Oromia-Somali crisis: Dozens killed, thousands displaced

A major humanitarian and security crisis is unfolding in eastern parts of Ethiopia. Dozens have been killed and thousands have been displaced in the past three days in eastern Oromia and Somali regions. Its ramifications are being felt as far as Somaliland.

In the interest of time, I have shared here my social media reports of the past three days.

Please note that that this crisis was preceeded by an armed clash along the borders of the two regions, in Mieso, Bale and Borena areas, in the previous week costing dozens of lives. (I will provide a summary of those incidents in a subsequent post).

The following are copies of my facebook and twitter posts.

September 14

Somali region:-

* I can confirm that atleast hundreds more Oromos are displaced from Jigjiga and the major business city near the border Togo Wuchale and other towns in between, since yesterday.

* Some business places were attacked but I couldn’t confirm any fatality.

* Some of the displaced people were transported by the Somali region Liyu Police. But I can’t say whether the police was merely escorting them or forcing them. (Note that this police force is accused by Oromia for the crisis and civilian casualities)

* The displaced people arrived mostly in Harar and some in Chinaksen woreda.

* Yesterday, I reported displacements from Kebri Beyah. And about 1200 displaced Oromos in Harar and Babile. I don’t have an updated figure.

Harar city:-

There was a small attempt to demonstration in Harar. Tension remains high in the city.


* It appears one person was killed today somewhere around eastern Oromia today. (to be updated with locations).

* Meanwhile, the number of people (mostly Somalis) killed in Awoday on Tuesday reached 37, according to my sources. However, Oromia region claims it is 18, while Somali region claims it is 58. The number increased as dead bodies are found in the areas.

* Somalis are displaced from eastern areas of Oromia. Yesterday I reported about 300 took refugee in Harar in mitary premises.


Two Ethiopians of Oromo origin are killed by a policeman in a small town near Hargessa today. Others are fleding to Ethiopia for fear of further attacks. A Somalilander contact told me that some of the people killed in Awoday are from Somaliland.

Additional reports:

* Red beret military officers are being deployed in several places.

*There is also a conflict in southwest Oromia between Guji and Burji communities. I don’t have details.


September 13 (update)

Somali region declares seven days of mourning as of tomorrow.


September 13

* The number of Somalis killed in Awoday, Oromia, yesterday is more than a dozen.

* Today, there was a protest in Oromia, Western Haraghe zone, Garagutu Woreda, Boreda town. In the same woreda, in Karamele area, one person was killed.

* About 600 Oromos displaced from Somali region are sheltered in Babille. Another 500 are sheltered in Harar city Harari League compound.

* About 300 Somalis took refugee in Eastern Command compound in Harar city for fear of retaliations.

* Federal government is depolying security officers in some areas.

The situation is volatile and concerning.


September 12 (update)

I have confirmed an unspecified number of people of Oromo origin were displaced from Kebri Beyah, 50 km far from the regional capital Jigjiga, Ethiopian-Somali region, since yesterday. They are in Harar vicinity currently.

There are also rumors of problems in Chinaksen, which is east of Dire Dawa, but can’t confirm it so far.

On the other hand, at least one person was killed in Awoday when the store of a major Khat trader Amina Gafane was attacked today.


September 12

There are protests and incidents in eastern Oromia, in Dedere, Qobo, Awoday and Chelenko.

In Dedere, two protesters were injured as police tried to block them from the main roaf. The protesters ransacked the house of the woreda administrator.

In Awoday, the vehicles of Somali Khat traders were attacked. 

There are also protests in Qobo and Chelenko.

The situation is triggered due to the conflict in Ethio-Somali and Oromia regions. The clash on the regional borders escalated last week and the federal government have failed to restore order.

Map - Eastern Ethiopia, Oromia and Somali regions
Map – Eastern Ethiopia, Oromia and Somali regions


Daniel Berhane

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