Ethiopia will establish a buffer zone in border areas of Oromia and Ethiopia Somali regional states to stem deadly clashes, a government official said on Wednesday.

Ethiopian defense forces and federal police units will be deployed in specific conflict hotspot areas along the 1,500 km border between the two regional states, Minister of Ethiopia Government Communication Affairs Office Negeri Lencho told Xinhua.

The government is mediating between senior officials of the Oromia and Ethiopia Somali regional states to return normalcy to the conflict areas, he said.

Oromia and Ethiopia Somali, Ethiopia’s biggest regional states, have been locked in a dispute over the delineation of their common boundary for almost two decades.

A referendum in October 2004 was supposed to demarcate the boundary, but its implementation has remained stalled, with both sides accusing each other of non-compliance with the referendum results.

Heavy clashes along the Oromia-Somali boundary in September spiralled into ethnic violence which left scores of people dead and tens of thousands others displaced.

The country’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission will provid material aid and health services to the displaced people from the conflict. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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