Scores of people killed on Friday in the deadliest incident of the Oromia-Somali region conflict in the year. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn issued a statement condemning as “mass killing”.
At least 60 ethnic Somalis were killed in Gadulo kebele, Daru Labu woreda, West Haraghe zone, Oromia, last Friday, according to the spokesperson of Ethio-Somali region speaking to BBC Somali language service.
The Somalis were “camped in a police station for their safety” after the recent conflict between Oromia-Somali regions, Prime Minister Hailrmariam said in a televised message of condolences on Sunday evening without disclosing the number of casualities.
Activists from Somali region have been posting since Friday evening that the body count from Gadulo kebele and adjacent areas was 159.
Jemal Ali, an activist in Jigjiga and close to the Somali regional adminstration, claimed, that besides to the Gadulo, “in Hororayti kebele [Daru Labu woreda] 70 Somalis were brutally killed, while Korka and Toa kebeles [Hawi Gudina woreda] have seen more than 80 Somali deaths in such a single fateful day”.
Horn Affairs couldn’t get an official confirmation of these figures from Somali region adminstration.
Oromia region’s spokesperson confirmed the incident on Sunday in a facebook post. He claimed the number of Somalis killed in Gadulo kebele was 32 and it was a retaliation to an incident in the neighboring woreda Hawi Gudina.
In Hawi Gudina woreda, the spokesperson narrated, “armed men of Somali populated villages of the woreda” staged an assault killing 29 Oromos, including a popular person Ahmed Teha, and torching 336 houses. Subsequently, a brother of Ahmed Teha organized the killing of 32 Somalis in Gadulo kebele later that day, the spokesperson claimed.
The Hawi Gudina incident was reported differently last Friday on VOA Amharic. An official of west Hararghe zone told VOA radio that the attack was conducted by Somali region forces “among whom some were uniformed”. Two Oromos – Ahmed Teha and a police officer, were killed by the assault, while another two were injured, the official had said.
In a televised statement on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn condemned the “mass killing” at Gadulo and said an inquiry task force has been established. He pledged to make the findings of the inquiry public and take “the necessary measures”. He also promised to look into the conduct of federal forces in the Chelenko incident last week.