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DW Amharic - Residents Displaced From Two Woredas in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone Due to Conflict Face Hardship

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

DW Amharic - Residents Displaced From Two Woredas in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone Due to Conflict Face Hardship

June 8, 2024 (Sene 1, 2016 EC)

Residents displaced from two woredas in Horo Guduru Wollega Zone of Oromia Region due to conflict report facing hardship. One mother who says she has stayed in the forests for over six days says her and her children have been exposed to severe hunger and thirst. The mother says houses were burned down and property was looted, “we are saying we need urgent help, the situation has become extremely difficult for us”.

In Abe-Dongoro Woreda of Horo Guduru Wollega Zone government security forces opened fire on residents who they said were illegally armed, which was followed by unrest as local residents became displaced from their homes and property which Deutsche Welle has recently reported.

In these two woredas especially in Abe Dongoro Woreda continued security unrest has resulted in civilians being displaced from their houses and scattered in various areas, according to eyewitnesses who spoke to DW.

One resident of Abe Dongoro Woreda who spoke to us, said they and many others have taken shelter in the forests with their children, and the military’s actions have endangered innocent civilians which has forced them not to return to the area.

They expressed their thoughts saying, “there is currently no good option, the issue has continued even now. People are being killed accused of being Fano members. This has caused the local residents to become displaced and exposed to hunger which has exhausted many people. Though the forces carrying out these measures gave assurances they would spare the women and children, they are firing heavy artillery which has killed civilians, even pregnant women.”

The source added that after locals were displaced from the area due to fear, their property was looted and destroyed. They explained that the conflict has hurt innocent civilians, “afterwards individuals whose identity we are not certain of began organized looting. These people stole all kinds of property including household items.”

Another local resident who gave their opinion said the conflict has continued even now, and residents are being displaced, leaving them in dire circumstances.

“We are currently in the forests with our children. We don't have any security even here. It is difficult to know who can resolve this problem for us.” This is what a source which escaped from their home in Abe Dongoro Woreda said, explaining that the current situation is dire and that they are exposed to hunger. The source said that the number of displaced persons, “is difficult to count” and said they are currently in a difficult situation.

DW made efforts to contain local officials for additional information including the identity and nature of the recent conflict have not yet been answered. According to one Oromia Region official, military operations are underway to improve the security situation in the region including in western Oromia, and that these operations are being led by the national defense force meaning they do not have authority to provide personal views.

The national defense force in its social media pages has repeatedly announced that expansive security enforcement operations are underway in Oromia and Amhara Regions, however clarification has not been provided about the situation in these areas.

Background of the Wollega Conflict

Over the past four years conflict in the four Wollega Zones has expanded resulting in repeated ethnic-based conflict which has displaced a significant number of people and led to a significant number of deaths. In this area, though it is said the Oromo and Amhara communities have coexisted for ages, in recent times conflict and ethnic-based security unrest have continued

In recent times it has repeatedly been announced that efforts to resolve the conflict between communities through dialogue are underway, it has not been possible to completely stop conflict which has not been easy to accomplish.

Seyoum Getu

Eshete Bekele


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