Ethiopian troops clash with Somali regional police force

06 August, 2018, 23:13 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Violence as troops deploy in Ethiopia's Somali region

At least two Ethiopian Orthodox churches have been burned down, another witness said.

The EA flight to Ethiopia headed by a delegation comprising of Tesfaselassie Berhane, Eritrean Minister of Transport and Communications, and Paul Khasai, Director General of Eritrean Civil Aviation Authority, was welcomed by Hirut Zemene, Deputy Ethiopian Foreign Minister, and other high-level Ethiopian government officials.

Ethiopia's state-affiliated media confirmed that a plane carrying Eritrean transport and tourism ministers and other officials had landed at Addis Ababa's Bole global airport - the first time in two decades that such a flight had taken place, it said.

The violence has spread to other key towns in the Somali region inducing Dhagax Bur. Gunfire rang out throughout the day.

Amid the violence, the region's president Abdi Mohammed Omer stepped down late on Monday, state-owned media outlets said.

A third witness in Jijiga said government soldiers had been deployed in the region's administration offices with the intention of arresting officials.

He said the officials claimed the government was illegally forcing them to resign, and that a regional paramilitary force had taken part in the attacks under their orders.

"Infrastructure was destroyed and civilians were subjected to killings and lootings".

The soldiers according to Reuters report were deployed in the province's capital Jijiga on Friday evening.

In July, the region's officials were accused by the government in Addis Ababa of perpetrating rights abuses.

Ethiopia's Somali region has been plagued by violence for the last two decades.

Rebels in the area launched a bid for the secession of the region, also known as Ogaden in 1984.

A border dispute between Djibouti and Eritrea resulted in armed clashes in June 2008, leaving several people dead from both sides. Last month, authorities fired senior prison officials there over allegations of torture. The organization calls on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to halt the military's activities and initiate peaceful dialogue.


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