Minister Motuma Mekassa said the Ministry of Defense is working with local elders and community members to prevent a recurrence of violence in the weekend that killed civilians.

ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)―Ethiopian Minister of Defense Motuma Mekassa on Wednesday dismissed fears of “civil war” in Ethiopia’s Somali regional state located in eastern part of the country.

Several cities in Ethiopia Somali regional state were scenes of deadly violence at the weekend after soldiers were dispatched on Saturday morning to Jigjiga city, capital of Ethiopia Somali regional state reportedly to arrest regional high-level officials including Abdi Mohamoud Omar, President of Ethiopia Somali regional state.

The army intervention comes amid reports of tension between the Ethiopian federal government and Ethiopia Somali regional state president over allegations of grave human rights abuses in Mohamoud’s administration.

Speaking to media outlets, Motuma Mekassa said the Ethiopian army is currently pacifying the unrest in Jigjiga city and other towns in the Ethiopia Somali regional state and that fears among the general population of a possible outbreak of civil war are unfounded.

He further said the Ministry of Defense is working with local elders and community members to prevent a recurrence of violence in the weekend that killed as yet unknown number of people and left scores of people injured.

Motuma Mekassa didn’t reveal details of alleged negotiation between Ethiopia Somali regional officials and the Ethiopian government to resolve the crisis that has threatened to destabilize Ethiopia’s second largest regional state.

Source: Xinhua
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