UN says million displaced in Oromia-Somali conflict
By Dawit Endeshaw
A new report jointly released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicated that close to one million people have been displaced due to the conflict along the borders of the Oromia and Ethiopian Somali regional states.
According to the report released a week ago, nearly all districts along the borders of the two regions were affected by the displacement.
The report also stated that, preliminary data from the latest round of the International Office of Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix1 conducted in November, 2017 indicates that around one million persons have been displaced.
From this, nearly 700,000 are recorded in 2017 alone, still with a significant number registered after September 2017.
These displaced people are currently living in 400 locations across Oromia, Ethiopian Somali and Harari Regions, as well as Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa cities.
On the other hand, 637,000, almost 60 percent of the total displaced people are sheltered in camps. From this, the 68,000 are Ethiopian Somalis which are displaced between 2015 to end 0f 2017, according to the report.
The same assessment indicates that as of 16 January 2018, some 110,000 households are in need of urgent support. Out of this, more than 58,000 households are residing in Oromia Regional State while the 41,000 are from Ethiopian Somali.
At least 93,000 conflict-displaced school-aged children in Oromia and Ethiopian Somali Regions were forced to interrupt their education due to the displacement.
More than 1,500 children in Oromia and Ethiopian Somali regions are also reported to have been separated from their families.
Most of the assessed districts affected by the conflict in the two regions confirmed cases of sexual violence, psychosocial distress and domestic violence, reads the report.
It is to be recalled that, last month, the federal government has allocated half a billion birr to rehabilitate close to 500,000 displaced people in the two regions.
Particularly, the Oromia Regional State has already begun implementing its rehabilitation program for 86,000 people with a plan to settle them across 12 towns.
As far as assistant from the international community is concerned, the report reveals that to address gaps in assistance close to 29 million dollars is required from donor, in next month. Out of this, 15 million dollars is to provide water trucking to some 700,000 people.