were arrested from Solmali region of Ethiopia.
Oromo regional state communication Head, Addisu Arega, reported that the latest string of Oromo-Somali conflict, which caused heavy causality on both sides this past weekend, was started by Somali gunmen who went on killing spree in Hawi kebele,not far from Gadulo. And an Oromo man who lost his brother in the attack mobilized Oromos to undertake revenge killing in Gadullo. Somali victims were not related to the killing by Somali armed men except that they were Somalis.
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