By De Birhan StafferAddis Abeba04 March 2013
Severe “ethnic and resource” fights among the Afar, Oromo and Somali ethnic groups, near the Awash River, Eastern Ethiopia, have left around sixty people dead and many injured the weekend before (February 23-24, 2013), sources told De Birhan. The fights had also renewed over the week between the Afars and Somalis.
According to our source, so far 6 from the Somali, 18 from Afar and 36 from the Oromo ethnic groups are recorded dead due to the week long fights. Residents of the area state that they don’t know who and how the clash started.
The region has been prone to clashes over resources such water and grazing land and also ethnic conflicts by pastoralists of the three ethnic groups.
Some studies, such as this one by Asknake K. Adegehe (2009), indicate that the cause of these conflicts has been the wrong federalism policy of the current regime,
The federal restructuring carried out by dismantling the old unitary structure of the country led to territorial and boundary disputes. Unlike the older federations created by the union of independent units, which among other things have stable boundaries, creating a federation through federal restructuring leads to controversies and in some cases to violent conflicts. In the Ethiopian case, violent conflicts accompany the process of intra-federal boundary making.
Similarly, De Birhan had reported that there has been an inter-ethnic clash in the Benishangul Gumz Region of Ethiopia this weekend.