After killings, Ethiopians flee to Kenya
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.