Choas Hits Jigjiga Town Amid Breakdawn of Law, Order

The town of Jigjiga, the seat of the Somali Regional State, has been hit with unrest that led for members of the army to enter the town earlier today. A group of youth calling themselves “Heego” are demonstrating in the town causing a breakdown of law and order.

They are dressed in a T-shirt with a photo of the region’s President, Abdi Mohamoud Omar Elle, according to Alemayehu Goshu, an eyewitness from the area.

“They also forcefully entered houses and shops, looting and breaking goods on their way,” the witness said.

Yesterday the youth, who are believed to be supporters of the President, had a long meeting where they repeatedly called his name and yelled slogans, according to residents close to the meeting hall.

A nurse, Senait Teshome, was one of the victims of the demonstrators.

“They snatched a TV, 30,000 Br and jewellery from her,” said a witness, whose electronics shop has been vandalised.

The witness recalled that there was also a woman in the group. They left Senait without any physical harm, however.

Two churches – Kidane Mihiret and Michael – were also set on fire around 2:00pm today. Another eyewitness who works at the Administration For Refugee & Returnee Affairs (ARRA), Qebribeyah, 40Km outside of Jigjiga, also says 68 employees there would not leave work, because they were afraid of the attackers.

“There’re no troops in the town, except some members of the special forces who are passing by in pickup trucks,” the eyewitness told Fortune. “Most of them are participating in the looting, dressed in civilian clothes.

” Eyewitnesses told Fortune that the Oromia International Bank has also been ransacked by the youth and that the presidential palace and the regional media are under the control of a unit from the Ethiopian National Defence Forces.

It is not clear what triggered the chaos in the region today. Federal and regional authorities were not available for comment.

The story is developing.

Published on Aug 04,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 953]



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