By Staff reporter
ADDIS ABABA – Heavily armed bandits that are reportedly coming from South Sudan have penetrated Ethiopian territory up to 200 kms, Members of House of Peoples Representatives (HPR) said.
Members of the Peace and Foreign Relations Standing Committee in the HPR called upon the Federal Defense Force to take prompt action. The representatives presented their eyewitness account stating that armed intruders in bordering regions, Gambella and South-West Ethiopia, are killing, looting and enforcing mass displacements.
Members of the standing committee forwarded their eyewitness account to officials of the Ministry of Defense while the latter was presenting its six-month report. The MPs enquired Defense officials whether they could give further information about the armed bandits that have camped in South-West Omo Zone by penetrating into Ethiopian territory from 150 up to 200 km. “The armed invaders are killing and displacing Ethiopians in the area and taking control of gold mining. They are also conducting illegal arms trafficking,“ the MPs said.
The MPs who had visited the areas further said that the armed bandits are causing civil conflicts and displacements in Suri, Biro, Maji and Surma Woredas. “They took control of the capital of Suri Woreda, changed its name and relocated the town’s Google location to be inside South Sudan,” they said.
Yeshiemebet Mersha, MPs and member of standing committee said that following the relocation of the Ethiopian Defense Force during the recently concluded law enforcement campaign, people residing in Maji, Bezi, and Surma localities were in charge of watching the border areas that are enriched with natural resources. “Currently the people in the area cannot resist the heavily armed bandits and were forced to evacuate their localities. The armed force coming from South Sudan is heavily armed and looks to have special training. They are claiming territories, looting cattle and shoveling gold mines,” Yeshiemebet said and further calling up the defense force to take prompt action against the intruders.
An official from the ministry of defense said that the incident was part of the missions perpetrated by both internal and external forces to disintegrate the country. “The Ministry of Defense will act by giving priority or taking into consideration the intensity of the threats,” he said.
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