Ethiopia: Recent Fighting in Guji Zone, Oromia, Displaces Hundreds

More than a million Ethiopians were forced from their homes by violence in 2018 and 2019. Most of them were displaced from the Amhara, Somali, Oromia, and Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's (SNNP) regions.

Following recent fighting between what the UN called "unidentified armed groups (UAG) and government security forces" in various kebeles of Seba Boru woreda, Guji zone, Oromia region, hundreds of people have been displaced to the neighboring Darme town, the capital of Darme woreda administration.

"The IDPs are now living in a deplorable situation in Darme town, about 200 killometres from the zonal capital, Negele," the UN said, adding, most of them live in temporary shelters, while others live within the host community and relatives. "Most of the IDPs had no time to bring their properties with them because of the tense fighting between the UAG and Government forces."

Nadhi, 35, and Alemitu, 51 were among the many women who left their areas of origin to come to Darme town. "I decided to leave Figa kebele with my six children when I knew the security situation was deteriorating from time to time and protection of civilians was no more guaranteed," said Nadhi. Nadhi and other members of the community witnessed women suffering from gender-based violence and other forms of attacks. Nadhi added, "we have not received any form of humanitarian assistance either from Government or humanitarian actors since we arrived here three months ago. The community here have no capacity to continue supporting us. My children go begging in the street so that they get something to buy bread." She explains some of the other neighbors face problems where most girls are forced to drop out of school and do daily labor, including in mining in nearest woredas like Oddo Shakisso and Agawayu where they face violence like rape.

For Nadhi and her family, food and clothing are urgent requirements although they also need other services, including shelter, health and WaSH. Alemitu faces similar challenges in Darme town. "I came here with my seven children and I have nothing to feed them. Like many of the IDPs here my children are no more attending school. They go out looking for some jobs, but it is not easy to find some here," says Alemitu. Getting money to purchase basic needs like food, clothes and shelter /plastic/ is not easy in Darme because IDPs don't find jobs to generate income. Life is becoming increasingly difficult for IDPs in Darme, particularly to those female-headed IDPs households. UN/AS

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