Ethiopia: West Guji-Gedeo Conflict Displacement Flash Update #1, 9 May 2018 – Ethiopia

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  • At least 200,000i people are estimated to be displaced following inter-communal violence along the borders of Gedeo (SNNPR) and West Guji (Oromia region) zones.

  • The Ethiopian government and few partners provided limited first line assistance, including food, ES/NFI, WaSH and health/nutrition support. However, the needs significantly surpass resources available to date.

  • Humanitarian partners continue to receive ad-hoc requests for assistance from local authorities, mostly NFIs, WaSH and health assistance to IDPs in displacement and in return areas. Assistance to returnees has been mainly handled by the Government. A number of operational partners stand ready to scale up assistance to the displaced population in support of Government efforts, if additional resources can be made available.

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Displacement overview

On 13 April 2018, inter-communal violence along the borders of Gedeo (SNNPR) and West Guji (Oromia region) zones has led to large scale displacements, damage of properties and loss of life. At least 200,000 people are estimated to be displaced in both zones (around 100,000 in each zone). All IDPs currently in Gedeo zone are believed to be ethnic Gedeos mostly displaced from border kebeles in Kercha woreda of West Guji zone. Around 67 per cent of the IDPs in West Guji zone are also believed to be ethnic Gedeos displaced within West Guji. Most areas of origin of Gedeo IDPs are within Oromia region, particularly in Kercha and Bule Hora woredas in West Guji zone. The remaining IDPs in West Guji zone are ethnic Gujis displaced from Gedeo zone and from border areas in Oromia. Even though the underlying causes of the recent wave of conflict is not conclusively known, tensions over shared borders had long existed between the two groups.

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Within the first two weeks of displacement, the Oromia and SNNP regional authorities agreed to facilitate the return of the IDPs to their respective areas of origin. As of 21 April, nearly 46,000 IDPs have reportedly been returned from West Guji zone, while nearly 39,000 IDPs have reportedly been returned from Gedeo zone as of 1 May. The location of these IDPs is currently not ascertained, and most are believed to be moving back to Gedeo zone. Some IDPs who have not yet been returned are also reported to be moving-in with host communities presumably fearing return and/or inadequate assistance in displacement sites.

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