Order prevails in Addis but borders are on fire

The authorities are trying to snuff out unrest that has erupted on the country’s borders. A confidential United Nations report has voiced deep concern.

Apart from stridently announcing on March 1 that an attack on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near the borders with Sudan and Eritrea had been foiled, Ethiopia’s government is being put direly to the test by unrest swelling up in the country’s border regions.

According to a confidential report issued at the end of February and conducted by the UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) - Indian Ocean Newsletter has obtained a copy - the security situation is "sensitive and unpredictable" in Somali National Regional State (SNRS) where the UN unit found an upsurge in activity by the Somali Islamist movement Al Shabaab. That was also the case with the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) in the Jarar region.

The UN security service also voiced alarm over deadly clashes between members of the Somali and Oromo communities despite attempts on both sides to resolve the conflict. (ION 1444). Roads between SNRS and the Oromo National Regional State are regularly cut at Dheka and between Harare and Djidjiga.

In the ONRS, the UN reported that Regional Special Police Forces were taking part on both sides in the conflict, which has been exacerbated by the arrival of numerous refugees.

Another zone that came to UNDSS’ attention was the Gambella region. The security situation has worsened because of the presence of South Sudanese armed groups composed of Murle, particularly around Gog Woreda.

The war in South Sudan has led the Burma to cross the border, prompting firefights with the police near Dimma Woreda when they sought to rustle cattle.


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