Ethiopia's Liyu police blamed for deadly attacks in Oromia region

13 hours 10 minutes ago

The death of about 40 people in Ethiopia’s Oromia region at the weekend is being blamed on the Liyu Police, regional paramilitary force that belongs to the adjoining Somali regional state.

Local media portals including the trusted Addis Standard portal said the deadly attack by the Liyu Police took place in three seperate localities in Oromia’s East Haharghe Zone.

Negeri Lencho, spokesman for the Oromia state administration confirmed the attack and also pointed to the Liyu police: “The victims were all ethnic Oromos. The perpetrators were members of a paramilitary force.”

Addis Standard’s report detailed the circumstances and periods the attacks took place. It went further to cite corresponding news reports from the BBC’s Afaan Oromo service and of medical personnel handling some of the wounded persons.

The report quotes an official of the locality (Mayu Muluke) worst affected by the violence as putting the death toll at 37 with over 44 others having sustained varied degrees of injury.

The report added that a Mayu Muluke town police officer by name Mohammed Aliyi said the attack was a military assault by members of Ethiopia’s controversial Liyu Police “for reasons we are not clear with yet.”

Before Negeri Lencho’s confirmation of the attack, Oromia region’s justice bureau communication head, Taye Dendea had confirmed the incident via his Facebook page on Sunday. At the time he reported that 31 people had been killed, of whom five were women. Children and the elderly were among the victims.

Oromia officials stressed however that they were doing all it takes to restore security and to bring a lasting solution. The two regional states – Oromia and Somali – share a common border which spans several kilometers.

Ethnically motivated clashes have often led to deaths and massive displacements on both sides. The Liyu police under the command of the Somali region have been blamed for cross border raids whiles militias from the Oromia side have also acted in same measure as retaliation.

The Liyu police made the news last week when their former leader and president of the Somali regional state, Abdi Mohamoud Omar, was forced to resign amid a standoff between regional and federal forces.

News went around that government was to disarm the unit but late in the week, it was said that federal forces were to team up with the Liyu police to restore peace to the Somali regional capital Jijiga and other parts of the state.


Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa's party to respond to Chamisa's court challenge by Wednesday

14 hours 33 minutes ago

The legal secretary of Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF party, Paul Mangwana has said its lawyers would respond to the opposition’s court challenge of the election results by Wednesday.

Mangwana who had previously said he was convinced the opposition ‘have no case’ spoke on Monday, when the country was celebrating Heroes Day.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while officiating the national ceremony, urged Zimbabweans to unite to rebuild the economy.

In his first national address since being declared winner in a disputed presidential vote, Mnangagwa blamed the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for the post-voting violence that saw six people being killed after the army stepped in to quell post-election protests this month.

“It is now time to put the election period behind us and embrace the future,” Mnangagwa said during Heroes Day commemorations in the capital Harare.

“We should never be deterred by temporary setbacks or regrettable events which we encounter in our cause to build an open, free and democratic, prosperous Zimbabwe.”

The July 30 election, the first since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after a coup last November, was cast as a watershed vote that could pull a pariah state back into the international fold and spark an economic revival.

But the violence that erupted after Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party won the national elections and the heavy-handed army response was another reminder that Zimbabwean society remains deeply divided even after Mugabe’s near four decades rule.

Opposition confident of legal win

MDC leader Nelson Chamisa and Mnangagwa’s main rival who has challenged the election result at the Constitutional Court said in a message to mark Heroes Day that Zimbabwe was a broken and divided nation that needed healing and reconciliation.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe defers presidential inauguration pending court challenge

The vote, he said, had been held in a “scandalous” way.

“We must resolutely do everything in our power under our constitution to say ‘No’ to fraud and repression either in our electoral politics or justice system,” Chamisa said.

The Constitutional Court, whose decision is final, can uphold the result, declare a new winner, order a fresh election within 60 days or make any other ruling it deems fit.

The court must rule within 14 days of an election challenge being lodged. The days do not include weekends and public holidays according to the court rules.

9 minutes 37 seconds ago
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