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DW Amharic - Lives Lost and Large Scale Displacement Due to Recent Conflict in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone

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

DW Amharic - Lives Lost and Large Scale Displacement Due to Recent Conflict in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone

June 4, 2024

Cause of the conflict

One resident of Abe Dongoro Woreda of Horo Guduru Wollega Zone said last Thursday (May 30, 2024) a new conflict displaced a large number of residents to the forests including the source. The conflict was triggered by government security forces which opened fire on individuals they said were armed without their approval according to the source who called the conflict intense. Residents displaced from Horo Guduru Wollega Zone said, “the matter is serious. They are killing people in every direction, residents are escaping to the forests.” This is what the source said and added prior to this incident there had been reconciliation which brought some stability to the area but now it is returning to the unrest of before. Government security forces opened fire saying “bring us Fano” which started the conflict and brought unrest to the area.

Suffering of innocent people

Another source from the same woreda who opted for anonymity for their personal safety said the problem which began last Thursday has intensified and spread to the neighbouring Jardega Jarte Woreda. The source explained how the conflict had led to targeting of innocent civilians. “This is what is happening, the problem has worsened. The unrest which began last Thursday has led to widespread destruction and losses in Abe Dongoro and Jardega Jarte Woredas. The conflict began to disarm militias who had arms for protection but now even innocent children have become victimized.”

Another local resident who shared their thoughts said the conflict has continued and bodies have been found all over the area, and locals who fled the area to the forests are now facing hunger.

Deutsche Welle made repeated efforts to contact local authorities, particularly Horo Guduru Wollega Zone administrator Ato Miressa Fitae in order to attain further details about what transpired, however repeated call attempts were not successful.

Background to conflict in Wollega

Over the past four years unrest in the four Wollega Zones has expanded into repeated ethnic-based clashes which have displaced a large number of people and resulted in significant loss of life. Although members of the Oromo and Amhara communities have coexisted for a long time in this area, recently there have been clashes and ethnic-based conflict which has created ongoing security unrest in the area.

Though efforts to undertake reconciliation and dialogue have been said to be underway to resolve recent communal clashes, these have proved to be insufficient to resolve the problem which has continued to cause problems.

Seyoum Getu

Hirut Melese

Shewaye Legesse

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