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Liyat Fekade

Addis Abeba, March 12/2018 – The Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) said it “has received at least 2,000 Ethiopian asylum seekers in Moyale town following their displacement from Ethiopia.”

Ten civilians were shot to death on Saturday March 10 by members of the Ethiopian army in Moyale town, 790 km south of Addis Abeba, on the border between Ethiopia and Kenya. Eleven others were also wounded, four of them critically.

“The displaced persons are hosted in four centers namely Butiye (500 persons), Somare (400 persons), Cifa (100 persons) and Sessi (1000 persons), some of whom are staying with relatives and well-wishers,” KRCS said in a statement, adding “the asylum seekers began streaming in on Saturday, 10th March 2018 around 10 PM majority of them being women and children. KRCS immediately released family kits (Tarpaulins, Kitchen sets, Mosquito nets, Bar soaps, Thermal Blankets and Jerrycans), which were distributed among the displaced families.”

According to KRCS, the county government of Marsabit has also provided food to the displaced persons. “More support is expected following the formation a Sub County Steering Group that aims to effectively address the issue. Rapid assessment is ongoing to establish the specific cross-sector needs.”

In an interview with DW Amharic, Aschalew Yohannes, Mayor of the Moyale town, said up to 50, 000 civilians have crossed the border in to Kenya from Ethiopia fearing for their lives.

Members of the Ethiopian army responsible for the killing were operating under the supervision of the command post established to oversee the current state of emergency. In a statement published on the state run EBC, the command post secretariat, led by defense minister Siraj Fegessa, said the killing happened when five members of the army acted based on a “mistaken intelligence report.” It also said the army was pursuing members of the banned Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), who “crossed in to the Ethiopian side.” The statement offered no details but said five members of the army were disarmed and were under investigations.

However, families & friends of the victims, the city’s mayor, & those displaced who spoke to various media, including Addis Standard, say there was no rebel presence in the city.

Lieutenant General Hassen Ibrahim, representative of the Secretariat of the Command Post, said an inquiry team was dispatched to the town of Moyale. According to him, the inquiry team consists high ranking military officers from the defense force. AS 


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