Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeEthiopian NewsExpert says tension at Oromo-Somali border may turn to ethnic conflict

Expert says tension at Oromo-Somali border may turn to ethnic conflict

Ethiopian News _ Oromia-Somali tension
Google Map. Source : VOA

By Staff Reporter

ADDIS ABABA –  (BORKENA) – The recent conflict caused by disputes on khat tax collection in bordering areas of Somali and Oromia Regions has created tension, sources said. 

Wazema reported here today that the conflict took an ethnic form after the armed forces from the Oromia side wearing uniforms of the Special Forces of Oromia Region attacked the Somali Internally Displaced Persons who were camped at a spot named Koloji.

Eyewitnesses who fled to Jigjiga told Wazema that the forces of the Oromia Region killed over 10 civilians including two children. Following the shooting at the IDPs camp, civilians were killed and wounded, Wazema said, adding that the tribal militants of the Somali Region in the area clashed with the forces of the Oromia Region.

The news source revealed that the conflict erupted following a dispute between the two sides on the contentious issue of levying tax on Khat. The initial conflict was between Somali militants and security forces of the Oromia Region. Currently the tension seems to escalate into an ethnic conflict, according to sources.

The exchange of fire started after the Somali forces moved the tax collection station from Kara-Mara to Babile area. Then the forces of Oromia advanced closer to the border and both sides set up checkpoints at the middle ground. On the day when the conflict broke out, there was an exchange of gunfire between the two sides for hours, according to eyewitnesses who fled the conflict site and moved to Jigjiga.

After the outbreak of the conflict, the National Defense Army and the Federal Police took control of the main route and the shooting continued in the mountainous areas outside the main line. At the time of reporting of this news, the shooting in the area has been dying out, according to the sources who closely follow the issue.

Even though the federal security forces have been deployed in the area, both sides have positioned their security forces to the conflict site, according to Wazema. Security forces of the Oromia Region have already been deployed in the area, and now the Somali Region has also pulled its regular security forces  closer to the site.

Though it is said the root cause of the problem is khat tax, the current volatile situation has created big tension in the area, according to an expert on peace and security issues. This expert expressed concern that if the two sides that are in dispute over territorial claims  are not entertained properly, it will be very dangerous.

The experts said that as the inclination being observed is to “swallow up” the disputed areas, the current conflict sparked between the two regions is not a simple matter to cool down. If the border dispute resumes, combined with the previous rift between the two regions, there is a risk that it could lead to a worse conflict, according to the expert.

Some of the evacuees who were camped at the Koloji site where the conflict occurred have fled to Jigjiga, Degahana and Babile Towns. The place where the displaced persons took refuge is the bordering area of East Hararghe Zone of Oromia Region and Fentale Zone of Somali Region. Although the natives of the two regions widely dispersed in the border areas, there are occasional tensions. Neither the two states nor the federal government has released official information about the conflict in the area. 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I am not and will not be surprised by news of violent conflicts between these two regions or any other regions for that matter. When I left that country more than six decades ago places and towns like Afdem(Aware), Aydora, Asbuli and the surrounding area used to be inhabited mainly by the Afar people. But when I took a train from Djibouti to Asabot/Bordode to visit my family in mid 1960’s most or all the Afars were already gone from these areas of Afdem/Aware, Aydora and Asbuli. With ever growing population such demographic changes/shifting are possible or in many cases inevitable. Some times they happen slowly and peacefully with nature doing its jobs methodically. We have seen this here in USA during the last 100 years and at accelerated pace in the recent 30-35 years. Europe and Oceania are not the exceptions anymore.

    But when such changes take place in our old country they usually happen after violent and deadly skirmishes/conflicts. They leave anger and lingering animosity behind. I am not saying they should never happen but the point I am trying to make is they are next to impossible to avoid. Such changes/shifting have the wherewithal to breathe life into dying and decaying localities. They turn out to be of a mutual benefit when they happen with earn and share spirit. That is what has been mostly missing in the old country that resulted in killings and displacements of innocent civilians. Conflicts have been fought as if they are against invading foreign forces. You add the twisted ‘self determination and including up to secession’ to it since the early 1970’s, then you have this. You have ‘Raya, Wolkait’ and places you never heard of. I ain’t mightily surprised by this as long as bigots are allowed to run amok in that gem of the colored as they feel like it!!!

    • You should see ethiopians in their own abode . It feels you are living with those warmongers and terrorists like Yonas Biru Habtamu Ayalew, Abebe Belw, Messay Mekonen and Tamagne beyene
      FBI should bring them to justice

      Free Ethiopia from Shabiya, TPLF, PP and Fano -all genociders

  2. That is not true or Al Shabab, the government is trying to distract the killing spree of Amara. Already, the West is pretending Amara genocide, it does not care or for Tigray, what it wants is to work with govt or oust the govt to disintegrate Ethiopia under fake crocodile tears. Arabs and Israel are druiling right now on Ethiopia’s resources thank God for this govt

  3. What you expect the children to do when there is no mature adult in the room? . I mean, when there credible, competent. fair. and sensible leadetship of the government, and especially at fedteral level, is either lacking or in AWOL status for yerars fot inexplicable reason . Worst yet , what if they are or perxeived as being partisans, who are fueling and fanning with the conflic for malicious ethnic territorial expansionist reasons? That is what iis going on here for sometime and it’s not only about t khat taxation issues or anything as reported. The Oromia leadership and certainly Shamales Abdisa, and working in tandem with Abiye his inner circle orommuma hardliner fans , has blatantly engaged in the devious scheme in the open all along , which by the way was started by Lamma Magarsa the former oromia president.. Now., the IDP Kelloji camps of somalis minority who were robbed, killed. terrorized and chased out from Oromia region in 2015 are again father pushed out to gain the area. Simple as that but the bigger questions are how far and hoiw long this brutal ethnic cleansing operations would last and in where? It won’t be anytine soon nor is the ethinic expansionist policy and push for frontiers would stop any particular georaphix area. It is wide open inferno helll hole and dangerous undertaking with lethal consequences for the poplation and country’s survival as a modern and legal geographic entity in the future.

  4. What you expect the children to do when there is no mature adult in the room? . I mean, when credible, competent. fair. and sensible leadetship of the government, and especially at fedteral level, is either lacking or in AWOL status for years fot inexplicable reason . Worst yet , what if they are or perxeived as being partisans, who are fueling and fanning with the conflic for malicious intent of ethnic territorial expansionist reasons? That is what is going on here for sometime and it’s not only about t khat taxation issues or anything as reported. The Oromia leadership and certainly Shimales Abdisa, and working in tandem with Abiy his inner circle orommuma hardliners , has blatantly engaged in the devious scheme in the open all along , which by the way was a trend started by Lamma Magarsa the former oromia president.. Now., the IDP in Kalloji camps of somalis minority who were robbed, killed. terrorized and chased out from Oromia region in 2015 are again father pushed out to gain the area. It is simple as that but the bigger questions are how or how far and hoiw long this brutal ethnic cleansing operations would last and in where? It won’t be anytine soon nor is the ethinic expansionist policy and push for group frontiers would stop any particular georaphix area. It is wide open inferno helll hole and dangerous undertaking with lethal consequences for the population and country’s survival as a modern and legal geographic entity in the future.

  5. The true Oromos are not involved, in fact pp government along with Olf are eliminating Oromo Ethiopians as we speak.

    Who are inside Oromo and pp government, in the military taking leadership? Under Oromo name, they are those linked with Tplf, Shabia and Arab descendants taking the name of Oromo so that many Ethiopians can target Oromo. These groups are deceiving friends of Ethiopia foreigners so that they get arms under false pretense and use the arms to kill Ethiopians and christians. In the meantime, the gap between Ethiopians is spreading, especially between Oromo and Amara because Olf, pp government and the military have special interest groups as top leaders that l listed above who have their own anti Ethiopia/ anti oromo and amara agenda.

  6. The truth 100% involvement of Eritrea control of Ethiopia is: Tplf leaders top are Eritreans and since the coming of pp government these groups are still alive and well while Tigray Tplf leaders were eliminated. Tigray has been blind and look at the chaos civil war in Tigray today. When and before pp government, Ethiopians have no memory and no true activist leaders that can organize the society, but, Shabia got advice from it’s masters, even on Facebook, to make amends with pp government asap. Why, so that Shania can establish for second time another ethnic based government in Ethiopia like it did in 1991 when it established Tplf on Ethiopia. Today, it also completed the establishment of Olf to control Ethiopia. Like pp, Shabia is double agent that gets benefit from East and West.

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