Published On: Wed, Mar 6th, 2019

ICRC returns to Ethio-Somali region after 11 years

The International Committee of the Red Cross has resumed its operations in Ethiopia after the absence of more than ten years.

ICRC together with the Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) jointly distributed emergency relief assistance to people displaced by ethnic violence in Eastern Ethiopia.

According to the officials, Some 690 families displaced from different areas of East Hararghe Zone, Oromia region, and sheltered in Kore and Ali-Ethiopia localities in Somali region received the assistance.

Plastic shelters, blankets, mats, jerry cans, kitchen sets, and soaps were the items provided to the displaced people, according to Fowziya Kasim, an ICRC staff in charge of facilitating the assistance.

Most of the recipients expressed their joy over the support they were provided

“It is the first time for the ICRC to make such delivery to conflict-affected communities in Somali Regional State after it was forced to suspend its operation 11 years ago,” highlighted Julien Lerisson, the Head of the ICRC delegation in Ethiopia.

The organisation restarted its activities in the region on November last year after it was invited by the Ethio- Somali regional state government to help those displaced by ethnic clashes in the area.

Musa Ibrahim, 32, one of the displaced and father of five who received the assistance has narrated his plight on the skirmishes in the area.

“My father was killed during the violence. Everything I had back at home, my camels and goats, were looted,” says Musa who still doesn’t seem to recover from the pain of losing his father. He, however, said, “the support he got from the Red Cross was important to start his family life afresh.”

The violence between ethnic Somalis and Oromos which occurred along the borders of Somali-Oromia regions had claimed the lives of dozens of people and left hundreds of thousands of others displaced from their homes.

The dispute over land, water, and pasture for the livestock is the primary cause of the tribal skirmishes that has become a challenge for the Ethiopian government.

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