• PM reiterated Government commitment to step up response to Gedeo-Guji IDP crisis, as well as continue to ensure a lasting solution to the intercommunal conflict displacement crisis.
• Result of UNDSS’ planned Road Security Assessment will inform the timeline for a rapid multisector assessment to Kamashi zone.
Prime Minister visited IDPs in Gedeb woreda of Gedeo zone
On 17 March 2019, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed visited IDPs in Gedeb woreda of Gedeo zone, SNNP region and reiterated that his Government will scale up life-saving assistance to the affected population, as well as continue to ensure a lasting solution to the intercommunal conflict displacement crisis. IDPs expressed their grievances stating that the humanitarian assistance they’ve received so far is inadequate. High-level Government officials including Ms. Mufriat Kamil, Minister of Peace and Commissioner Mitiku Kassa of the National Disaster Risk Management Commission, also visited thousands of destitute IDPs sheltered in a stadium at Gedeb Town on 15 March 2019 and joined the PM’s discussion with representatives of IDPs on 17 March 2019.
Local and international media reported about the worsening IDP situation in Gedeb woreda prior to the visit by the high-level Government officials.
The situation has been particularly dire in Gotiti kebele, Gedeb woreda where, according to interviewed IDPs in the area,” IDPs were deprived of assistance for the past 8 months because humanitarian partners were denied access”. As a result, acute malnutrition worsened and protection and disease outbreak risks heightened. IDPs in Gotiti have suffered secondary and tertiary displacements from their areas of origin, and require stronger security guarantee before they successfully and sustainably return to their places of origin.
Upon the request from the Gedeo zone administration and SNNP Regional Government, the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC)1 has been dispatching humanitarian supplies to the affected population since 11 March 2019. The international community is also reaching IDPs with multi-sector support, including those in Gotiti, following the opening of access to the IDP site. Apart from the ongoing response efforts by Government and humanitarian partners, activist Tamagn Beyene, Manager of Global Alliance, has raised nearly US$1 million through a Gofundme platform to support Gedeo IDPs. Similarly, the Addis Ababa City Administration and Tigrai Regional Government contributed ETB 30 million and ETB 5 million respectively. Close to a million Gedeos and Gujis (Oromos) were displaced due to the inter-communal conflict between the two bordering communities since April 2018.