Hailemariam Desalegn, the Ethiopian Prime Minister has lauded Oromo traditional leaders (Abagedas) and its youth for managing a previously tense situation in the country’s east.
The Premier said the role of the Abagedas and youth had largely helped to bring relative calm to the Oromo – Somali border region. He further disclosed that a national conference on peace and security was scheduled to be held soon.
What is seen as an age-old tension between the two regional states erupted in September this year leading to deaths, injuries and mass displacement on both sides.
The government puts its down to resource control and the historical context but activists blame a paramilitary force the ‘Liyu Police’ for targeted attacks on Oromos – the largest ethnic group in the East African country.
Desalegn in mid-September met with community, religious and tribal leaders as part of mediation efforts to quell the tensions in the region who share a common border of about 1,400km stretch.
The Prime Minister’s comments were part of an address to the parliament early this week when legislators deliberated on the address of President Teshome Mulatu’s address during the reopening of parliament.
Even though the PM had stated in September that federal security forces had been deployed, the information Minister, Negeri Lencho, is also on record to have said that the government had resolved to solve the crisis without the army.
Meanwhile, anti-government in the Oromo region has spiked in recent times leading to deaths of protesters. A similar series of protests led to the imposition of a state of emergency in October 2016. It was lifted in August 2017.