Ethiopia: Dozens Killed in a Series of Ethnic Clashes This Week
May 5, 2019 (Ezega.com) -- Ethiopia was rocked by a series of ethnic clashes in several part of the country this week, reports the Ethiopian Reporter.
Dozens of civilians were reportedly killed in regional states of Amhara, Afar and Beinshangul-Gumuz.
According to the report, the latest violence began a week ago, following fight between a driver and a passenger of public transport in Metekel Zone, Beinshangul region. This escalated into a series of fights by others, leading to Federal Police being deployed to the area.
The minor clash then spread into more areas in the regions, including neighboring Amhara region, Awi Zone, Jawi Woreda, resulting in dozens of civilian deaths from both sides.
Later, members of a soccer team from Tigray called Walta Police were attacked by armed men in Afar region, on their way from Debre Berhan to Tigray.
One player was killed and four were injured in the attack. The players were heading home when they were ambushed in Gewane area of Afar Region.
The area where the players was attacked is a contested area of Afar region, which is predominately inhabited by Issa Somalis who are now demanding that they be included in Somali region. Those Kebelles were given to Afar region back in 2014.
Following the latest clashes, in a meeting held on May 3, 2019, the Somali regional state cabinet nullified the agreement signed in 2014 which transferred Endefo, Adayetu and Gedamaytu areas to Afar Region, calling it illegal.
Ethiopia has experienced numerous ethnic-motivated clashes and disputes in the last few years, leading to hundreds of thousands of displacements. These clashes have escalated since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed power about a year ago. More and more, the Ethiopian government has been relying on the national army to quash these clashes. The country has various boundary and identity disputes, like the Somali-Afar case, that are still pending resolution.