18 August 2018
The number of Ethiopians who are returning from Djibouti weeks after the unrest in Dire Dawa city has reached over 6,400, The Reporter has learnt.
They were transported using a train to Dire Dawa. From the total number of people who fled from Djibouti the majority were sent to their home towns.
According to a senior official from Disaster Risk Management & Preparedness Commission, from the total number of Ethiopians who returned from Djibouti, 6,168 of them are now sent to their families in Oromia, Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nation, Nationalities & Peoples’ Regional states.
“We have provided them with the necessary support including finance and help them travel to their home town,” the official told The Reporter.
The rest, which are few in number are still in Dire Dawa city. They are now in quarantine following an acute watery diarrhea outbreak.
Amin Amir, minister of Health has said 74 of the returnees had already been treated and 24 of them were still under treatment.
This humanitarian and political crisis comes after an unrest that left six Djiboutian citizens dead and 15 injured in Dire Dawa City.
Among those who are killed, three are kids from the same family who died after their house were attacked and set ablaze.
Most of the deaths were said to have occurred when unidentified group of individuals began to attack houses and torched some of them.
The violence in the city began on the weekend of August 2, 2018 after a meeting was held in Dire Dawa. The meeting included hundreds of Somali communities, scholars, elders, former officials of Ethio-Somali Regional State critical of the former president Abdi Mohammed Oumer and his administration.
The city, rocked by the violence, finally called for the intervention of the National Army as well as the federal police to control the situation.
Following the incident in Dire Dawa, 2,700 Djiboutians have so far been evacuated from the city, al-qarn, Djibouti national media reported.
The media also said that Ethiopians were voluntarily repatriated.
As of this week, Workneh Gebeyhh (PhD), minister of foreign affairs, went to Djibouti and had a discussion with President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh.
“The unfortunate events that have recently taken place in Dire Dawa are the work of a small group of individuals far from reflecting the feelings of fraternity, closeness and solidarity that are felt by the majority of our two peoples vis-à-vis the other,” said Workneh.
“I am here today to prove that these isolated incidents are not likely to call into question the privileged nature of our bilateral relations and the joint commitment of our two countries to intensify the efforts directed towards economic integration of our two nations,” he said.