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IDPs in Jara IDP Camp Were Told to Vacate in Three Days, Causing Opposition and Fears

Disclaimer: This is an English translation of an Amharic report taken from DW Amharic and is intended solely for information purposes.

DW Amharic - IDPs in Jara IDP camp were told to vacate in three days causing opposition and fears

December 18, 2023

Internally displaced people in Jara shelter located in North Wollo Zone of Amhara Region were told to leave in three days which prompted outcry. The decision has caused the IDPs significant distress. They have developed fears over demands to return to their homes in various zones of Wollega under circumstances where their security is still not guaranteed.

The zonal disaster prevention and food security coordinating office defended the decision citing their inability to deliver supplies to the area as a result of ongoing conflict. The office added the IDPs would be repatriated to their homes in Oromia Region.

Following the political change in 2018 (2010 EC), Amhara civilians residing in various parts of Oromia and Benishangul-Gumuz Regions have been victim to ethnic-based conflict. While many lost their lives, many others sustained bodily injuries. Further, millions have been displaced from areas where they were born and raised, to Amhara Region.

Among those who managed to reach Amhara Region, many took shelter in a camp called Jara in North Wollo Zone. Certain IDPs told DW they were recently informed they would be taken to Debre Birhan within three days and they would then be taken to Oromia Region. One IDP who described the situation to DW said there were 10,400 of them and that the decision was causing them severe distress.

Another IDP on their side said it would be difficult to go to Wollega under current conditions and that the decision was causing them severe stress. The IDP who said she did not wish to go to Debre Birhan or Oromia said there would need to be assurances made first and preconditions

The IDP said, “what level of peace is there over there? Oromia officials would need to come to us and explain the state of peace, a committee formed from the IDPs would need to survey the situation in Oromia, if this isn't done we would rather leave the country through Djibouti than return to Wollega.”

The North Wollo Zone Amhara Region emergency prevention and food security coordinating head Ato Alemu Yimer said since delivery of supplies has been made difficult it is necessary to transport the IDPs to Debre Birhan. He said then, “they will be sent to areas in Oromia Region free of militants.” The Amhara Region Prosperity Party head Ato Yirga Sisay recently said, “the IDPs will slowly be repatriated to where they came from, and Amhara and Oromia officials came to an agreement so that circumstances would be ideal.” The Amhara Region emergency prevention, food security and programs coordinating commission previously reported over one million IDPs were displaced from various parts of Oromia Region to Amhara Region due to conflict.

Alemnew Mekonnen

Shewaye Legesse

Eshete Bekele

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