Fighting between Somalia and Oromo regions spreads to Bale and Borena

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Sporadic fighting has flared up between the Somali regional government armed forces and Oromia policemen in Bale and Moyale area, causing widespread casualties and deaths.
At least four people died in Bale region Raitu Gulbi zone today, according to the Amharic service of Deutsche Welle, that cited witnesses. The fighting appeared to be heavy in the border town of Moyale area, according to reports. As the fight still continues in Moyale, spokesperson of Oromia region Addisu Arega told DW he did not know about causalities. The Amharic service of the Voice of America on its part reported of ten deaths in Chamuki and Gofa villages in Boeran area.
Addisu confirmed that Somali regional armed forces raided Chamuki village and clashed with Oromo militias. He said they removed the Oromia flag and replaced it with their own.
Dereje Gerfa Tulu, an online activist and a source close to the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), wrote on his facebook page that that at least 60 people had been killed in the violence both in Bale and Borena today.
A similar skirmish a week ago in the eastern town of Miesso killed fifty people, according to various reports.
In related news, French government warned citizens to remain vigilant while driving following clashes on the roads between Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, and Harar.
The French government on September 5 issued a travel advisory for Ethiopia, following a series of clashes between the Oromo and Somali communities in parts of the country,
French foreign ministry, the Quai d’Orsay urged citizens to remain vigilant while driving and to instead favor air travel when traveling across the country due to violent incidents on the roads between Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, and Harar.
“It is also preferable to avoid gatherings and demonstrations of a political nature, particularly in areas prone to communal tensions, and to comply strictly with instructions that may be given by local authorities,” the statement said.

Arefayné Fantahun
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