The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is monitoring and concerned by reports of armed clashes, civilian casualties and displacement in areas bordering Afar and Somali regions after the recent ceasefire agreement between the two regions in April 2024. EHRC has been receiving complaints and reports of casualties, damage to private and public civilian property and other damages amid escalating tensions which have led to armed clashes in the areas since June 6, 2024. Administrative and security regional authorities that EHRC has talked to in both Afar and Somali regions have confirmed that armed clashes between the regional security forces have taken place sporadically during this period and have caused civilian harm and suffering, including displacement of residents of the areas.

EHRC also acknowledges the positive efforts of both regions to resolve some of the lingering and recurrent issues through dialogue led by the Federal Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, which resulted in a ceasefire agreement in April 2024. It takes further note of the steps taken and ongoing efforts by federal and regional authorities to prevent further escalation.

Underlining the encouraging willingness of both regional authorities for a peaceful and sustainable resolution to the conflict, EHRC Deputy Chief Commissioner Rakeb Messele called for further efforts and support by federal authorities to lead to an immediate cease of hostilities. The Deputy Chief Commissioner also added that “EHRC calls upon all stakeholders to be spurned by the spirit of Eid al-Adha festivities to prevent further escalation and harm to civilians in the areas”.

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