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Chaos erupts in Jigjiga and Dagahbur towns as Ethiopian Ministry of Defense promises to restore law and order to Somali region

Hiiraan Online
Saturday August 4, 2018

ADDIS-ABABA (HOL) - Addis Ababa (HOL) - The Ethiopian military on Saturday seized the administrative capital of Ethiopia's Somali regional State, Jigjiga town.

According to reports, tensions sparked between the leader of the Ethio-Somali region, Abdi Mohamud Omar and Ethiopian federal government.

Hundreds of military soldiers have reportedly taken over the control of Jigjiga town after a brief gun battle with the region's Liyu Police, a paramilitary forces who are loyal to Mr. Omar.

The military seized the state's Parliament, the State-owned media and several other installations.

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According to Addis Ababa Standard, Addis Ababa based website, looting and vandalism took place in Jigjiga and Dhegahbur town.

"Looting and vandalism spreading in various parts of the cities of Jigjiga and Dagahbur. Residents tell BBC Amharic, banks, businesses and various properties are looted. Several people are also hurt," Addis Ababa Standard reports.

A video posted on Facebook by Rajo, Somali region based Social media news site purportedly showed irate people burning type in the streets of Dagahbur town.

In a press statement released on Saturday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense (MoD) has promised to restore law and order to the Somali region.

"MoD will not sit by and watch unrest particularly in Jijiga city, capital of Somali regional state. It will take the necessary measures to ensure that peace and security of residents of the regional state are secured," said the statement.

Although the Ethiopian military didn’t mention who they were targeting in their statement, it comes amidst unconfirmed reports that the army is seeking to arrest President Abdi Mohamud Omar who is allegedly holed up in Jigjiga.

For their part, the ONLF released a statement where they welcomed the "rapid changes underway in Ogaden" but called the ENDF's presence in Jigjiga a "hostile move against the Somali people."

We welcome the rapid changes underway in the Ogaden region, but the unilateral decision of the government to deploy the ENDF and take control of the region is a hostile move against the Somali people- breeding further instability and chaos at this critical time."

Ethiopia's oil fields are in the Somali regional state and the region is also believed to have large deposits of natural gas.

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