February 24, 2005

Oromo: Ethiopia Clashes Kill Six in Dispute over Boundary

At least six people were killed in a conflict sparked by disagreements over a referendum held to apportion areas contested by Ethiopia's Oromo and Somali ethnic groups, a U.N. aid agency said
At least six people were killed in a conflict sparked by disagreements over a referendum held to apportion areas contested by Ethiopia's Oromo and Somali ethnic groups, a U.N. aid agency said on Wednesday.

The vote was held in a disputed area on the border between two of Ethiopia's nine federal states earlier this year, aiming to settle long-standing disagreements between Oromos and Somalis over where the boundary lies.

"Six persons were killed and many others were injured in conflict between the Oromo and Somali ethnic group at Miesso, in the Oromia region of Western Haraghe on 15 February, 2005," the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement released in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

The United Nations said British charity CARE UK had distributed food and other items to more than 2,557 people in the eastern region who had been forced to flee as a result of the conflict.

The two ethnic group were still unable to reach any consensus over their differences over the contested areas, it added.

Analysts said the clashes, coming ahead of parliamentary elections in May, underlined the volatile situation in parts of Ethiopia, which has an enormous range of ethnic and linguistic diversity in its population of almost 70 million.

 

Source: Reuters