Oromia: Fierce clash in Moyale, Borana, several die,injured

By T and Derese Tariku

July 27, 2012, Negele Borena (De Birhan Media) – The town of Moyale has fallen under the control of an unknown militia forces who attacked the town yesterday. The militia burned down the police station and the Customs Office. Over 50 people have reportedly died and hundreds have been taken to Yabello and Negele hospitals. A Commander of Oromia Special Police who was sent to reinforce the town as well as four local police were killed. The Ethiopian military stationed at ‘Shawa Ber’ , 2 Km from the town, conspicuously watches as the town is being burned down.

There are sources stating the cause of the clash as being ethnic between the Borena and Begri as usual while others say it was political take over. Somali and Oromo ethnic tribes have always attempted to take hold of the town, source adds. Witness are reporting that they have heard religious chants by those who were marching to the City’s main Bus Station.

Doctors in the area told De Birhan that the situation has been bad. Fighting still ongoing and rumors of the anunknown militia force are controlling the town of Moyalle. He said that injured people are coming to hospital. The road to Moyale has been blocked.

Two helicopters from Kenya are hovering the town.

Another source just informed De Birhan that the Ethiopian armed forces have now intervened are arresting all that they find the town. Several people have gathered around Fekadu Hotel in the town, looking for deceased and injured relatives.

Moyale is a market town on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya, which is split between the two countries: the larger portion is in Ethiopia (in the Oromia Region), and the smaller is in Kenya (the capital of the Moyale District). There are four disputed locations within the Moyale district between the Somali and Oromo regions.

Moyale is the main border post on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa road, lying north of the Dide Galgalu Desert. It is known for its traditional architecture.

–De Birhan