A map showing Ethiopia in East Africa.testing
CAIRO: The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) reported on Monday evening that at least 18 Ethiopians had been killed in clashes between two communities over a land dispute in southern Ethiopia.
The violence has led to some 20,000 people fleeing the area to Kenya.
The clashes erupted last Thursday over a disagreement with the government in Addis Ababa to put the Garri community on land that the Borana tribe claimed as their own, KRCS said in a statement published on its website.
Thousands of refugees, segregated by ethnicity, are camped out in schools and a mosque around the Kenyan town of Moyale.
“Most of the families are in the open cold with their children for lack of shelter,” KRCS said.
“The humanitarian situation is dire bearing in mind that the effects of the HOA drought on the populations in the conflict areas are also still being felt,” it said.
The Garri and Borana communities straddle the Kenyan and Ethiopian borders.
Some refugees have begun to return to Ethiopia after Ethiopia’s federal government intervened in the clash-hit areas, Abbas Gullet, the secretary general of KRCS, told AlertNet.
“The federal security forces are taking control of the security situation from regional security officials and they are looking for an amicable solution to the disputes,” Gullet said.
At least 12 people have been injured, but they are reluctant to seek medical help at facilities thought to belong to rival communities, KRCS said.
“The reported injuries include gun wounds, fractures, bleeding, and internal bleeding,” it said.