Af­ter killings, Ethiopi­ans flee to Kenya

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

NAIROBI — 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.

The eth­nic Oromo refugees, mostly women and chil­dren, be­gan ar­riv­ing in north­ern Kenya on Satur­day, Halkano Halake, spokesman for the gov­er­nor of Marsabit county, said by phone. Nine corpses were re­ceived at Moyale Hos­pi­tal, while 12 peo­ple were treated for bul­let wounds on the same day and two oth­ers on Sun­day, said Arero Bi­kicha, the fa­cil­ity’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer.

“There have been gun­shots, there are killings,” Halake said. Refugees “are spread in schools, churches, mosques, pri­vate res­i­dences and three camps.” State-owned Oro­mia Broad­cast­ing Net­work put the num­ber of peo­ple who fled to Kenya at 50,000, cit­ing Moyale Mayor Ascha­law Yo­hannes.

More than two years of protests in Ethiopia’s Oro­mia and Amhara re­gions have left hun­dreds of peo­ple dead, while re­cent con­flict be­tween the Oro­mia and So­mali re­gions has forced more than 900,000 peo­ple to flee their homes.

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