Addis Abeba — Some 8,759 civilians were displaced following recent clashes on the border between Oromia and Somali regional state, according to new report. The displaced civilians were residents of Gura Damole Kebele, in Dello Mena Woreda, Bale Zone of Oromia regional state, due to clashes last month.
Addis Standard reported on 18 July that the entire population of Gura Damole kebele, one of the six kebeles bordering the two regions, fled to neighboring woredas, after “armed elements” from the neighboring Somali region have prevented them from receiving humanitarian assistance and going to the markets following the clashes.
The displaced are now sheltered in Kole Golba Kebelle of the Delo Mena Zone, according to Wendemagen Kebede, an official of the zonal Disaster and Risk Management Bureau. Wendmagegn had already stated that civilians from various Kebelles of Dello Mena woreda, which borders Haro Dibe of the Somali region, have been exposed to suffering due to the clashes, which is often triggered by land and pasture disputes between the two communities.The clashes have been occurring since 2017, according to him. A total of 53, 000 civilians are displaced from six districts bordering the two regional states.
Additional 18, 600 civilians are also sheltered in Dello Mena woreda, and 10, 000 in Berak IDP site; they were displaced three years ago in border clashes in Madda Walabu woreda.
This week the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has provided emergency supports worth over 183,000 Euro to 2,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Dello Mena Woreda, according to state media. IRC is providing emergency supports to more than 150,000 IDPs in Oromia regional state alone.
Conflicts in the border areas between Somali and Oromia regional states in 2016 – 2018 claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians while more than 1.2 million people were displaced. Majority have not returned to their residences and still live in IDP camps dispersed in various places in Oromia region. The conflict was attributed mainly to the Somali region administration under its former president Abdi Illey, but sporadic clashes continued long after his overthrow resulting in loss of lives, properties and displacement.