Hundreds Killed in Ethnic Clashes in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa, Sep 26 (Prensa Latina) The Ethiopian government has today reported clashes in the country this month between two of the largest ethnic groups, as a result of which hundreds of people have been killed and thousands have been displaced.

The assassination of two local administrators coupled with long-running land disputes led to an outbreak of fighting between the Oromo and the Somali peoples in the south and east, local media reported.

‘We can say that hundreds of Oromo people were killed… and there were also deaths on the Somali side, we do not know exactly how many,’ the Ethiopian government spokesman, government spokesperson, Negeri Lencho, told a press conference.

The fighting that started along the border between the regional states belonging to the two ethnic groups has been quelled by police and soldiers. Ethiopia is divided into ethnically-based federal regions and the Oromo and the Somali peoples have for years argued over who controls arable land along their shared border, Negeri said.

The spokesman added that a national task force has been set up to address the needs of the displaced people, whom Oromo President Lemma Megersa last week put estimated at 50,000 people, and mediation efforts were under way with community elders. (Here)