Jigjiga, the capital city of Somali Regional State, has been hit by protest and demonstration this week claiming the lives of three people and leaving four people injured, The Reporter has learnt.
The first incident happened in the city at a particular area known as Kebelle 04. According to sources from the area, the whole thing was triggered when a group of youth from the town protesting against the police actions of arresting some youth, who were allegedly trying to instigate violence in the city, clashed with security forces.
The friends of those who were arrested went to the police station and demanded their release, The Reporter learnt.
This incident which began on Monday, October 30, 2018, however, was controlled without a major damage. Nevertheless, it was the violence that occurred in subsequent days which left many injured and three died.
The latest violence began with a fight between individuals and the killing of one Wondoessen Desta by a police officer. In addition, an imam and a police officer were also killed by a group of youth. Particularly, the police officer died in hospital after he was badly beaten up. Moreover, more than four individuals including a second police officer were also injured.
Following, the burial ceremony of Wondoessen at St. Michael church, there was also a small demonstration held in the city. Following the violence, businesses as well as government institutions were closed.
Federal police, the national army and regional police have interfered in a bid to calm down the violence in the city. “The tension in the city is still high,” a business owner from Jigjiga told The Reporter. “The city is still far from safe.”
It is to be recalled that back in August, 2018 the former president of the region, Abdi Illey was ousted from power and brought to Addis Ababa along with other regional officials. His arrest came following days of violence in Jigjiga in which many were believed to have died.
Days after the violence back in June, 2018, the region was experiencing a relative peace following the coming into power of Mustafa Mohammed Omar, as the vice president of the region.
It is to be recalled that in his exclusive interview with The Reporter last week, Mustafa indicated that the region is more or less stable after he assumed leadership. “Contrary to expectation, the situation in the region is stable now. I think the expectation was that it would be difficult to manage the region,” he said.
However, according to the residents of the city, still the city is far from complete stability where joint forces of the national military and federal police monitoring the situation together with the regional police.
“The city is now calm and we are in consultation with the community,” Guled Awo, Communication Bureau Head of the region, told The Reporter.