Paramilitary forces kill 40 people in Eastern Ethiopia

August 14, 2018, MOGADISHU (Halbeeg News) – Forces of Liyu Police, paramilitary forces operating in Ethio-Somali regional State have killed 40 people in Eastern Ethiopia over the weekend, Oromo official confirmed.

Sporadic attacks by the Liyu began at least five years ago, escalated in December 2016 and subsided before a renewed wave of attacks began this year after unrest first broke out along the border of Somali and Oromiya States.

Oromiya regional administration’s spokesman Negeri Lencho who spoke to Reuters said heavily armed members of a paramilitary force from the Somali region raided East Hararghe, a district dominated by Oromo people.

“We still do not know why Liyu forces raided the areas on Saturday and Sunday,” he said, referring to the paramilitary soldiers. “But we know that all the victims were ethnic Oromos. At least 40 were killed in the attacks.”

The spokesman said the officials had said the government was illegally forcing them to resign, and that Liyu forces had taken part in the attacks under their orders.

Somali officials have not yet commented on the allegations.

Human Rights groups have long accused the special paramilitary force of killings, rapes and other abuses.

The border conflict between the Somali and Oromia region has left thousands of people dead and has forced more than one million to flee their homes in the past year.

The violence has had effects beyond the border area. Thousands of Oromos have fled the Somali regional capital, Jijiga, and nearby towns.

Federal government troops have set up a base in the region as they carry out operations to curb the conflict.

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