About 1 million ethnic Gedeo were reportedly displaced following attack by radical Guji Oromo is southern Ethiopia. As well, ethnic Amhara communities in Qelem, Wollega, claim that they are targeted by militant Oromo groups operating in the region.
As the world is mourning the loss of 157 lives in connection with Ethiopian Airlines plane crash, which was en route to Kenya, another humanitarian disaster is ravaging the country in the Southern part of the country.
What is equally tragic about the humanitarian situation is that it is not getting the attention it deserves partly because it is under-reported and partly because the communities affected by the tragedy do not seem to have influential political elites and/or activists who could put the issue in the limelight so that it could get the attention of actors who can make a difference, internationally or otherwise.
Based on Ethiopian Satellite Television report, up to five ethnic Gedeo people are dying on a daily basis. Nearly one million of same community members were displaced due to ethnic violence in areas adjacent to Guji – one of the areas where the radical militant Oromo ethno-nationalists have been operating for several months in Southern Ethiopia. Ethic Gedeos were attacked by radical Guji Oromos as well, from information available in ESAT report.
Initially, Federal government authorities, including Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, and Oromia regional president, Lemma Megersa, who was considered to be a politician with progressive sentiment and at odds with radical ethno-nationalism, have already visited displaced ethnic Gedeos more than six months ago. Yet, the government is still unable to provide them with basic humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopian government recently admitted that 8.8 million people need emergency humanitarian assistance and appealed for $1.3 billion in funding from international donors.
In a related development, ethnic Amharas living in Qelem region of Wollega, in what is now Oromo regional state of Ethiopia reportedly claimed that they are told to leave the area to leave the area.
They were settled in the region following the 1984 famine and have been living in the region since then, according to ESAT report. Just like Gedeo people, ethnic Amhara communities are being attacked by radical Oromo ethno nationalists.
A few months ago, armed ethno-nationalists controlled the region and robbed as many as 17 state and private banks and federal government had to deploy defense force to bring the situation under control and has declared that security problem in the region is resolved after government campaign against militant Oromo-ethno nationalists who were seemingly under the command of militant faction of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF).
Oromo regional state, through the region’s Communication Affairs head, Admassu, denied that no ethnic Amhara communities were displaced from Qelem, Wollega.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena