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250,000 people displaced in ethnic clashes repatriated

Saturday March 10, 2018

People gather prior to a food distribution at the internally displaced person (IDP) camp of Farburo in Gode, Ethiopia, on January 27, 2018. The camp recently hosted Somali families fleeing conflict between Somali and Oromo communities in Ethiopia. PHOTO | YONAS TADESSE | AFP

ADDIS ABABA, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia announced on Saturday that 250,000 people displaced by conflict along the boundary of the Oromia and Somali regional states have been repatriated.

Speaking to the state-owned Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation, Mitiku Kassa, Commissioner of Ethiopia National Disaster Risk Management Commission, said the displaced were able to return after a conference of officials and elders from both regions was held in February.

He further said the government is working to repatriate the rest 600,000 people displaced by the conflict by April at the earliest.

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Kassa also said 86,000 of those who returned to their homes is being rehabilitated with the help of federal and regional states officials.

Oromia and Somali regional states have been locked in a dispute over the delineation of their common boundary for almost two decades.

A referendum in October 2004 was supposed to demarcate the boundary, but its implementation has been stalled with both sides accusing each other of non-compliance with the referendum results.

Fierce clashes along the Oromia-Somali boundary since September has escalated into ethnic violence, leaving scores of people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced.

The unrest is fueling fears about security in Ethiopia, east Africa's biggest economy.


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