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Nov 30, 2014

Increasing military presence in Gambella

Following the violent clashes between Mezhenger and government forces near the Southern and Gambella borders, which claimed the lives of local militia and at least 50 members of the Federal police members in the past few weeks, a large presence of the Ethiopian Defense Forces is now being observed.
ESAT’s reporter said that there has been a fear that a war could break out in the area since last week, and schools have been closed. Despite the fears and tension in the area, no conflict has since arisen; the
disquiet is allegedly related to the large presence of a military force in the area.
Meanwhile, following the clashes in Abobo and Gambella, many members of the Special Force that had been evaluated by authorities have deserted carrying their weapons. The deserters hail from the Angnuak, Nuer and Mezhenger communities. ESAT’s efforts to speak to the deserting soldiers have been unsuccessful due to bad telephone network connection.
Total power outage in this same area has also caused a problem to the people living in the area. The cause for the outages in the zones of Jimma, Keffa, Masha and Maji is unknown. Similarly, water disruptions have been occurring regularly in the zone.
ESAT’s effort to speak to local officials on the issue has been unsuccessful.

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