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Humanitarian crisis in Kebri Dehar and Jijiga, South Eastern Ethiopia

Security condition is improved in Jijiga and Kebri Dehar, but humanitarian situation is reaching to the level of crisis .Also residents fear that loyal forces of Abdi Illey might strike back.

Kebri Dahar _ Ethiopia
Source : Google Map

August 9,2018

As uneasy calm is restored in Jijiga, in South Eastern Ethiopia, after the deployment of members of Ethiopian defense force, emerging reports indicate that residents who took shelter in churches and other places live with a humanitarian crisis like situation.

Food, water supply and transportation have become a challenge that unaffected people in the city are unable to resolve, says a report by Ethiopian Satellite Television published today. And government intervention from the point of view of solving humanitarian problem is inadequate, claim residents and they call for more support.

The situation is worse in Kebri Dahar, another town in the region. Affects residents and those who feared for their security took refugee in military barracks in the town.

    “Some of the displaced who spoke to ESAT on the phone from a military camp in Kebri Dahar, a town 238 miles from the regional capital Jijiga, said they have been dependent on handouts from the army for the last six days but are now running out of food,” wrote ESAT.

Apart from humanitarian crisis residents have serious security concerns as the loyal forces of Abdi Illey, now former president of Ethio- Somali region, are not disarmed. They think that the region’s special forces, who reportedly retreated and escaped to Djibouti, might strike back although they have retreated from Jijiga and its environs.

Ethiopian government media outlet, EBC, reported today that residents of Kebri Dehar are calling for deployment of more federal forces in the region.

A report by other news sources seem to suggest that the security concerns of residents is rather related to propaganda from forces and supporters of the former president of the region who seem to be committed to making the region unstable.

Responding to VOA Amharic reporter’s, Muktar Jemal, question as to what the current situation is like in the region, Major General Mohammed Tesema, Defense Force Indoctrination public relation director, pointed out that Political forces that caused the violence and ethnic based attack in the region this past week are interested in making the region “continuously unstable and are mounting a propaganda campaign and mobilizing terror. They are warning residents that the violence will resume and that it is in the interest of residents to leave the region”

However, he continued, members of the defense force deployed in the region and other law enforcement forces are working in the community to dispel intimidating propaganda.

More than 29 people were killed and over ten churches were burned in the region last week as Abdi Illey’s forces launched an ethnic-based attack against ethnic Amhara and ethnic Oromo residents in the region. However, media reports also show that the lives of many Ethiopians were saved after ethnic Somalis in the regions hid them in their own houses.

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