January 27, 2023

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Gurage zone

Gurage Ethiopia: Bomb attack on police leaves several wounded

Gurage Ethiopia: A bomb attack in Gurage zone of Ethiopia injured several police officials today. Gurage zone is situated in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNPR) region of Ethiopia. People of Gurage have been struggling for years for a separate regional status.

A request was submitted to Ethiopian House of Federation more than 4 months ago for the creation of another regional state in Ethiopia. It was suggested that Gurage, 3 other zones and one special woreda should become part of the new regional state, split from the SNNPR.

Gurage regional council and Gurage based groups opposed the arrangement. They demanded the creation of a new regional state comprising Gurage only. Several protests and at least 3 general strikes have been observed by locals in Gurage in recent weeks.

On Saturday afternoon, a police vehicle was targeted in a bomb attack by unknown attackers. The incident happened in East Meksan Waja kebele. More than 1 police officials were injured, who were transferred to a hospital in Rutajira. According to local government officials, situation was under control and police were trying to trace out the attackers.

On Friday, it was announced that a military command post had been established in Gurage to control deteriorating law and order situation.

It seems Ethiopian federal government is going to announce a decision about creation of new regional state in SNNPR which could face a backlash in Gurage. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been largely resisting creation of new regional states along ethnic lines.

While relative calm is returning to Northern Ethiopia where fighting between regional and federal forces have been going on for two years, simmering tensions are surfacing in southern Ethiopia.