Moyale Hospital in Kenya treats 14 people for bullet wounds
Fleeing Ethiopians housed in schools, churches, mosques, camps
Thousands of members of Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group fled to neighboring Kenya after the military said it “mistakenly” killed nine civilians and injured 12 others in a market town that straddles their border.
Conflict in Moyale may “directly affect” an intersection of Kenya’s Lamu Port, South Sudan, Ethiopia Transport corridor, which envisages a $7 billion railway and a $3 billion oil pipeline passing through the town. A highway linking Kenya’s Isiolo town to Marsabit county and Moyale was opened in July.
The LAPSSET project “won’t be realized if this conflict will not subside,” Halake said.
The latest killings happened after the military received “wrong tip-offs” that led them to identify civilians as members of the outlawed Oromo Liberation Front, the ruling party-funded Fana Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday, citing Hassen Ibrahim, a military official in charge of administering the state of emergency Ethiopia declared on Feb. 16. Five members of Ethiopia’s military including a commander have been “disarmed and kept in custody for investigation,” Hassen said.
Ethiopian Information Minister Negeri Lencho and Defense Minister Siraj Fegessa didn’t respond to two text messages and two calls each seeking comment.
Moyale is at the southern extreme of Ethiopia’s longest internal boundary and divided between Kenya as well as two separate, competing Ethiopian administrations of in the Oromia and Somali regions.
“Whenever there are clashes between Oromo and Somalis, there’s always spill-over” into Marsabit, according to Halake. Ethiopian forces closed the border with Kenya on March 10 and Kenyan police are patrolling entry points along the border, he said.