Over 100 killed in Ethiopia's Ogaden and Afar states following tribal clashes
JIGJIGA, Ethiopia - A Heavy fighting has been recorded in the border of Ethiopia's Somali region [Ogaden] and Afar involving two tribes that live in the area, as the country struggles to come to terms with ethnic cleansing, which has been a routine for several months now.
Accident to reports, heavy fighting broke out between the Somalis and the Afar in the Sitti area, something which could give fresh headache to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the regional President Mustafa Omer, who has been at the helm for a couple of years.
Sitti on the border zone is a flashpoint of repeated conflict. In 2020, dozens killed in similar clashes over grazing land dispute, compelling the federal government of Ethiopia to quickly intervene and bring order to the troubled region.
At least 100 people have been killed in clashes between Somalis and Afar in Ethiopia according to the latest reports. The Somali regional administration and the Afar administration have spoken out about clashes, blaming each other for the attack.
Ali Beddel, the Somali minister for information, told Reuters that 25 people had been killed by Afar forces last Friday, adding that both parties fired bullets against each other, leading to massive casualties in the state.
Afar Deputy Police Chief Ahmed Humed told Reuters that about 100 soldiers from both sides had been killed in the fighting, adding that Somalis had attacked them. The Somali administration also blamed Afar for the latest clashes.
Since 2018, communities in Ethiopia have been going ballistic against one another, leading to the loss of hundreds of people. Apart from Afar and Somali people clashes, the country has also recorded ethnic cleansing in Oromia and Amhara regions.
In recent months, the Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] and troops from Eritrea descended on the Tigray People's Liberation Front [TPLF] also leading to the massacre of hundreds of people.
The fights are blamed for increased democratic space brought about by Abiy Ahmed, following years of authoritarianism.