Dozens of People Killed in Conflict Between Ethnic Oromo and Afar

By Staff Reporter

Awash-Afar-EthiopiaMarch 12, 2020 ( -- Dozens of people were killed in a conflict between ethnic Oromo and Afar people in Awash and Bordered areas in eastern Ethiopia.

It is not clear how the conflict started but Mussa Yesuf, the Administrator of the Kumbi Bordeda of west Harargae, said the Afar’s Liyu (Special) force killed ethnic Oromo people and wounded several others in “surprise attack”.

Kedir Ahmed, an Afar resident said the recurrent conflict occurred due to ownership right over pasture land in Bordered district which was part of the Afar regional state but taken over by the Oromo people recently.

Kedir claimed ethnic Oromo people were resettled in Afar land during the Derg regime in nearby areas too but they refused to leave even after their land in the Oromia region regained fertility.

Currently, members of the national defense forces are deployed at Awash and Border areas to calm down the worsening situations.

Mussa said 10 people were killed and seven others wounded by the “surprise attack”.  Leaderships of Afar were also were involved in the attack which was carried out in the settlement of the Oromo people, Mussa added.

Mussa further claimed a lot of property was also damaged during the attack.

Head of the West Harargae Health Bureau Ahmedin Mohammed said several dead and injured people were admitted to Asebot Hospital. The health bureau head did not mention the number of victims.

The Afar region said one ethnic Afar was killed and 10 others wounded due to ethnic conflict

Six months ago, similar conflict occurred between peoples of the two ethnic groups due to ownership rights over pasture land in the same area.

Afar region security head Ahmed Sultan said the conflict was caused by ownership right over the pasture land and water in the areas. He said the conflict is now put under control following the deployment of members of the defense forces.

Meanwhile, volunteer health professionals comprising of 200 members including 18 foreigners were harmed in Moret and Jiru district of the Amhara region.

Police said the volunteers who were members of the Full Gospel church were harmed while they were preaching their religion among the peoples in the area.

Yilma Mulugeta, president of the church said a twenty-year-old church in the area was also burned down by the attack.

Some residents in the area told that the attack occurred after the volunteers refused to provide free health services to those people who id not attend the religious lessons by the preachers.   

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