Oromia and Ethio-Somali regions have started withdrawing police and militia from their common borders, according to sources in the area.
In the past few days, the police and militia of the two regions were observed pulling back from about 5 kilometers range of the northern section of their norther boundaries, according to HornAffairs sources.
The regional forces withdrew from the conflict prone areas of Maeso and parts of Babile area, according to multiple sources.
HornAffairs couldn’t confirm whether the regional forces similarly withdrew from the southern sections of their borders.
The two largest regions of Ethiopia share about 1,400 kilometers long common border.
Sources in the area say that local authorities were told “no armed person should be present in 5 killometers range of the borders”, except for federal police and military would be the sole security forces allowed in these areas.
Last September, the federal government had announced that the adjacent districts of the two regions and main roads would be the sole responsibilities of federal security forces.
The agreement was reached in a joint meeting of the Prime Minister and the presidents of the two regions, following a major conflict between Oromia and Somali regions. It was reitrated by the National Security Council in October.
However, regional forces continued to operate along the common borders of the two regions in the past months. Sporadic clashes between the regional security forces and armed men as well as the disruptions of transportations and khat exports continued.