Wednesday, February 14, 2007

19 die in tribal clashes in Ethiopia

Feb 13, 2007 (ADDIS ABABA) — At least 19 people were killed and 11 others injured in Ethiopia when two rival tribes clashed over grazing land, police said Tuesday. The violence took place over the weekend in Moyale town, 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of the capital, Addis Ababa, said police spokesman Cmdr. Demsash Hailu.

"The newest conflict that erupted killing 19 people in Moyale is part of a continuing grazing problem for livestock in the area," Hailu told The Associated Press, adding that the government is still investigating.

The clash, which started Friday and ended Sunday, was between the Borana and Gabra tribes, both of which depend on livestock.

Clashes over water and pasture is frequent in the semi-arid terrain where the two tribes live.

June last year, more than 100 people died after fierce clashes broke out between the Borana and Guji tribes, leaving 90,000 displaced after villagers fled their homes.

The trouble began nearly four years ago when the Ethiopian government marked out a new border between the two tribes’ territories.

"One policeman and a military person were also caught up in the crossfire after they tried to calm the situation down," Hailu said. "Now the situation is under control."



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