Moyale is located in the Oromia regional state whose administrative & security bureau confirmed the incident and subsequently blamed it on security forces armed by the adjoining Ethio-Somali regional state.
Tensions between the two regional states has often been pinned on resource control. The last occurrence led to deadly clashes in September last year which situation killed hundreds and displaced close to one million people on both sides.
Even though the government has blamed it on anti-peace forces and rent seeking groups, Oromo activists have long blamed the Ethio-Somalia region’s paramilitary force known as ‘Liyu Police.’ The cause of today’s incident remains unknown as yet.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed – an ethnic Oromo, was sworn into office on April 2, his first internal visit was to Jijiga, capital of the Ethio-Somali region where he promoted the need for inter-regional peace and coexistence.
Moyale, a town which shares a border with Kenya, made headline months back after security forces killed nine people in a botched intelligence operation. The situation forced thousands of residents to flee into Kenya.
PM Abiy, who took over from Hailemariam Desalegn, is tasked with political reforms and national unity drive for a country riled by anti-government protests since 2015. Ethiopia has declared two state of emergencies in under two years.
The current one was imposed on 16 February, 2018; a day after the resignation of Desalegn. PM Abiy has yet to make a pronouncement on the state of emergency in as many speeches since he took office.