Somali region in Ethiopia has reported a militia attack from the neighbouring region of Afar, the latest flare-up in a local boundary dispute that adds to broader tensions in the country.
According to Reuters, a spokesperson for the government of the Somali region, which stretches north to south along Ethiopia’s eastern border, said the Afar militia “massacred hundreds of civilians” on Saturday in the town.
“Many have been displaced and the town is almost completely looted,” spokesperson Ali Bedel said.
Two senior Somali regional government officials gave similar accounts, with one saying at least one hundred persons were killed and three hundred injured.
Bedel said that after the attack, “angry youths” had on Sunday and Monday blocked a main road and rail trade artery in Afar that connects Addis Ababa, the capital of landlocked Ethiopia, and the seaport in next-door Djibouti.
He did not say where the youths were from.
“The government are trying to calm down the situation,” he said, without giving further details.
On Wednesday, Somali region President Mustafa Muhumed Omer said the key corridor, through which the majority of goods entering Ethiopia are transported, was still blocked.
“We are working to open the Djibouti rail and road today,” Omer told Reuters in a text message. “Discussing with the youth and people,” he said.