Ethiopia: Access Snapshot - Access Snapshot - Southern Oromia (as of 15 November 2019)

from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 15 Nov 2019 View Original

In 2019, the regional Oromia - Somali boundary dispute has significantly - de-escalated. This notwithstanding, tension between communities in border areas remain, including cattle rustling or conflicts related to the ‘occupation’ of land by pastoral- ists from both ethnic groups. At the time of writing, the main ain access obstacle for partners is the ongoing clashes between security forces and unidentified armed groups (UAGs). Since mid-August, both Guji and Borena zones are under command-post administration, subsequent security restrictions limit road movements, in particular a ban on the use of motorcycles, popula- tion access to basic services and markets as well as pastoralists’ seasonal movements, and IDPs’ access to aid.

In Guji, some 57,000 people from Agawayu, Gumi Eldelo, Gorodola, Liban, and Wadera woredas have been displaced since June, with the intensity and the geographic area of the clashes continuing to increase as of mid-November. Some 20,000 people were displaced the last two weeks of October in Saba Boru, Aga Wayu, Odo Shakiso, Wadera, Adola Redee, Liban, Gumi Eldelo, and Gora Dola woredas. An undetermined number of civilian casualties have been reported, in addition to extensive damages to productive and private assets. In September, nearly 6,000 IDPs (Kate ware, Fugnan Giri, and Ijaru sites) were displaced from boundary areas deeper into Oromia; security operations re-displaced some 5,000 IDPs in Gumi Eldelo (Dibe and Chefa Hidi sites) and 170 people were injured plus 1,000 houses burned. Previously, in August, partners were forced to halt all movements out of Negele town due to prevailing insecurity. In Guji, in 2019, partners have only had intermittent access to areas outside woreda capitals of Liban (14,000 IDPs), and since April in Gumi Eldelo and Gora Dola (36,000 and 1,000 IDPs). Those newly displaced reside in collective sites (schools, health posts or churches) while older ones are with host communities.

The overall response has been limited, with limited number of partners present and with capacity to respond. The lack of health workers and functional health facilities has aggravated the situation. By late October, a multi-agency assessment reached some kebele capitals, but was unable to access IDP hosting areas due to insecurity.

In Borena, since 2018, territorial claims by ethnic-Borena and Garri (Somali), long-standing unaddressed border demarcation, and clashes with UAGs continue to impede operations in Guchi and Wachile (15,500 and 13,100 IDPs), outside urban areas of Arero and Dhas (1,300 and 2,700 IDPs), and boundary areas with Guji zone. The situation in Moyale is calm, after the serious violence of the end of 2018 that displaced 200,000 people, mainly due to the presence of the command post. Most IDPs have now returned, though very limited assistance has been provided. In Bale, an estimated 40,000 IDPs remain in bounda- ry woredas with Somali region. In June, partners were forced to suspend operations in Meda Welabu woreda (10,000 IDPs). Restrictions for UN agencies remain outside woreda capitals of Dawe Katchen, Dawe Serer, Sewena, Raytu and Lege Hida woredas. In September, 2,000 IDPs in Rayitu woredas refused to return to Somali due to insecurity. Partners report outstanding needs among IDPs. No aid partner has been deliberately targeted, though cases of intimidation and misappropriation of partners’ assets have been reported. In Borena, two attacks against Red Cross ambulances by UAG causing casualties have been registered in 2019. Lastly, physical access problems are omnipresent in rural areas and particularly during the rainy season, for instance in Gumi Eldelo (Guji) or Meda Welabu (Bale).

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