Afar and Somali regional states are trading accusations over the killings of pastoralists from both sides since last Friday. Reuters reported 100 deaths
At least 100 people are reported dead due to clashes between forces in the Afar regional state of Ethiopia and Somali regional state of Ethiopia. The clash has been happening since Saturday and has affected several localities from both regions.
Mesay Teklu DW Amharic spoke to Afar regional state communication head, Ahmed Kabeta, who claimed that Somali region special forces unleashed attacks in localities like Haruka, Gewame and Gelalo. It started on Friday around 3 P.M. local time, and the attack left 30 people dead and 50 others wounded, said Mr. Ahmed Kabeta.
Moreover, he told DW Amharic that there was another attack on Tuesday this week in three areas of Haruka. It started around 5 A.M. local time.
Afar regions made claims that the attack is coordinated and led by Somali regional state officials including commanders of the Somali region special forces.
To substantiate the claims, Afar region communication head said that the region’s security officials have captured Somali region special forces and some of those killed in a counter offensive are proved to be from Somali region special forces.
DW Amharic reporter said that Somali regional state authorities were not available for remarks on the claims from the Afar regional state.
However, the Somali Regional State Communications Affairs Bureau has issued a statement on Tuesday. It stated that it has been trying to be tolerant about the situation in consideration of Ethiopia’s current affairs.
It said there had been attacks on Friday, April 2 and Tuesday, April 6 in Deawadi, Kerefa, Dewadid, gewurean, Kelale and Denlehelay kebels. Somali region also claimed that 25 pastoralists were killed and over 30 others injured.
Somali regional states accuse the Afar Revolutionary Party (UGUUGUMO). It also claimed that Afar regional state has supported the attack by UGUUGUMO.
The causes of the clash is said to be claims over land. Somali regional state accused the Afar region of having a stance that “no Somali should live anywhere between Semara and Awash.”
Somali regional state vowed to take action if the attack continues.
So far the question of who is at fault is not determined by independent sources. Clearly, the conflict between the two regions will further complicate the fragile situation in Ethiopia.
Challenging times for Ethiopia
Ethiopia is certainly in what seems to be unprecedented challenging times. The war that Tigray People’s Liberation Front started on November 4 is not concluded as intervention on “humanitarian” grounds in the region provided the TPLF, what many Ethiopians consider now a terrorist organization, a lifeline and an opportunity to reorganize for a protracted guerrilla war.
In the Oromo region of Ethiopia, hundreds of unarmed civilians have been massacred and thousands are displaced after radical Oromo politicians in the region’s government structure coordinated with the armed wing of (Oromo Liberation Front) inhuman attack in the Wollega region.
Egypt and Sudan are threatening Ethiopia with war over the stalled Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiation.
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