Ethiopia arrests 107 relating to regional conflicts
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian government has arrested 107 individuals relating to recent conflict along the border of Somali and Oromia regional states, an official said on Friday.
Abiyu Assefa, Commissioner of Ethiopia Federal Police Commission, gave the figure during a report to the Ethiopian Parliament.
He further said 98 of the suspects apprehended relating to the violence are from Oromia regional states while nine are from Somali regional state.
Heavy clashes along the 1500 km Oromia-Somali boundary in September spilled into ethnic violence that left hundreds of thousands displaced and an undisclosed number of people dead.
Oromia and Somali regional states have been locked in a dispute over the delineation of their common boundary for almost two decades.
A referendum in October 2004 was supposed to demarcate the boundary between the two regional states, but its implementation has been stalled ever since with both sides accusing each other of non-compliance.
The Ethiopian government has further pointed to competition to control illegal Khat trade as another reason for the conflict.
Khat, a mild stimulant leaf grown across Ethiopia, is chewed by millions of Ethiopians, who use it to help them conduct work, undertake home studies or use it for recreational purposes.
Oromia regional state is the largest Khat producing area in Ethiopia while Somali regional state borders Somalia and Djibouti, which are the main foreign destinations for Ethiopia's Khat exports.
SOURCE : XINHUA NET