Abiy Holds Talks with Somali & Afar Regions’ Heads over Security

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has held on Friday talks with heads of Somali and afar regions over security issues in eastern Ethiopia.

The meeting took place almost a week after armed men coming reportedly from Djibouti and Somali region killed at least 18 people in a small village in Afar region.

More than two dozen others have also been injured from explosives and bullet wounds.

Friday’s discussion was aimed at easing the tension created in western Ethiopia since the attack happened.

The discussion between Abiy and the leadership of the Afar and Somali regional states was about “security-related issues”, said the Prime minister office.

The office did not give detail about the outcome of the meeting.

Past two days, people were demonstrating in cities and towns of Afar to vent their frustration over one of the deadliest attacks seen in the region, located in western Ethiopia. The identity of the armed men is still unknown.

Ethiopia is undergoing political and economic reforms under its Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who took power in April 2018 following three years of violent anti-government protests that led to the resignation of his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn.

Abiy, 43, won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peacemaking efforts which ended two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.

But the changes instituted by Abiy have also emboldened powerful regional strongmen and increased ethnic tensions across the country in what was once one of Africa’s most repressive nations.