ETHIOPIA’S government has mobilized its armed forces in a bid to quell growing violence and unrest in the Oromia region, where police and civilians have been killed.
Troops have been sent to the border between Oromia and the Benishangul Gumuz regional states in western Ethiopia where attacks have escalated.
The decision was made following requests from the two regions to ensure the safety of citizens and enforce the law. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the federal forces were deployed on the advice of the National Security Council.
Last week the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), which governs the region, said the group responsible for the violence was turning the region into a “bastion of chaos.”
Oromia regional state president Lemma Megerssa vowed to work with Mr Abiy to bring the perpetrators to justice and bring stability to the region.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced and more than 100 people, including 11 police officers, have been killed in the conflict that started more than two months ago.
Oromia regional government spokesman Addisu Arega Kitessa said that more than 200 arrests have been made linked to the incidents.
It was Monday, Ethiopians took to the streets to protest the constant outbreaks of violence in the Oromia region.
Residents from the towns of Ambo, Ghimbi, Holeta, Burayu, Bajo, and Metu took to the streets to peacefully demand that the government put an end to the security crisis, according to Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
Since October alone, over 30 people were killed, including 17 police officers, and tens of thousands have been displaced in the Beninshangul-Gumuz region bordering Sudan and South Sudan.
More than 200 have been arrested in connection to the killings.
According to the government, the violence is due to opposition to political and economic reforms led by prime minister Abiy Ahmed, while citizens of the nation claim the violence is a result of due to ethnic tensions.
The government responded saying it is taking action, but it has encountered heavily armored and well-coordinated rebel groups which can’t be easily contained, according to Benshiangul Regional State office.
The National Security Council of Ethiopia has passed a decision which allows for the deployment of federal security forces to Oromia.
According to a United Nations report published today, Ethiopia has more new conflict-driven internally displaced persons (IDPs) than any other country in the world — more than 1.4 million in 2018 alone.
Of the approximately 2.8 million IDPs in Ethiopia, more than 2.2 million are displaced due to conflict. The remaining 500,000-plus have been driven from their homes by climatic shocks, including drought- and flood-induced food insecurity.
The report said that 8 million people in Ethiopia, including the IDPs, require humanitarian assistance.