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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ethiopian PM says unrest in eastern Ethiopia under control

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed broke a week of silence to announce on Saturday that violence in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state last weekend is now under control.

Speaking to media outlets, Ahmed said the region is returning to normalcy with the help of the federal government and regional administration officials.

He further said discussion is currently underway between his government and officials of the regional state to prevent a recurrence of the violence that left yet an undisclosed number of people dead and scores others injured.

Several cities in the regional state became scenes of deadly violence last weekend after soldiers were dispatched on August 4 to Jijiga city, capital of the Somali regional state reportedly to arrest regional high-level officials, including Abdi Omar Mohammed, president of the regional state.

The army intervention came amid reports of tension between the federal government and the regional state president over allegations of grave human rights abuses in Mohammed’s administration.

A high-level delegation from the regional state headed by Mohammed is believed to be in Addis Ababa currently holding talks with the federal government officials on ways to resolve the crisis.

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Ethiopia establishes command post to control unrest in restive region

ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- A military and police command post has been established to control unrest in Ethiopia Somali regional state located in the eastern part of the country, an Ethiopian official said on Friday.

Several cities in Ethiopia Somali regional state were scenes of deadly violence last weekend after soldiers were dispatched on Saturday morning to Jijiga city, capital of Ethiopia Somali regional state reportedly to arrest regional high-level officials including Abdi Omar Mohammed, President of Ethiopia Somali regional state.

The army intervention comes amid reports of tension between the Ethiopian federal government and Ethiopia Somali regional state president over allegations of grave human rights abuses in Mohammed’s administration.

Speaking to state media outlets, Major General Belay Seyoum, Commander of the Southeast Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces, said the establishment of the command post will enable federal and regional security forces to act as one to control unrest in Ethiopia Somali regional state.

Belay said the new security arrangement will see both federal and regional security forces operate under the command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces until the peace and security of Ethiopia Somali regional state is restored.

He also rubbished reports the Ethiopian government plans to dissolve the Ethiopia Somali regional police force which critics say has been engaged in grave human rights abuses while fighting rebel groups in the region.

Belay didn’t reveal details on how agreement was reached to establish a joint security structure, nor did he reveal details of alleged negotiation between Ethiopia Somali regional officials and the Ethiopian government to resolve the crisis that has threatened to destabilize Ethiopia’s second largest regional state.

A high-level delegation from Ethiopia Somali regional state headed by Mohammed is believed to be in Addis Ababa currently holding secret talks with the federal government officials on ways to resolve the crisis. 

             

 

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