Ethiopia: West Guji-Gedeo Conflict Displacement Flash Update #2, 22 May 2018

Highlights

  • A rapid assessment conducted in Gedeo zone (SNNPR) found that at least 274,5481 people were displaced from West Guji (Oromia) to Gedeo zone following the violence that erupted along the regional boundary in mid-April. Some 84,000 people were also displaced in West Guji zone. More than 4,000 houses were reportedly burnt down or damaged in West Guji and livelihoods destroyed.

  • Official reports indicate that as of early May, 102,593 people of the 274,548 people displaced in Gedeo were returned to their villages in West Guji zone.

  • The Government, the local community and civil society were the first and main responders to date, with support from few partners. Significant gaps in food, shelter, NFI and WaSH are reported.

  • Although there were no reported health outbreaks so far, AWD, scabies and measles are potential health risks due to the use of water from unsafe sources, open defecation, overcrowded shelter and sharing of clothes. The overcrowded shelter conditions within hosting households also present protection concerns.

I. Displacement overview

A rapid assessment conducted in Gedeo zone (SNNPR) from 2 to 8 May found that at least 274,548 people (139,494 male; 135,104 female) were displaced from West Guji (Oromia) to Gedeo zone, following the inter-communal violence that erupted in mid-April 2018 along the borders of the two zones. This recent wave of violence between the Gedeo and Guji communities started in Kercha woreda of West Guji zone and later spread to other woredas along the border on 13 April 2018.
Houses were burnt down, damaged, looted and livelihoods destroyed.
The 274,548 IDPs in Gedeo were scattered across Dilla Zuria, Gedeb, Kochere, Wonago and Yirgachefe woredas of Gedeo zone, 64 per cent of whom were hosted in Gedeb woreda. Some 84,000 people were also displaced in West Guji zone. All IDPs currently in Gedeo zone are believed to be ethnic Gedeos displaced from West Guji zone. Around 67 per cent of the IDPs in West Guji zone are also believed to be ethnic Gedeos displaced within West Guji.
Within the first two weeks of displacement, the Oromia and SNNP regional authorities agreed to facilitate the return of all the IDPs to their respective areas of origin by end of April, and to provide assistance in areas of return. Authorities, with the engagement of community leaders (Aba Gedas), have held peace and reconciliation conferences with affected communities in order to find resolution to the root cause of the displacement.
Official reports indicate that as of early May, 102,593 people (52,288 male; 50,305 female) of the total 274,548 people displaced in Gedeo were returned to their villages in West Guji zone. However, continuing insecurity in West Guji and the lack of or inadequate assistance in areas of return has slowed down the pace of the return operation.
Anecdotal reports also indicate that some IDPs returned to West Guji are moving back to Gedeo zone.
Given that the authorities are encouraging return, there are currently no IDP collective centers. The IDPs are living with host communities, who are themselves vulnerable. Four of the seven IDP-hosting woredas in Gedeo (Kochere, Yirga Cheffe, Wonago and Dilla Zuria) are classified as hotspot Priority 1, while Gedeb woreda is classified as Priority 2. There are 72,000 relief food beneficiaries and 49,069 PSNP beneficiaries in the hosting woredas.
There is also a scabies outbreak in Gedeb, Kochere, Yirgachefe and Wonago woredas.

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