Due to the security situation, Derashe zone in South Ethiopia is under joint security forces administration on ad hoc basis
A deadly exchange of gunfire in Derashe district of Southern Ethiopia has reportedly killed an unspecified number of people and wounded many others.
It happened on Monday in the Hatya and Se’lele kebeles of the district. It lasted from afternoon to evening, according to the DW Amharic Service report which cited residents of the district as a source.
An eyewitness told DW Amharic that the exchange of gunfire started suddenly and that residents of the kebeles, at that time, had to hide in the nearby forest and could not get close to the place where people were killed due to the exchange of fire.
The latest string of the security in the district unfolded as the ultimatum from the joint security force, which is administering the district on an ad hoc basis, to the armed groups in the area, whom the joint security force described as “radicals,” came to a draw.
Residents are cited as saying security concerns still exist in the area but relative calm is restored in Gidole town, where the administration is located. The scene of the exchange of fire was about 16 kilometres from the town.
There has been a security crisis in Derashe since mid-April of this year. Armed groups who were demanding zone-level administration for the district killed the head of the district and other leaders of Derashe and looted firearms – an incident that triggered the suspension of regular district-level government administration.
Since then the administration has been under a joint security force with the deployed contingent of the Ethiopian Defence Force as the head of it.
Let. Colonel Fetene Sisay, the chairperson of the joint force, said, during a meeting with community members from the district, those who launched the attack and those who facilitated it from within the government structure will be held accountable, according to the source.
The joint force called on public servants in the district but the officers were looted, according to residents who spoke to DW Amharic, and public service delivery could not be started.
DW Amharic said that it attempted to speak to heads of the joint force but the request was declined on grounds that a statement will be released soon.
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