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2,000 Ethiopians cross into Kenya as tension builds in Oromia region

Storyline:National News, World
File Photo: Ethiopian Review

By Fauxile Kibet

Almost 2,000 Ethiopians have crossed into the border town of Moyale in Kenya’s north east following days after nine civilians were killed by Ethiopian security forces who termed the incident an mistake.

The charity, Red Cross Society in Kenya said the asylum seekers, majority of them chidren and women have pitched tent in Moyale town and receiving assistance.

“The asylum seekers began streaming in on Saturday, March 10, 2018, around 10pm, majority of them being women and children. We have provided necessary humanitarian assistance,” the humanitarian body said in a statement.

The exodus came after government soldiers shot and killed nine civilians in what was described by state media as an accident, after they were mistaken for the banned Oromo Liberation Front.

However, residents of Oromia region who spoke to the media disputed government’s claims saying that the shooting took place considered to be an opposition stronghold.

Kenyan officials from the Moyale and Marsabit county governments Monday said that they had provided the refugees with food and other humanitarian aid even as the Kenyan government beefed up security in the area to deal with the arriving refugees.

“The county government of Marsabit has also provided food to the displaced persons and more support is expected following the formation of a Sub County Steering Group that aims to effectively address the issue,” said KRCS.

This comes even as the Ethiopian Command Post enforcing a state of emergency sent a message of condolences to families of persons it says were mistakenly killed after defense forces acted on intelligence.

Initial reports suggested that nine people were killed in the town of Moyale – a border town with Kenya after soldiers shot at them. The number is said to have reached ten.

A Command Post representative Lieutenant General Hassen Ibrahim, told the press that a team had been dispatched to ascertain the real facts on the ground.

He also confirmed that about a dozen others were injured in the incident.