Addis Abeba – The Gambella to Shebel, Dembidollo road, connecting Gambella and Oromia regions in Western Ethiopia, which was closed for more than three years due to insecurity problems in the area has been opened, according to the Gambella Region Press Secretariat Office.
The office stated over the weekend that the road was opened after a successful “peacekeeping mission” by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) was conducted, adding that the army also secured peace in the area.
The closure of the road for three consecutive years had caused an immense socio-economic crisis, the office quoted the administrator of Anfilo district in Oromia region, Negash Kenea as saying.
Commander of the army contingent in the area Colonel Dessalegn Mullaw has urged government officials of the two regional states to build up on the gains made by the military and discharge their responsibilities of cementing ties between adjacent communities.
The road was closed due to the war between the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) on one hand and the federal and Oromia regional governments security forces on the other, which has been ongoing for five years mainly within the Oromia region but affecting the neighboring Benishangul Gumuz, Gambella and Amhara regions causing countless loss of lives, gross violation of human rights and immeasurable socio-economic and humanitarian crisis.
The news of the opening of the road comes amidst reports of escalated fighting in several parts of the Oromia region since the first attempt to peacefully resolve the war was concluded without an agreement. AS