Ethiopia: 30,000 violence-exiled people return
Upon return, internally displaced people also demand government give assurances of their safety
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
(aa)—-More than 30,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in western Ethiopia have been brought back to their homes after two years of living in camps in the adjoining Amhara region, said local media.
Over the last two years violence displaced more than 49,000 people from their homes in the Metekel Zone in the Benishangul Gumuz state, the Amhara Mass Media Agency (AMMA) reported on Tuesday.
The returnees are demanding that the government give them assurances on their future safety, the agency said.
Following the eruption of violence in villages in adjoining regional states, a command post had been established to implement a state of emergency there, according to the local media.
The IDPs’ return was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the two regional state governments and the army now that the security situation has greatly improved, it said.
“The returnees will receive food rations that will be enough for two months,” AMMA quoted Etagegnehu Ademe, deputy commissioner of the Amhara Disaster Prevention and Food Security Commission.
Earlier, more than 9,000 displaced people were repatriated after the Command Post overseeing security in conflict hotspots in the adjoining regional states was able to confiscate 34 firearms and 681 bows.
According to the report, 41 of 71 people suspected of instigating the violence were convicted and are serving prison terms.