Inter-ethnic fighting in Ethiopia forcing millions to flee their homes

Inter-ethnic fighting in Ethiopia forcing millions to flee their homes
By Monica PinnaJudith Prescott
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Three million people have fled over the past 18 months because of an upsurge in inter-ethnic violence


Ethiopia is going through one of the fastest growing displacement disasters worldwide. Three million people have been forced to flee their homes over the past 18 months because of an increase in inter-ethnic violence.

Qoloji is the biggest camp for internally displaced people in Somalia, the country's easternmost state. The camp hosts 80,000 Ethiopians, mainly from the Somali ethnic community, from the nearby Oromia state. New families arrive nearly every day. They make up the eight million people needing daily assistance to feed themselves and another eight million that are considered chronically at risk.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis management, Christos Stylianides, has announced €89m in humanitarian support for 2018-2019. These funds will be used not only to address the needs of displaced people, but also to assist the one million refugees coming from neighbouring countries, as well as tackling natural disasters such as drought.

“In Ethiopia, you know there is profound political change and the European Union is here to support the big reform in the stable island of this region," explains Mr Stylianides.

The Government is co-operating with international agencies, who are nevertheless asking for an independent assessment of the needs in sensitive areas, and to avoid people putting people under pressure to return to unsafe zones.

Correspondent Monica Pinna says the new government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has shaken up Ethiopia, making impressive steps towards promoting human rights. The young leader wants to unite his country’s fragmented society.

If he succeeds, he will create a wave of democracy not only in Ethiopia, but elsewhere in the region.

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