Over the past week, local authorities and humanitarian partners in Gedeo zone (SNNP region) have reported the arrival of over 15 000 displaced ethnic Gedeos originating from Guji zone of Oromiya (Kersha, Hambella Wamena, Birbisa Kojowa woredas). They had been returned to West Guji by the authorities in August, after having fled their homes in April – June due to massive, targeted violence.
Since this return, instead of actually resettling in their homes, they lived in collective sites in the urban centres of their places of origin, not able to move to their farms due to persistent insecurity, as well as destroyed or occupied properties. Due to a surge in insecurity and violence, they are now fleeing again.
No humanitarian assistance has reached those new IDPs yet, and they are entirely relying on the host communities. DG ECHO, which is funding a number of partner organization to assist IDPs and returnees in Gedeo and Guji zones, advocates for unrestricted access to people in need and for all returns to be voluntary.